I'm not normally a big fan of Nigella. Whilst her recipes are quite good, her TV show annoys the crap out of me. Her oohs, and mmmm's and erratic camera shots are too much sometimes. But, I must give her a 10/10 for this recipe, which has become a family favourite. When served to guests, it often brings out the wimps as far as spiciness is concerned. When they're reaching for a cold drink, or a piece of bread, you know that it's too hot for them. The chicken itself is quite bitey, having been sitting in a yoghurt marinade, developing the flavours of coriander, garam masala and just a hint of chilli to tempt. The moorish part is the hot red onion relish, laced with the potent dried chillies and my favourite herb, coriander. I could eat a plate of this on it's own, washed down with an icy cold beer of course.
Chicken tikka with onion relish
4 chicken breast fillets
2 tbls unsalted butter or ghee
1 tsp vegetable oil
Steamed basmati rice, to serve
Lime wedges, to serve
2 garlic cloves
5cm piece of ginger, peeled
2 small red chillies, deseeded
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup plain yoghurt
Hot onion relish
2 small or 1 large red onion, finely sliced into half moons
1 vine ripened tomato, diced (remove seeds if you wish)
3 tblsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes, or to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
To make the marinade, process the garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the remaining marinade ingredients and process again to a smooth paste.
Coat the chicken with the marinade in a wide shallow dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
Meanwhile, make the onion relish. Place the onion, tomato and coriander in a bowl, sprinkle over the chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze over the lemon juice and stir well. Allow to macerate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Let the chicken come to room temp before cooking. Melt the butter or ghee in a heavy pan and cook the fillets over a medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, turning once, until cooked through. (Too high a heat will catch the yoghurt and burn).
To serve, place steamed rice with chicken on top, finishing with the red onion relish.
Weekend Herb Blogging, a weekly event founded by Kalyn is being hosted by Kel from Green Olive Tree