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Chicken Tikka with Cucumber Raita
© Jim Franco

Chicken Tikka with Cucumber Raita


Tikka is the Indian version of shish kebabs. If you want to replicate the look of traditional Indian barbecue, add a few drops of red food coloring to the chicken marinade.

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  1. 2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  2. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 5 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  5. 3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  6. 1/2 cup vegetable oil mixed with 1 tablespoon Chinese mustard
  7. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  8. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon ground mace
  10. 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  11. 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  12. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  13. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  14. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  15. Vegetable oil, for the grill
  16. Lemon wedges, thinly sliced red onion and chopped cilantro, for serving
  17. Cucumber Raita
  1. Soak six 12-inch bamboo skewers in warm water for 30 minutes. Thread the chicken onto the skewers and set in a shallow glass baking dish.
  2. On a cutting board, use the side of a large knife to mash the garlic, ginger and salt to a paste. In a bowl, whisk the paste with the yogurt, mustard oil, lemon juice, cumin, mace, nutmeg, cardamom, turmeric, cayenne and black pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Light a grill. Lightly oil the grate. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire for about 4 minutes per side, or until it is cooked through and golden. Serve with the lemon wedges, red onion, cilantro and Cucumber Raita.