Before my husband and I had children, we used to go out to eat at restaurants quite a bit. Our favorite place to get dinner and then go see a movie was at the local Indian restaurant. We would always split their special tandoori mixed grill entrée that came with plenty of basmati rice, dal makhani (creamy and spicy black lentils) and of course naan. The platter had an assortment of meats cooked in a traditional tandoori oven, but my favorite was the tandoori chicken. It has been years since we have been to this restaurant for a bite, but the memories and flavors are on my palate like it was yesterday; therefore, I set out to make my own.
For Fiesta Friday #17 over at The Novice Gardener, I am making chicken tandoori skewers. These are made with chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces, so the marinade doesn’t have to sit overnight. It is a quick dish to fire up on the grill for a party and I’m not kidding when I say, all three of my children liked the taste of this. They are usually hesitant to eat anything out of their norm, but this is
mild and has a wonderfully tart, savory taste that kept everyone coming back for another piece.
I made a dipping sauce out of Greek yogurt, lemon and cilantro that paired perfectly with the chicken. I also made homemade naan (for the first FF challenge). Dinner was rounded out with some store-bought dal, but I have plans to try to make this on my own soon, too!
What you need to make enough for 4 adults (you can add a lot more chicken to this marinade though):
1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 Tbs tomato paste
1/2 medium red onion, cut into chunks
1 inch of ginger root, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tbs Greek yogurt, plus 1/2 Cup for dipping sauce later
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 Tbs olive oil
The juice of 1 lemon (reserve 1 Tbs for your yogurt sauce)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
2 tsp garam masala (this is an Indian spice blend that can be found in the ethnic food aisle or at an Indian store — it is amazing!!!)
1 tsp salt
Metal or wooden skewers (soak the wooden skewers in water while chicken is marinating)
In a food processor, combine lemon juice, 2 Tbs yogurt, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, oil, salt and spices until you have a somewhat smooth paste. This should smell and taste absolutely amazing!
Combine your marinade with your chicken in a medium bowl and cover. refrigerate for two hours.
While your chicken is marinating, combine 1/2 Cup of Greek yogurt, 1 Tbs lemon juice, 2 Tbs minced cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper together. Set aside in your refrigerator until ready to serve the chicken.
After your chicken has marinated, carefully put pieces on skewers and cook on a hot grill for 12-15 minutes. It will char slightly, but don’t be afraid because these are the pieces that taste super good. You can also cook these in the oven at 400 degrees on a foil lined baking sheet if you don’t have a grill. Once the chicken is cooked, turn on the broiler to get that charred look and taste.
Serve with cilantro-yogurt sauce, naan, and a vegetable.