Served with plain couscous and grilled vegetables (I like courgettes, aubergine and mixed peppers), chicken tikka is an all-time favourite meal in my home. The cooked tikka can also be cooled, shredded and mixed into a cold salad. Here I serve it hot with green leaves.
2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
juice of 1 lime
600g boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (see below, or good quality variety from a jar)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1. Combine the ginger-garlic paste with the ground spices and lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken and season with salt. Stir well to coat the chicken with the mixture, rubbing the spices in with your fingers if that doesn’t put you off, then drizzle in the sunflower oil. Mix again, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight if possible.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with foil. Place the marinated chicken pieces on the prepared baking tray in a single layer and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Ensure the chicken is cooked right through by cutting open a piece and checking that it is completely white and hot inside. Serve immediately with a salad on the side.
MY STANDBY GINGER-GARLIC PASTE
Combine 1 part peeled and chopped fresh ginger (scrape the thin skin off with a teaspoon) and 2 parts (by volume) peeled and chopped garlic. If making a small amount, you can grate both or crush them using a mortar and pestle. For larger amounts, blitz the peeled and chopped ginger and garlic in a blender, along with a little cold water to turn the blades and make a smooth paste. You can store the paste in the fridge. Put it into a clean jam jar and cover the surface with oil (any cooking oil); it will keep for up to 3 weeks (top up the oil as necessary).
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