On our numerous trips to India, my husband and I are always wowed by the kebabs. Whether it is a seekh kebab made with brightly spiced minced lamb or a tender chicken boti grilled perfectly, we can’t get enough. On our last trip in April, we had the good fortune to stay at the ITC Sonar in Kolkata and eat at the fabulous Peshawari. This restaurant is a tribute to the North-West frontier cooking of India and of course some of the most well known dishes from this region are the kebabs. Peshawari features over a dozen different kinds and I’m sure we tried most them. Trust me when I tell you they were all divine. If you are ever in India and have a chance to eat at Peshawari please don’t miss it! I was craving the kebab experience last weekend and one recipe that I have perfected over the years is for chicken reshmi kebabs. Reshmi literally means smooth like silk and these kebabs are indeed incredibly tender thanks to a long soak in a spicy, green marinade. One of the most alluring parts of this recipe is that it does NOT require a trip to your local Indian store. You can get everything at your local grocery, no problem. It is also incredibly simple to boot. Blitz a handful of ingredients, add some cubed chicken breast, marinate overnight and then the next day skewer and grill. Add your favorite vegetable and some naan for a complete dinner that I would be happy to come over and enjoy with you.
CHICKEN RESHMI KEBABS
- 6 almonds
- 3-6 jalepeno peppers, chopped (seeded if you want to limit the heat)
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems discarded
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 c of heavy cream
- 3 lb skinless, boneless, chicken breast cut into 1 1/2 inch peices
- 2 tbl butter
1. Cover the almonds in water in a small bowl and soak for 15 minutes.
2. Place soaked almonds, jalepenos, ginger, garlic, and cilantro in your food processor and blitz until you have a nice paste.
3. Add salt and lemon juice. Blitz again to incorporate.
4. Blend in the cream and your marinade is ready.
5. In a large container combine the chicken breast cubes with marinade and mix thoroughly so all the chicken is covered with the green stuff. Marinate 24 hours. I have tried to only marinate for 2-3 hours and the chicken turns out fine but is much more tender with a long overnight soak. So plan ahead – it is worth it!
6. Preheat grill or oven broiler.
7. Skewer the chicken. If you are using bamboo skewers remember to soak them for at least 30 minutes beforehand.
8. Grill 4-5 minutes on the first side.
9. Flip over and brush with butter. Grill an additional 4-5 minutes. Serve hot.