The weather forecasters have been promising temperatures are set to soar any time soon, so no doubt many people will be thinking of dusting down the old barbecue.
Cooking and eating al fresco is a great British summertime tradition – often providing the perfect excuse for a get-together with family and friends.
But from a culinary point of view, it can be a touch predictable.
All too often we Brits opt for burgers and sausages, fearful that anything else will be either too complicated or won’t be cooked properly over charcoal.
So, this week I’m going to tell you how you can spice up your barbecue with tantalising Indian-inspired cuisine.
Let’s start by exploding one of the myths about curry – it doesn’t make you hot! Quite the opposite in fact. In a heatwave, spicy foods can actually cool you down.
That’s because a hot curry or chilli increases body perspiration, which in turn cools the body as it evaporates.
So, now that we’ve cleared that up, what Indian-themed dishes work best on a barbecue?
I’d have to say spicy kebab dishes are among my favourites. Boti kebabs are traditionally made with lamb but work equally well with chicken breast.
The version I’m going to share with you today uses chicken and plenty of herbs to give it a zingy, refreshing taste. And the secret is to allow enough time for the meat to marinate.
I’ve kept it simple, but feel free to add your own touches…some chefs include vegetables on the skewers too, such as peppers and mushrooms.
This recipe serves two, so multiply the ingredients to suit the size of your party.
350g chicken breast meat (diced)
2 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
4 X 15ml spoons of plain yoghurt
A small handful of chopped coriander
2 X 5ml spoon of lemon juice
A pinch of chilli powder
1 X 5ml spoon of coriander seed
1 X 5ml spoon of cumin seed
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 X 2.5ml spoon sugar
A pinch of garam masala
Salt and pepper to taste (salt added at the end)
- Finely grate garlic and ginger, then add to all of the other ingredients (except the meat) and mix into a smooth paste using a blender or whisk
- Now add the meat and marinate, ideally overnight but at least for a couple of hours
- Add salt to the marinated meat and thread onto skewers
- Grill over hot charcoal, rotating regularly until evenly cooked and no longer pink in the middle
- Enjoy with basmati rice, naan bread and salad
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