Chicken Tikka Kebabs: Indian BBQ

Chicken Tikka Kebabs are a sizzling delight from the Indian subcontinent, an iconic dish where marinated morsels of chicken are skewered and cooked to perfection on a grill or tandoor. These kebabs are celebrated for their rich, smoky flavor and tender texture, achieved through a vibrant blend of spices and yogurt. Chicken Tikka has become synonymous with Indian BBQ, and it’s a favorite at parties, restaurants, and street food stalls alike. This dish is not just about the bold and complex flavors; it’s also a cultural experience that invites everyone to gather around the fire and enjoy the art of grilling with an Indian twist.

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Kebabs

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Wooden or metal skewers

Cooking Steps for Chicken Tikka Kebabs

  • In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, minced garlic, grated ginger, garam masala, paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and salt to create the marinade.
  • Add the chicken chunks to the marinade and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the chicken.
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes to prevent burning on the grill.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto the skewers, leaving a small space between each piece.
  • Brush the grill with oil to prevent sticking. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and has a nice char.
  • Remove the chicken tikka kebabs from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

In conclusion, Chicken Tikka Kebabs offer a delectable combination of smoky, spicy, and tangy flavors that are sure to tantalize the taste buds. For the juiciest and most flavorful kebabs, it’s important to marinate the chicken well in advance and use full-fat yogurt to help tenderize the meat. Freshly ground spices, rather than pre-packaged blends, can significantly enhance the taste of the marinade. Additionally, using chicken thighs ensures that the meat remains succulent and flavorful, even with the high heat of the grill. Chicken Tikka Kebabs are not only a beloved dish for their taste but also for their ability to bring people together in celebration of good food and good company.

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