Friday, March 8, 2013

Chicken tikka

Tikka comes from Farsi and means a piece of cut meat. Tikka is an interesting word because in Urdu it is always written and pronounced with a dental t as تکه, from the Farsi, but in Hindi the pronunciation varies from being a dental t to being a retroflex T (टिक्का तिक्का) and if you google, both spellings appear to be used, but the retroflex pronunciation and spelling are by far dominant. The distinction is probably due to the fact that tikka with a retroflex T exists in both Hindi and Urdu for a small cake, bar, or patty of something, like a bar of soap or a potato cutlet. So you have a retroflex used for tikka, tikki, and tikkiya when it comes to these words in both languages. But in Urdu, for a meat tikkah, it is always a dental t. Linguistic weirdness, but just some background info.

For this recipe you will need about 2 lbs skinless bone-in chicken thigh or a thigh and drumstick mix...the thighs can be cut in half. I hate chicken breast, especially Indian food made with chicken breast. But that is an option if you like. Make deep slits in the meat without cutting through it. This will allow the marinade to get deep inside the meat. Bone in is preferred for flavor, but you can also use boneless chicken.

1 cup yoghurt
1 tbs ginger paste
1 tbs garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbs lime juice
Pinch/drops of orange or red food coloring
Big pinch of salt


Mix all ingredients for marination. Marinade chicken for 4 hours or up to overnight. Cook on the grill or bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 mins to one hour. Baste once with marinade while cooking.

Squeeze with lime juice when finished. Serve with a salad of chopped onions, tomatoes, and daikon radishes, a minty raita, and fresh naan.


sjl said...

Do you have a tikka masala recipe. TIA

Anonymous said...

Hi Fatima

Your attention to detail is quite evident in your analysis of the word Tikka. I appreciate you taking the time to share some very well thought out recipes from your archive.

Thank you