Butter Chicken Kebabs

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The recent heat wave has been a little too much for me lately so much so that cooking hot meals feels like a chore. That is not something you hear from me very often since I love, love, love cooking. Hence, the BBQ has recently become a very close friend which is not a bad thing really. The boys adore Butter Chicken and they had been demanding a Butter Chicken night for a few days, but its too hot to cook.

So, I combined the Butter Chicken recipe with my usual Chicken kebab recipe and created something spicy, decadent with melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I don’t know why I haven’t tried this before.

Unfortunately, as soon as I marinated the meat with the spices, we had a wonderful hailstorm with fantastic thunder and lightning. So my dear kebabs had to be pan fried on a skillet. The hail stopped by the time the last batch of kebabs were being cooked. What can I say?

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BUTTER CHICKEN KEBABS

2 lbs Chicken breast mince
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp ginger mince
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp red chilli powder
6 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp butter melted
1 tsp garam masala
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp Tandoori masala

If you want a strong red colour in the kebabs, please add some red food colouring. I like to avoid using food colouring if I can, so we had the lighter orangey look in our kebabs.

Combine all the ingredients well. It will feel really sticky, so I used a wooden spoon to combine the mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 3-6 hours would be ideal. Not longer than that as it has quite a bit of lemon juice.

Since I had to pan fry these on a skillet – I drizzled a little bit of oil on a hot skillet just to grease it lightly, and using an ice cream scoop just scooped the meat onto the middle of the skillet as if it was a meatball. Then dipping my fingers in cold water, I simply pressed the top of the meatball to shape it into an oblong shape. The cold water prevents the meat from sticking to your hands and it helps shape it really well without getting all your hands dirty.

Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the Kebabs are fully cooked through. Depending on your skillet, you may or may not need to brush a little more oil onto them to cook them through.

I sprinkled some Chaat masala on top of the kebabs before serving, with a little squeeze of lemon juice which really helped bring out the flavours. These kebabs will be melt in your mouth soft and absolutely scrumptious.

Sour Cherries and Jalapenos

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The produce at the Farmers Markets at this time of year is absolutely amazing. I tend to load up a little too much every time I go there, and since we have an amazing ‘U pick’ your own vegetables and fruits Farm near our house, I’m spoilt for choice this year!

One of the new fruits I fell in love with this year are Sour cherries. They are fantastically sour and full of flavour. I love the bright red colour of these cherries.

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The fun starts with preparing the sour cherries. Well, first these had to be washed and then pitted. It was a little laborious to pit these little things but it does squeeze out pretty quickly. The juice from the cherries is super sticky and since I was doing this with the boys, the red juice was everywhere. Saying that, it was a lot of fun spending that family time together and we managed to pit a whole box of these in one afternoon.

Now what does one do with a whole box of sour cherries? I should have thought of that before I was taken in by the juicy bright red cherries. Since I had also picked up a huge bag of Jalapenos, why not combine them? Sour and spicy works for me.

Hence came the creation of the Sour Cherry and Jalapeno Chutney and the spicy Sour Cherry and Jalapeno Jam.

The problem here is that whilst I was in my creative ‘throw everything in the pot’ phase, I didn’t take note of exactly how much I was putting in to the pot and in my ‘cherry’ excitement I didn’t even weigh the box of cherries before I started pitting them. Well, I didn’t weigh them after they were pitted either as I put the whole pot straight onto the heat.

 

SOUR CHERRIES AND JALAPENO CHUTNEY

Sour Cherries – pitted
Sugar
Salt and black pepper
Green Jalapenos – minced
Cumin seeds
Coriander powder
Balsamic Vinegar

This boiled for a little while as the cherries had to be cooked and softened. Then taking a hand blender I just blitzed it all to a chunky smooth chutney and canned them into 250 ml Mason jars. I made about over 30 jars with the chutney.

SOUR CHERRIES AND JALAPENOS JAM

Sour cherries – pitted and pureed in a blender
Jalapenos – minced
Sugar
Salt
Liquid Pectin

We now have over 2 dozen bottles of this Spicy Jam and its fantastic!

 

Chicken Tikka Kebabs

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We have had the BBQ working overtime this week. The weather is super-hot this year, and since we are still in the ‘house unpacking’ phase, the BBQ works fantastic. Today, it was time for some good old fashioned Chicken Tikka kebabs that never go out of fashion!

CHICKEN TIKKA KEBABS

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken (thighs work best, but I had some breast meat)
1/2 cup natural yogurt
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tbsp tomato paste or puree
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 tsp ginger powder
a pinch of mace powder
a pinch of cinnamon powder
1 tsp elaichi powder (cardamom powder)

Combine all the ingredients in a zip loc bag and leave in refrigerator to marinate for at least a couple of hours, max 6 hours.

In the meantime, soak some wooden skewers in cold water for at least half an hour before using, or you will get the same burnt effect that I got this time. I forgot to soak them and then there wasn’t enough time!

Skew the meat onto the wooden skewers and straight onto a BBQ until the chicken is cooked through. I cooked mine on high with the lid on and it took only 5 minutes to cook

Squeeze some fresh lime juice on top of the kebabs before serving – and some Chaat masala and mint chutney.

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