I have been thinking for a while that I would like to extend the repertoire of starters I am able to cook, especially of the non-vegetarian kind. I have made the same mangoris, tikkis, and vadas too often now.
I also would love to introduce the girls, gradually, to other kinds of chicken and lamb-based preparations in Indian cuisine that are not the usual curries. At a restaurant in Mumbai some months ago, I noticed that the girls really enjoyed eating reshmi kebabs, and it has been on my mind since then that I should try and make those at home for them, for a change from the usual fare.
So I decided recently to start trying out the recipes in an interesting little book I have had for years in my kitchen, called “Tikkas and Kebabs”, a compilation of recipes by various chefs at prominent restaurants in India.
The one that I tried this evening caught my eye because of the unusual- to me – ingredients that it uses(honey and nutmeg) and because it looked so easy. The tikkas I made with this recipe turned out really well, and both Indira and I loved them. Noor didn’t seem too keen on the taste though; I guess that was down to the unusual/unaccustomed flavor of nutmeg (she said the chicken had a “funny” smell” !!) though that is precisely what I loved about these tikkas.
I think these would be very nice as a first course, served over a layer of salad leaves (and maybe some grated carrot, or as a starter.
Best of all, this recipe really is amazingly simple. An added bonus is that it needs very little oil.
Honey and Nutmeg-flavored Chicken Tikkas
Chicken breasts(de-boned)/chicken fillets 500gms
Lime juice 4 tbsps
Honey 3-4 tbsps
1/2 tbsp of red chilly powder (I don’t like my food “hot” so I used kashmiri chilli powder; you could use a stronger kind)
Garlic paste 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder 1/4 tsp
a pinch of red food color (I’d say this is optional- the original recipe lists this but I never use any food color)
salt to taste
Mustard or any other cooking oil to baste 1 to 2 tbsps
Cut the chicken in to 2 inch pieces, and pierce these lightly with a fork. Mix all the other ingredients to prepare a marinade. Toss the chicken pieces in it thoroughly and leave in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours. Then put the pieces on skewers, or line the grill with cooking paper and lay them flat on this, and grill at the top of the oven at 200 degrees C till the pieces are well done.
During the cooking process, baste the chicken with mustard oil (I used sunflower oil since I have no mustard oil at the moment) on each side once.
Do try this one; the honey and lime is a delicious combination with the chicken, and nutmeg adds a superb flavor.