Chicken Kebab is one such dish that you can’t resist to order along with your main course. It is a must-try delicacy for non-vegetarian food lovers.
The tasty kebabs go well with almost any dish, and you can enjoy them as a side dish, snacks, starters as well as a complete meal with rotis. This is the reason why you’ll always find at least one kebab item in indoor and outdoor party menus.
Kids also enjoy the juicy kebabs, which are a great source of proteins for them. If you want your kids to be healthy, I think you should certainly replace the Indo-Chinese starters with this traditional preparation.
In India, most of us like to munch on various kebabs in our favorite restaurants. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t make your chicken kebabs at home. It may require more time than usual dishes, but it’s not an impossible task at all.
Let’s learn the basics of chicken kebab preparation so that you can easily try its varieties at your home kitchen.
Note – I’m not going to share a kebab recipe here, though I might post a few ones in the future. There are many resources available on the Internet where you will get the right instructions for your desired recipes.
How to make Chicken Kebab at Home?
There are actually four secrets of any kebab dish in the world –
- Meat Quality
- Mint Chutney
Now, let’s find out why these four things are so important in the making of kebabs at home.
1. Kebabs should get optimum heat to cook to the perfection.
In case you undercook the kebabs, it will ruin the taste and all your efforts will eventually go in vain. Therefore, it’s necessary to cook them in perfect fire conditions.
Generally, the chefs design their own Tandoors in the restaurant kitchens for such delicate recipes. Although this kind of setup gives the best results, you just can’t place it in your small home kitchens.
So, what can be done to tackle this issue?
If you have good amount space in your backyard, get the home Tandoor oven. These medium-sized ovens work great for numerous recipes like Tandoori Naan, Tandoori Chicken, Seekh Kebabs, etc.
For a regular home kitchen, try making kebabs in normal Ovens & Microwave systems or get a gas oven tandoor for yourself.
Even the new Airfryers are capable of cooking these delicacies without much oil. So, I think you’d not find much issues as far as heat is concerned.
For those who don’t have these equipments at home, you can simply make use of griddle (tawa) to roast the chicken pieces. Place the meat on saate skewers and brush them with Olive oil or refined oil. The skewers will help in cooking the kebabs from all sides.
2. Kebab’s meat should be moist and succulent.
Sometimes, Kebabs become hard and chewy despite the proper supply of heat.
If you have experienced this before, then I’m sure you’d also want to know the reason. Well, the reason behind such outcome is the meat you’ve used for your recipe.
The meat should always be fresh and tender. You should also marinate it properly for at least half an hour if not more.
For succulent kebabs, do not use desi (country) chicken pieces. It is only good for the curries whereas the boneless broiler chicken gives good results for kebabs’ recipes.
3. Kebabs should have subtle flavors to enhance the experience.
Even if you perform the above two steps precisely, your kebabs can lack the essential flavors.
You must know the exact amount of spices needed for the recipe. Do not add too many spices, as it would not taste authentic in the end. Kebabs are meant to have very subtle flavors, which can be achieved with less spices too.
While marinating the pieces with yogurt, please ensure that it’s fresh and tasteless (or sweet to taste). If it tastes sour, don’t use it. Also, remove the excess water by hanging it in a clean muslin cloth for an hour or so.
Many roadside food joints like to add artificial food colors in their kebabs’ preparation. I don’t endorse such techniques for homemade food.
How to get the smokey flavor?
No kebab is complete without the smokey flavor, and you can’t get it with modern electric gadgets!
So, follow these steps to infuse this flavor in your home cooked kebabs –
- Place the kebabs in a flat metal container and keep a small stainless steel bowl in the middle.
- In this bowl, add a piece of hot coal and pour ghee (1 teaspoon) on it.
- Quickly cover the tray with foil or plate.
- Let the smoke remain inside for 2-3 minutes. Then, remove the cover and bowl.
Serve the kebabs immediately.
4. Kebabs should be served with simple Mint chutney.
Yes, a simple chutney can save your day! Ask any kebab master or chef, and you will hear the same response.
Many other traditional food items, for example Biryanis & Snacks items, need a chutney as an accompaniment. These dishes, however, can also be enjoyed without the chutneys, but the kebabs are different. They don’t taste good with Schezwan sauce, Tomato ketchup or Raita.
So basically, you won’t get away with no mint chutney for your kebab dishes.
I hope I have simplified the process of preparing the chicken kebabs at home.
If you find any difficulties or have some suggestions, please let me know. I’d love to hear more from you.