Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Now it is holiday time for you. And when winter arrives, I have to sit in front of the BBQ. People here have a misconception that I am good at Tikka and Kebabs.  As long as Tikka is concern, any body can make it and it will be always tasty if you stick to the fundamentals. .  (Kebabs are high skill and high knowledge base affair , unlike  tikkas, and I am not talking Kebabs today, Vege or non vege.)
The  BBQ session for this winter was inaugurated on the 19th Dec  and it is generally at my younger brother's place. I thought I should share some tips  on Tikka and here I will go with chicken Tikka. (It is applicable to other red meat tikkas, with some modifications.)
The basic tips
1. Always use thigh , leg meat of chicken, because it is juicy and soft (never use the breast pieces.).If you have breast meat, you can BBQ it, but generally use for gravy dishes like butter chicken masala . You can also BBQ, wings, it is really tasty.
2. Spices for the marinade: ( Basic Tikka) Long back I had seen a TV program of the great Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. (Unfortunately I cant stand his face any more because he has shaved off his great mustache and I am missing his programs). He had mentioned " there is no hard and fast rules, add any spice which is handy. Remember , the charcoal grilling does the trick of giving the right flavor," (that slightly burnt-fat smoky flavor.). You dont get this typical flavor in Oven, lava grill, gas grill etc. ( I shall give an example of spice later, but you can use any ready made one.). This is for basic chicken tikka..you may add-on strong notes like Lasuni (garlic), Fennel, Azwain, Methi ( Fenugreek) at the end of grilling..
3. Chicken takes 6-10 minutes to cook on the charcoal. So dont over cook.
4 Pieces. A chicken leg should yield 2 to 4 pieces of tikka, depending upon the size. Dont make small pieces. For example a Kg of cleaned and de-boned leg meat will yield about 30 to 34 pieces.
5. The skewers must be flat and with rectangular cross section. This will prevent slipping of the pieces while rotating. 
Here I will give a basic recipe, which is basically two marinades, spices and I will use leg tikka ( I grilled few wing pieces too).
Chicken leg pieces. 1 Kg , deboned and cut to tikka size. ( as mentioned above)
1st Marinade 
Ginger paste 1 tbsp
Garlic paste 1 tbsp.
Lemon juice  6-7  tbsp (about 75 to 100 ml) 
Papain (meat softener) 1 tsp, ( optional for chicken and most tikka masala will have papain.)
2nd Marinade
Thick Curd 200 gms, whipped smooth.
Besan ( bengal gram flour) 11/2 level tbsp.
Butter oil 1/2 cup ( or any vegetable oil)
Spice. Use any one of the ready made Tikka /Tandoori masala.
Like MDH, Shan ( I used in this recipe) etc etc take 50 grams
Make a mixture of powdered Cumin 2 tsp, coriander 4 tsp, red chili powder 2 tsp, Fennel powder 1/2 tsp, black pepper 1 level tsp, Garam masala powder ( any brand containing all the Garam masalas)1 heap tsp, turmaric 1 tsp, 
Butter / molten butter for brushing the tikka during grilling. ( optional)
( I will suggest , to use ready made masala)
CAUTION: Most ready made Tikka masala contains salt , so taste the spice before adding salt. Normally you wont need additional salt.
For finishing : Many people like a sprinkle of chat Masala just before eating. Not important.
Accompaniment: I Like it with a Coriander/Mint  / green chili, garlic in Yogurt chutney ( Burahni). Also keep fresh lemon, cut onions, or shallots soaked in 3-5% Vinegar.
(You all know , how to start the BBQ and ignite the charcoal and maintain uniform heat. If you want to know , send a mail).
Cut and wash chicken. Drain dry for 30 minutes.
Mix the 1st marinade and keep aside for 30 minutes
1st marinade added

Mix yogurt, Besan, oil and all spices thoroughly to make the 2nd Marinade.. Add the chicken and the 1st marinade to the 2nd marinade and mix throughly.
Leave aside for 1 to  2 hrs. You can keep it in fridge. 
2nd Marinade added
Put the meat pieces in a skewer , 3/4th to 1 inch apart. ( Fold the meat  and pierce the skewer so that the piece is attached at two places.)
The wings are skewered by a trainee chef ( my brother's daughter) 

Have some wine or whiskey ( Part of the process, I mean not the cooking process) 

Grill the meat on both sides. When the surface dries up, brush oil/butter/ butter oil.
Eat with accompaniments mentioned above.
Chutney  ( Burahni)
Coriander leaf 1 cup, mint leaf 1/3rd cup, smashed and chopped garlic 2 cloves, green chili 2 or more. Sour plain Yogurt 11/2 cup, salt.
Grind the ingredients and then whip in the curd and salt.
There are not many photos as I was busy elsewhere, grilling myself, I mean the chicken.
Some great moments. 
The Chef on the grill 
"Can anyone eat this ?" Brother and my daughter are apprehensive about the effect of whiskey on me and the subsequent effect on the chicken.
Blowing my lungs out , to keep the fire going 
Only few were left and no one took the photo of the final product on a platter. Every one was eating of the skewer

NOTE: I shall try to put some kebab recipes in future, where spicing , ingredients are  very important.  When you make beef or mutton tikka, the marinade and process will be bit different  and a softener is essential.,
I am taking a break , going to Calcutta, Santiniketan . I shall also go to Sundarban to spend some time with the man-eating Royal Bengal Tigers. 
God willing, weather permitting and Tigers sparing me, I will be back by mid January. 
I am delighted and overwhelmed to say that I have received many awards over the last few months, that too from the greatest cooks in my blog sphere. I am just wondering, if I get so many awards for not cooking or posting much recipes, what will happen if I really start cooking!! Anyway, thank you so much !!
Award from Gouri, 5 awards not one. Craving for Bong food? Here it is.
Please do visit Didibhai's Kitchen 

Award from Amrita..I love to read her awesome non-food blogs. Her introduction about me, while giving me this award, made me to have my colorless blush!!! 

Award from Akila, I learnt a lot from Akila , some of her dishes are really innovative. But dont go by the name of her blog " Learning to Cook" ..it should be "teaching to cook". 
Award from PJ (Padmaja,) a versatile blogger, so many things to learn on food and also  scientific  aspects of it. I always eagerly wait for her posts ( even if I am a hardcore non-vege due to medical reasons, Vege dishes are my delicacies)

Award from Dr Sameena, a great cook, apart from that  she is a great dentist. You are all young people , so make it a point to read her dental blog . It is good for you and your kids. ( I wish I read her dental blog 30yrs back...you know why I am saying this)
We care for your smile ( Dental Blog)

Award from Amritha Kalyani, very nice blog indeed.
Please do visit... AK's Vegetarian Recipe World

Award from Authentic Oriya food  . I learnt few forgotten dishes from here.
Please do visit  Oriyarasoi 


Madhu said...

Wow...can I get a taste?

Priya said...

Feel like joining u all, very tempting chicken tikkas..Congrats on ur awards, ur truly deserve them..

Cham said...

I feel joining the BBQ Party! Have a great time !

? said...

Ushnishda! We envy you! A warm, fact-filled post for our winter here!
Looking forward to more from your trip0 to Bengal!

Pavithra said...

Mmmmmmmm I second Priya.. wonderful. U guys having great time.. congrats on all ur awards u truly deserve it.

Subhie Arun said...

v tempting tikka,frst time here..lov ur colls ..glad to follow u!


Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

wow - would love to taste some... must be great....
Congrats on the awards - love the sense of humor!

SE said...

woohoooo...seems like you had a great time grilling...

stay warm and enjoy the winter !!!

Nandini said...

Wow! Mouthwatering tikkas. Useful tips. For some reason I was upset today, Your post made me smile:)))

Kurinji said...

So tempting tikkas, congrats on ur award! Happy holidays!

Kanchan said...

Awesome post ! Loved reading it.. wine chicken.. what else we need :))

HAppy journey and enjoy:)

Waiting for tiger snaps ;)

Jaisy James said...

wow bbq chicken tikka yummy loved ur recipe.me too tried last week but i didnt get time to took the pics. we all enjoyed a lot and planning for one in next week. congrattsssss on your award. have a nice trip

sangeeta said...

I am feeling jealous seeing all these pics ....

I loved the mural on the wall behind , the pictures reminded me of some nice winter parties we used to have long long back .... it was great reading this post.

Gouri Guha said...

Ushnishda, ki aar bolbo. Awards-er jhuli bhore bagher sathe dekha korte jaben.
Jokes apart,thanks for the mention of my blogspot.
Such inviting kebabs. Enjoy your holidays and come back with some interesting Tiger Story...hahaha
Have a nice time.

Didibhai (Gouri)

Preeti Kashyap said...

I have to do this the veggie way:- I simply love the marinade.

Preeti Kashyap said...

Enjoy ur time in sudarbans and shantiniketan. We will miss you. Until then, this veggie counterpart will create ur NV dishes the Veggie style. :)

Gulmohar said...

Lol..can't agree more on Sanjeev Kapoor's fae :D This is such a popular dish with chicken and my family loves it too :-)Definitely alcohol adds a lot of flavor to meat and esp I love wine on my fried chicken :-)
Have fun in Sundarban and stay safe :-) Happy Holidays to you and your family !!

Ananda Rajashekar said...

oh that Chicken Tikka is just awesome. congrats for all the awards and Merry Christmas to you and ur family :)

Shobha said...

Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy your holiday (come back safe ...lolz!)
looking forward to your posts on Sundarban and the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Padhu said...

Congrats on your well deserved awards.Wish u a Merry Christmas and a Happy New ear.Have a great time with your family

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Madhu
How are you? Great sweet dish, I used to eat hell of a lot of date products while in Kuwiat...but here it is so expensive!!!! I am getting a lice fragrance of Biriyani coming from your blog...let me check where it is!! ha ha
have a nice weekend..

Hasna said...

congratulations for so lots of awards...nice detailed description of tikka... no doubts left..


Jaya said...

Ushnish Da,
eyi shob dekhe amar Delhir kotha money pore gelo.koto anando korey BBQ korchen sobayi miley..esh! koto bhalo hoto jodi do-ekta taste korte partaam ..apnader sobaye ke, boudi ke O noton bochorer onek shubhecha..wish you and yours a very happy Christmas and a very happy New year..regards

Devasena Hariharan said...

congrats on ur awards Uncle. Have a nice trip.. come back with lots of photos, stories and cooking recipes..

i'm missing the final photo of the tikka -:)

Mary said...

Have a wonderful holiday. Your chicken sounds delicious and your awards are well deserved. Take care. Blessings...Mary

Amrita said...

Congratulations, its raining awards here :) :) It is all well deservd
Hope you have a good time during your Big Bengal break. and best wishes for you and your family this new year.

Preeti Kashyap said...

Ushnish Da:- Dabeli is a street food with potato curry stuffed inside a pav and embellished with sev, pomegranate and grapes. You add some meetha chutney and green chutney for further taste. very similar to pav bhaji. Just that the bhaji is a little dry. It looks like vada pav but tastes like pav bhaji.

kothiyavunu.com said...

Like priya said, feel like joining u..hehe :) Chicken tikka sounds excellent!! Congrats on ur well deserved awards, wishing many more to come..Have fun time in Sundarban..Wish u & ur family Happy Holidays!!

Arti said...

Well enjoy your trip and come back with some stories with the tiger...
And enjoy your stay in Kolkata...

alwayswinner786 said...

Wow! I wish I could join the gang such a rocking BBQ party and a passionate chef cooking a delicious Tikka! Your green chutney is mouthwatering!
Congrats for bunch of awards you deserve them!
Welcome to my town Kolkata and have a lovely time!

Here's wishing you all the joys of the season. Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and A very Happy New Year!

Rumana Rawat said...

very tempting chicken tikkas..Congrats on ur awards, ur truly deserve them..

Sushma Mallya said...

Chicken tikka looks mouthwatering,..and congrats on all your awards,you really deserve this and lots more...and happy new year in adv....

aipi said...

I totally admire your passion for food and the way you have fun with it..
Tikka made on open charcoal fire doesn't get any better than that!

Congrats on your awards..very well deserved and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and A very Happy New Year!

US Masala

Sarah Naveen said...

Happy Holidays..Njoy ur vacation...
Nice tips..and congrats on ur awards..

FoodLovers said...

Enjoy ur trip Ushnish ... congrats on ur well deserved awards ....
can i have my share pls ... looks delicious

PJ said...

Dear Ushnish,Wish you a very happy new year.May this year be filled with all that is best and beautiful in life :)

Smita Srivastava said...

A very Happy new year to you n ur family , loved going thru ur wonderful blog !!!

- Smita
(fun foods for little eaters

Viki's Kitchen said...

Tikka makes me drool. Nice snaps and a best party environment.

Wishing you and family a Bright, Prosperous and Happy New year Sir.

Authenticoriyafood said...

Happy New Year!! Have a great year ahead!!

Arti said...

Wish you and your family a very Happy New Year:-)

Indie.Tea said...

The kebab/tikka-making process looks very fun, especially that you get to make them with lots of friends :)
I am very excited about your trip - I can't wait to see pictures of Darjeeling (especially the misty tea plantations, so beautiful)...and I hope you enjoy the vacation very much.

Adelina said...

wow- what a party- and love your tikka recipe- will try it myself. I know you have been asking me for recipes- so sorry, but now time is such a concern for me, and I want to keep the style as is for a while- until the baby grows a bit older and starts helping in the kitchen :))) And please, do not shave your mustache!

Indranee said...

Thanks for following my blog! It's great to visit your blogs too...the chicken tikka just looks fabulous!

Dolly said...

Wow A great tutorial on how to make Chicken tikka...by our great Ushnish da..Looks delish..No wonder none were left for the chicken tikka photosession on the platter..LOL..

Always look fwd to ur posts ..brings a smile on my face..Enjoy ur break. Wishing u and ur family a happy, fun filled, and prosperous 2011.

Quay Po Cooks said...

Congrats on your awards. We love chicken tikka. Yours looks yummy!

PreeOccupied said...

Kaku, chicken tikka ta toh darun. What more do you want in the cold weather of Dilli, than a grill and some homemade chicken tikka. Of course not to miss your single malt.