I decided to bring my Indian culture to Dubai by making these tender little mouth-watering kebabs at home. I also made some chapatti, kachumber salad and raita to go with them so that I could transform them into beautiful finger-food wraps (I have to thank Chef Maunika Gowardhan for the inspiration).
Kebabs are not only traditional to Indian cuisine. They also have a prominent place in the Middle East. However, Middle Eastern kebabs aren’t cooked in a tandoori oven, which gives that delicious charcoal flavour and aroma. Instead, in the Middle East they have something called mixed grill, which includes all sorts of marinated meat and seafood that are set on skewers and cooked on a grill.
I, like most of you, do not have a tandoor at home, but there was no way I was going to settle for no charcoal flavour in my kebabs. So I simply cooked these skewers, covered with foil, under the grill (broiler) in my oven. Once they were cooked, I took off the foil and let the heat do its magic. Mission accomplished.
Serves: 3 decently hungry people
- 500g boneless chicken thighs
- 3 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 8 tbsp single cream
- 10 tbsp low-fat Greek yoghurt
- 4 tbsp grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp chaat masala
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp chickpea flour
- 3 onions, quartered
- 2 green chillies, sliced
- 5 tbsp ghee
- 2 tbsp honey
- 10–12 wooden skewers
To serve (optional):
- kachumber salad
- Preheat oven to the maximum temperature.
- Soak the skewers in water and set aside. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients including the chicken and onions. Marinate for at least 1 hour before cooking.
- Taking one skewer at a time, alternate the chicken and onion, make sure not to overload the skewers (place no more than 3 pieces of chicken and onion on each skewer). Transfer to a baking tray and cover the top with foil.
- Reduce oven temperature to 170°C, place the baking tray on the top rack of the oven and cook for 15 mins. Remove foil and let caramelise for 3–4 mins.
- Remove from oven and serve hot with chapatti, kachumber salad and raita – roll them together and you’ve made yourself a delicious wrap!
Note 1: do not throw away the juices that have dripped off the chicken while cooking – use as a sauce to keep the wraps juicy and moist.
Note 2: a great-make ahead trick is to marinate these babies and leave in the freezer or fridge until needed, cooking when necessary.