They are a sensation at every party and they are most likely to be the first thing you order at every north Indian restaurant ever. We are talking about soft and succulent chicken tikkas. Smoked and juicy, chicken tikkas are traditionally made in tandoor, but nowadays, you can make them in microwaves and ovens too. These marinated chicken pieces skewered together and smoked in underground oven have captured the imagination of foodies across the world. What was a desi favourite is now a dish to reckon with globally. What is it about the snack that makes it a hit? There are many probable factors - it is easy to grab and eat, the mellow flavours suit every palate and most importantly, it is very easy to make. Yes, you heard us! You can make super-soft tikkas at home and here are some handy expert tips that you'd thank us for.
Tips To Make Super-Soft Chicken Tikkas At Home:
Which Part Of Chicken Should You Use?
Chef Ashish Massey tells us that two of the most popularly used parts are chicken breasts and leg thigh (boneless). "As a cost-cutting technique, many restaurants tend to use chicken breasts. They are also low in fat, but the downside here is that they tend to get chewy, they also get hard if you cook them for too long. Chicken thigh is juicy, soaks the marination well. But it is higher in fat content."
(Also Read: 27 Best Indian Chicken Recipes | Easy Chicken Recipes)
Chicken thigh is juicy, but it is higher in fat content
What About Marination?
This is the most crucial component of making tikkas. Traditionally, there are two levels of marination says Chef Ashish. In the first marination, chicken chunks need to be tossed in ginger-garlic paste, salt and red chili powder and left for 24 hours. For the second marination that usually lasts for duration of 8-10 hours, you can use your hung curd, pudina, chillies etc. This is important as chicken tends to ooze water when kept in deep-freeze.
What About The Ingredients Used In Marination?
Make sure you try to use hung curd. Hung curd is basically curd without its watery whey. It is easily available in market nowadays. If you are using regular curd, you must understand that it is very watery. Whisk it well to make it rich and creamy. Common ingredients used to marinate chicken are turmeric, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, hung curd, coriander powder, besan, black pepper powder, kasuri methi, garam masala etc.
(Also Read: Hung Curd Benefits: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Loading Up On The Creamy Wonder)
Do roast some bell peppers too, red, green, yellow or all of them. They bring about a nice crunch and freshness into the meaty extravaganza.
It is a good practice to brush your chicken tikka with a little oil, preferably mustard to make sure it does not stick to other tikka or your equipment, and has a nice smoky glaze when you serve it. Here's a recipe of quick reshmi chicken tikka.