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Savory Delight: Malai Chicken Tikka

Every morsel speaks for itself. If you eat chicken, you are bound to love this royal treat of soft grilled chicken preparation that has been the favorite of many kings from the Mughal era, says Chef Sanjay Patel as he shows how to make it.

(Above): Malai Chicken Tikka

  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, approx 310g (11 oz), cut into (4 to 5 inch) pieces
  • 2 tbsp Greek-style natural unsweetened yogurt
  • 30g (1 oz) butter
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • 1tbsp ginger and garlic paste (see preparation below)
  • 3 green cardamoms, seeds only
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 green finger chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp cheddar cheese, finely grated

  • For Ginger and Garlic Masala Paste:
  • 115g (4oz) root ginger peeled and chopped
  • 115g (4oz) garlic cloves


Ginger and Garlic Masala Paste

In a food processor blend the ginger and garlic together to a smooth paste. If necessary, add 15 ml (1 tbsp) cold water. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Malai Chicken Tikka

Sprinkle lemon juice and salt over the chicken pieces, cover and set aside. Mix the yogurt, half the butter, the cream, ginger and garlic, cardamoms, cumin, nutmeg, chillies, the oil, and cheese and blend into a smooth paste. Pour over the chicken, making sure it is all well coated, and marinate the meat for 1 hour, covered, in the refrigerator.

Soak 4 - 6 wooden skewers in cold water for 15 minutes to prevent them burning. Skewer the chicken and barbecue, or grill under a preheated grill, for 10 minutes on each side until light brown and cooked through, or simply bake in a preheated 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 oven for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Halfway through cooking, baste with the remaining butter (melted).

Serve hot or cold on the skewers.

Serves 2.

Sanjay Patel has a degree from the Culinary Institute in Birmingham, U.K., and is certified in food and hygiene. He was named 1996 Chef of the Year by Quality Cuisine, U.K. Patel is executive chef at Milan restaurant in Milpitas, Calif.


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