Your favourite Indian flavours can easily be enjoyed on the grill! We marinated cubed chicken with tikka flavours and finished it off on the BBQ on wooden skewers. Serve with a flavourful jeera rice and a cooling cucumber raita.
You can make your own tikka spice blend at home of course, but we know a couple of ladies that make incredible Indian spice blends that just don’t compare to anything else you might find.
Arvinda & Preena, founders of Arvinda’s Spices in Mississauga, use freshly roasted spices that are ground in small batches. Plus, they use Canadian-grown when possible such as Ontario garlic and coriander seeds from Saskatchewan (you know how much we love local food!). Their spice blends are full of authentic flavours and work really well in marinades. We hope you are feeling inspired to add a touch of Indian flare to your meats and vegetables!
Now for the rice…this Jeera Rice is far from ordinary!
Jeera Rice gets its flavour from a few simple, whole spices like clove, jeera (cumin), cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaf. The spices are sautéed in butter or ghee to bring out their flavours before the basmati rice is added to the pot.
The Chicken Skewers and Jeera Rice are delicious on their own, however adding this Cucumber Raita makes for a refreshing accompaniment! A raita is a fresh yogurt dip used to cool off a spicy Indian dish. This dip can be made ahead to allow the flavours to meld in the fridge.
Makes approximately 8 chicken skewers and serves 4.
Chicken Tikka Skewers
3 large or 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup yogurt
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Tikka Masala spice blend, try Arvinda’s Tikka Masala (link)
Juice of ½ lime
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
¼ tsp salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
½ English cucumber with seeds removed, grated and lightly squeezed to remove liquid
1.5 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp mint, chopped or add more to your liking
1 garlic clove
Juice of ½ lime
1/8 tsp salt (check ratio already reduced from ¼)
Pinch of black pepper
1/4 tsp garam masala for garnish (optional)
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 tbsp butter or ghee
1.5 tsp whole cumin (AKA jeera seeds)
4 green cardamom pods
1 large bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick, broken
4 whole cloves
2 tsp salt
1 ½ cups of water
Tikka Chicken Skewers
- Combine the yogurt, tomato paste, tikka masala spice, lime, cilantro and salt in a bowl. Add the cubed chicken, toss to coat, and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
- If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates.
- Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers.
- Grill on each side for 7-9 minutes until lightly charred and cooked through (internal temperature of 160F).
- Combine the yogurt, shredded cucumber, cilantro, mint, garlic, lime, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Adjust salt & pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle the top with Garam Masala, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Rinse the rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. Then soak the rice in clean water for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium pot, melt the butter or ghee over medium-low heat. Add the jeera seeds, cardamom pods, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves to the butter. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Raise the temperature to medium-high and add the drained Basmati rice to the butter and spices. Sauté the rice for 2-3 minutes.
- Add water and salt to the rice and cook the rice so that it is fluffy (not mushy) – see cooking times on the package of rice. Remove whole spices and discard.
- Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Add additional salt and butter if desired.