MALAI TIKKA: Thanksgiving Special by the Man !!

Thanksgiving is all about feasting and bonding over feasting. Now, who doesn't like that.Its loads of work for the host/hostess, but a great occasion to all those get to just eat and eat and eat some more. As our Anniversary, coincides around this long weekend, we are usually vacationing at this time of the year. Puerto Rico, Mexico and even India have seen us at this time of the year. We make sure, we abide by the norms, We eat and we eat a lot. So this year, when we were not travelling, we decided to dine in at home. But no mundane dishes for us. We were too late, in planning all this, so there was no time for a big ole Turkey dinner(or lunch). Moreover it also did not make sense, to cook such a large bird for just the two of us. Friends and Family who are always in town this time of the year(read when we are away), were all out of town this year. Irony !! So we thought, lets stick to the theme of the bird, and cook up something closer home: Chicken, and by chicken, did I not mention KEBABS !! 

Why Kebabs? Well, there's another reason for it. We have a neighborhood Kebab joint, which serves a pretty decent Kebab platter. We had been planning on a Kebab dinner for a few weeks, and on almost  three occasions, when we even landed up there, we found that they had closed early. Either the joint is about to shut shop, or we were just being plain unlucky. SO my Kebab cravings were almost driving the man crazy. No wonder he suggested, that he would cook up a batch of MALAI TIKKA for Thanksgiving Dinner. I always love Kebabs when its cold and frosty. And when I do not have to do any of the prep work, or the grilling myself, then I love Kebabs a bit more. All I had to do was to kick back and relax through out the day, while the man prep and primed lunch and dinner. Ahh, the pleasure of a long weekend with a man who loves to cook !!

 The man had taken pains in all the prep work. Chicken breasts had been cubed uniformly, and marinated a day in advance. I know its a common practice, to use any kind of Cheese in the Malai Tikka, but the man had stick to his own concoction. Yogurt, heavy Cream, lemon juice, Cayenne Pepper, salt and not to forget Kasoori Methi, along with the grated onion-ginger-garlic. Poultry is always better, when it gets a chance to soak up flavors, as its such a flavorless meat typically. So the hours of marination did their trick. The result was obvious with the heady aroma from the kitchen , when the meat, hit the grill. The sizzle of the grill made me even hungrier.I kept hovering around, on the pretext of taking a few shots,and sampling my way through the first batch of Kebabs.Quality Control, I assured him, as he smiled one of his signature smiles. Aah, that smile, which stole my heart, when I was all of 16 !!!


Chicken Breast: 1 lb: Cubed into 2-3 inch pieces

Yogurt: 1 cup
Heavy Cream: 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp
Black Pepper: 1 tsp
Salt: To taste
Cayenne Pepper: 1 1/2 tsp
Onion-ginger-garlic paste: 4-5 tbsp
Kasoori Methi: 1tbsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tbsp

For Grilling:
Canola Oil/ Cooking Spray:

Bamboo Skewers: 8-10
Red Onion: 1 medium sized : Cut into thick slivers:


Marinate the cubed chicken pieces for at least 3-4 hours, in a covered bowl, in the refrigerator. It best if its done a day in advance.

Soak bamboo skewers in water for an hour, so that they do not get burnt once they hit the grill.

Crank up the grill.

Skewer the meat, making sure that you leave a couple of inches free at the top and bottom, so that they can be turned.

Spray the grill with some non stick cooking spray, and grill the kebabs in batches. Make sure that the grill is not over crowded.

 Make sure to baste the kebabs with the marinade, so that they don't get dry.

Turn the skewers so that they get uniformly cooked on both sides.

Remove the kebabs on a large platter and add dollops of butter, which would instantly melt into the poultry, infusing goodness.

Grill the onion slivers till they turn translucent but are still crunchy. Keep aside.

Let the Kebabs rest for around 5-7 minutes, before you start digging in.

Serve with hot rotis/naan/pita and the grilled onions.  If you are not much of a red onion fan, then you could also serve the kebabs with a cucumber salad.

Bon Appetit !!!

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