I wrote recently about our Tandoor Cooking Party in Delhi, India and promised some recipes. First up? Chicken Malai Tikka.
Now, realize that we transcribed the recipes as the chef explained the process, so there is some room for potential error. Like when he said “1 teaspoon of salt” it actually is closer to 1 tablespoon. It seems to me though that since most of the measuring concerns spices, you can play around and adjust, and experiment!
For the purposes of this recipe though, one heaping spoon is equivalent to 1 Tablespoon.
Chicken Malai Tikka
Marinate 1/2 kg of chicken, cut into large cubes (big enough to not fall apart on a skewer) and sprinkle a large spoonful of salt over all, as well as mixing in 3 heaping spoons of mixed ginger and garlic paste. Marinate for ONE hour and then drain any excess water.
Add 4-5 heaping spoons of fresh cream to the #1 marinade. Also add 2 heaping spoons of hung curd (I just use regular greek yogurt), salt to taste and white pepper plus black cumin (1/2 heaping spoon of each)
[hung curds in India, is yogurt that has been placed in cheesecloth or a very fine mesh colander and left to sit until all of the liquid has drained] … interesting to note : the salt in the marinade provides a breakdown in the meat in order to let the marinade penetrate and tenderize the meat! The cream and yogurt in the marinade is what helps the chicken retain its moisture when being cooked at such high temperatures!]
Add chicken and marinate for 5 hours before skewering and cooking. Place in tandoori oven for approximately 8-15 minutes (depending on how hot your tandoor is!) or until chicken is cooked through.
Now, I can just imagine the question … do I HAVE to own a tandoor oven to make these recipes? According to a quick google search I just did, the answer is NO! The reason a tandoor works is because of the high temperatures it can achieve, so a very hot oven (500° F) or a very hot grill appropriately mimics the tandoor.
I’d love to hear if any of you without tandoor ovens try these recipes with an oven or grill, and how they turn out!
Soon, I’ll share an amazing recipe for Fruit Chaat !!