Chicken tikka masala is supposedly Britain’s favourite dish. If it’s yours, then you may be disappointed: this dish is not it. Tikka simply means piece, or chunk – so this is chicken pieces, marinated then grilled. The marinade is based on sweet vinegar, not yoghurt – and there’s not a drop of food colouring in sight.
- For the marinade
- 30g fresh root ginger
- 10g garlic (2–3 cloves)
- 10g green chillies (about 2)
- 30ml rice vinegar
- 1 tsp deggi mirch chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 25g unsalted butter, melted
- Lime wedges
Cut each chicken thigh into 3 pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place in a large bowl.
For the marinade, blitz the ingredients together in a blender or mini food processor to a smooth paste.
Spoon the marinade over the chicken pieces and turn them to coat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 6–24 hours.
Take the marinated chicken out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. (If you are using wooden skewers, soak them now.)
Heat the grill to high. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers, leaving enough space between the pieces for the heat to penetrate. Grill for 12–15 minutes, turning and basting regularly with the melted butter, until deep golden brown with some charring. Check that the chicken pieces are cooked through.
Let the cooked chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving, with lime wedges for squeezing.
From Dishoom by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar and Naved Nasir, Bloomsbury Publishing, £26. Photographer: Haarala Hamilton