You’ve probably had traditional chicken tikka or at least heard about or seen it on Indian and Pakistani restaurant menus. It has an earthy flavour matching its red hue. Well, this is nothing like what you’ve had before! This is fresh, green and packs such a whopping taste punch you’ll be blown away. Its fresh green colour comes from the herbs used for the marinade and achieved with no harmful food colours or dyes. The yogurt and lemon juice in the marinade tenderize the chicken so well that it’s succulent and flavourful once cooked. It presents extremely well when served for company, has a palate pleasing yet exotic taste and is healthy to boot. It doesn’t get much better than that. Let’s get started.
Hariyali Chicken Tikka – Recipe
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 cup coriander, chopped (roots trimmed)
- ¼ cup mint, chopped
- 5 – 6 green chilies, chopped (adjust to taste)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1” piece ginger, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, plus more for serving
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 6 cloves (optional)
- ½ tsp. pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 4 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
For Dipping Sauce
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt (substitute sour cream and omit the lemon juice and lemon zest)
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ lemon, zested
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Grill, BBQ or Skillet
- Skewers, (wood or metal)
- Thread chicken cubes on skewers, 5 cubes per skewer. Set aside. You can also do this step when you’re ready to grill, but I find it messy so I do this beforehand.
- Add all marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor – except the yogurt – and blend until smooth. Empty into a large glass bowl (big enough to hold all the chicken) and stir in yogurt until well combined. Taste test and adjust seasoning accordingly.
- Place chicken skewers into the marinade and toss until well coated. Cover loosely and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 or overnight. You can also toss everything together in a resealable large plastic bag.
- When ready, there are two methods to cook this. First method: warm up a grill (slightly oil if necessary) and grill, turning over once, until juices run clear. Or alternately, if you do not have an indoor grill or it’s too cold to grill outside, preheat oven to 300 degrees, line a baking tray with aluminum foil, place chicken inside in a single layer, cover completely with more aluminum foil and bake for 20 – 25 minutes – turning over once halfway through – or until juices run clear. Remove to plate.
- While chicken is cooking, combine all dipping sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Serve immediately spritzed with a little lemon juice (if necessary) with dipping sauce on the side. Garnish with coriander or lemon peel if you would you like. If you want to serve it as an hors d’oeuvre at a cocktail party, cut chicken into smaller cubes, thread with cocktail skewers and serve arranged in a circle with dip in the middle. You really don’t need anything else for this; the colour will make it pop and it’ll just melt in your mouth leaving a tangy, spicy, tantalizingly zesty trail.