Even at the Taj Lake Palace, chefs prepare much of the food over an open fire, just as cooks do in home kitchens. These terrific chicken skewers come straight out of the tandoor oven; to re-create the intense heat, cook the kebabs under the broiler. Basting the kebabs with butter keeps them moist; sprinkling them with the spice blend chat masala gives them a fabulous hot, sweet and sour kick.
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In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a mini food processor. Add the cottage cheese, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, coriander, garam masala, salt and cayenne and process until smooth.
In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the cottage cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Preheat the broiler. Thread the chicken pieces onto 6 long metal skewers. Place the skewers on a large baking sheet and brush generously with the ghee. Broil 3 inches from the heat, turning and basting twice with ghee, until richly browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Transfer the skewers to a platter. Sprinkle generously with chat masala, garnish with the cilantro and serve right away.
The tangy chat masala sprinkled on these skewers toward the end of cooking gives them a zesty quality they wouldn't otherwise possess, a nice match with the citrusy intensity of dry Australian Rieslings. The Clare Valley, north of Adelaide, produces exceptional bottlings.
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