Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Affaf Ali's Reshmi Kababs

I belong to Sikandalous Cuisine, a food group with a platoon of professional chefs and amateur cooks. That is a distinction to some people! Spearheaded by Atul Sikand, these intrepid culinarians raise the bar with easy recipes for home cooking. Perusing through a multitude of cuisines I am often tempted to hit that Save button and experiment in my way. This is one of them. Affaf Ali posted these deliciously easy chicken kababs and has graciously allowed me to repost her stellar recipe. Instead of the traditional tandoor or grill, she allows you to cook the kababs in an oven. For some of us, winter weather is a big deterrent in outdoor grilling. 

Boneless skinless chicken thighs are cubed and marinated in cream, thick yogurt, lemon juice and spices. A fresh ground paste of cilantro, mint and green chiles is added. I have preserved the integrity of the ingredients, but increased quantity of some. Chicken is marinated overnight, threaded onto skewers and grilled in a hot oven.  The idea is to let the skewers rest over the lip of a baking sheet or ovenproof dish, not on the the sheet itself. I have a skewer set that allows me to place the contraption on a grill or baking sheet. The elevation allows the heat to envelop the entire surface of the meat, making a tastier and well browned kabab. The kababs are melt in your mouth delicacies. A spritz of lime, some sliced onion and a hearty appetite is all that is needed.

Serves 4

1 pound boneless skinless Chicken Thighs
1 tablespoon Garlic paste
1 tablespoon Ginger paste
1/3 cup Cream
1/2 cup Yogurt
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg powder
3/4 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Cilantro
1 cup Mint leaves
5 Green Chiles
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
Canola Oil Spray

Place a couple of paper towels or cheesecloth over a strainer. 

Spoon yogurt onto paper or cloth and let it drain for 1/2 hour.

Prepare the chicken by cutting it into 2 inch pieces. Wash and pat dry. Put chicken into a stainless steel or glass bowl.

Add cream, yogurt, garlic and ginger paste, lemon juice, black pepper, nutmeg, garam masala and salt to chicken.

Grind cilantro, mint and green chiles with oil till you have a thick paste. 

Add paste to chicken. Stir chicken  till well mixed.

Cover and refrigerate overnight for best results. If you are pressed for time, marinate chicken for 4-6 hours in the fridge. The longer it sits in the marinade the softer the chicken roasts.

Heat oven to 350F.

Thread chicken onto metal skewers. If you are using bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them for 30 minutes prior to roasting.

Arrange skewers over the sides of a  baking tray or over the lip of a baking dish. The idea is to elevate the skewers so they do not touch the bottom of the baking sheet or dish. Line the tray or dish with foil for an easier clean up. The foil catches the drips.

Coat chicken with a couple of spritzes of oil spray.

Place chicken in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes till cooked. 

Serve chicken kababs with sliced onion and lime wedges.

It is finger food at our Oscar viewing dinner. Thanks you Affaf Ali for these mouthwatering nuggets of delight! 

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