Easy cooking ideas for Singles #6 -Grilled Chicken and Leavened Bread

Grilled Chicken and Leavened Bread

Tangri kebab & Tandoori Naan (Indian names)

Tangri kebab-Grilled Chicken

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Continuing my series on easy cooking ideas for Singles, I present a meat dish rather than my usual veggie fare.Fifty years ago in India, chicken or any other meat was cooked as a weekend specialty or to celebrate a special occasion. And a few decades before that women and girls were not allowed to eat meat and it was cooked mainly for the men. How chauvinistic was that!! Times have changed albeit for the better and now there is no discrimination in diet at least among the genders.Tandoori food was cooked in a clay tandoor which was cylindrical in shape and fuelled by charcoal or wood. The smoky flavor in the food is intoxicating and food is roasted evenly and perfectly in the almost 500 degrees temperature inside. Tandoori roti, chicken, all kinds of tikka and kebabs are cooked in the tandoor. Once the coal was dying down Urad dal was left in the tandoor to cook on a slow fire. Tandoori dishes are mainly from Punjab but now is popular all over the world. Tandoori roti is leavened bread which is stuck on the inside of the tandoor and roasted till done. It is  usually served with butter chicken or Dal makhani or any dish of your choice.

This is how a tandoor looks like with meat on skewers and the bread being baked.But I grilled the chicken in my OTG and the naan in a wok.

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Busy schedules and urban life have given a backseat to the clay tandoor and we now have to make do with an oven or gas grills. Though they are no match to the original Tandoori dishes, marinated and roasted in the oven tandoori chicken or any kebabs are healthy as they consume less oil and the chicken is done nicely after it is marinated.With the same marinade, I made some Seekh kebabs (seekh means skewer while kebab is like a boneless finger food) too.

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Tangri kebab is eaten as a starter with onion rings and mint chutney of your choice and if you like it tangy then with a dash of lime. My husband was a total foodie and I learned many dishes to satiate his taste buds. My son was a chip of the old block and loved good food. My daughter, Esha did not like spicy food and that is the reason why Tangri kebabs were something that she relished.It was easy to make and pleased all three and barely took any time to cook.

Being Sunday I was lazing away when a friend of mine dropped by on the weekend with a pound of chicken and asked me to rustle up something for him. Looking at the drumsticks I decided to roast them and then headed to marinade them first. I love cooking and it didn’t take me a minute to jump up and head for the chicken. Yes, I am a vegetarian by choice.I stopped eating since a good twenty years now,  but I do cook meat. Tangri kebab or seekh take minimum oil in cooking and they make a totally healthy, protein rich meal.

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This is my  very own recipe for Tangri kebabs.

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken legs

1 cup thick hung curd

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp pav bhaji masala

Salt to taste

Oil for basting

Pinch of orange-red food color

Onion rings

Lemon wedges

Silver foil

In a bowl mix the curd, ginger-garlic paste, salt, chili powder and red food color. Make gashes on the chicken drumsticks and marinade them in this paste. Keep aside for 2 hours. Place a sheet of foil on the drip tray to collect the dripping marinade,  so that you don’t have to scrape the oven later.Pre-heat the oven at 100 degrees and then place the chicken legs on a rack and put it in the oven. Baste the legs with oil before putting in the oven and then when you turn it. Roast the chicken till nice and done at 300 degrees. When done transfer to a serving plate. Mix a pinch of salt, chili powder and pav bhaji masala. Sprinkle this over the grilled, juicy,chicken legs and serve hot with onion rings, mint chutney and lemon wedges. Wrap the fringed foil strip over the edges for easy grasp and a professional touch.

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INSTANT BUTTER NAAN

The regular naan is made with flour, yogurt, yeast, eggs or baking soda and needs to be kept aside for a couple of hours to rise. I found my own way to make instant naans and it really works fine. I take a bottle of unflavored soda pop to knead the dough and the dough rises fast and well to make a fluffy naan.

Ingredients:

½ kg flour

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 bottle of unflavored soda pop

Butter

Sift the flour and the salt, add the sugar and make a well in the center. Make a dough with the soda and cover it with a damp cloth for 10 minutes.  Heat a big heavy kadhai (wok) and heat it nicely. Roll out like a naan or a roti and place it in the kadhai.You can make 4 at a time. Turn the naan once and then let it rise on an open flame. Remove from fire and brush some butter liberally on it and serve with grilled chicken, dal makhani or any curry. Hope you are enjoying my series on easy cooking ideas for singles as much as I am.

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