Maya Kaimal's Chicken Tikka Skewers Are a Simple Way to 'Introduce Indian Flavors' to Summer Barbecues

"I wanted to update the classic dish found on most Indian restaurant menus," says the author of the new Indian Flavor Every Day cookbook

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

Maya Kaimal is helping home chefs switch things up this summer.

"These juicy chicken bites have gentle, warm spice notes but are not spicy-hot," says the author of the new Indian Flavor Every Day cookbook, who uses accessible ingredients in her updated version of Chicken Tikka Skewers, "a classic dish found on most Indian restaurant menus."

She marinates the chicken with greek yogurt, plus ginger, cumin, coriander and "a bright lime zest kicker." It can be prepared either in the oven or on the grill but is "easy" either way.

"This dish helps cooks introduce Indian flavors to their grilling game in a simple but flavorful way," says the founder of Maya Kaimal Foods (a line of grocery products).

"My favorite way to serve them is in lettuce wraps or flatbreads with pickled onion, yogurt and fresh herbs like mint and cilantro," she adds.

Maya Kaimal's Chicken Tikka Skewers

¼ cup canola oil or other neutral oil

¼ cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt

4 tsp. ground coriander

1 Tbsp. finely grated lime zest (from 1 large lime)

2 tsp. ground cumin

1¼ tsp. kosher salt

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger

½ tsp. garam masala

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

¼ tsp. cayenne

1½ lbs. chicken tenders, patted dry (about 14 tenders)

Fresh cilantro, for serving

Lime wedges, for serving

1. If using bamboo skewers, place 6 in a 13x9-inch baking pan, cover with water, and soak for at least 30 minutes.

2. Stir together oil, yogurt, coriander, lime zest, cumin, salt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne in a large bowl. Add chicken, and toss together until coated; let marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or up to overnight, covered, in refrigerator. (Remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.)

3. Preheat broiler. Set oven rack 5 inches from heat source. Thread chicken pieces onto soaked skewers in a wavy pattern, piercing each piece multiple times to secure it on the skewer. Place skewers on a broiler pan, and broil until golden and opaque on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip skewers and broil until other side is golden and chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. (If grilling, grill over medium-high heat on oiled grates for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until lightly charred and cooked through.) Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.

Serves: 6
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

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