Christmas was blissfully lazy and not much was achieved, but with all our favourite classic foods cooked and eaten we needed a change. This is by no means authentic but it is just how I do my chicken tikka. I might also add that this has been made to be chilled and eaten in home-made naan bread tomorrow. You, of course, can have this dish hot with the usual rice and pickles/chutneys, but make extra for an amazing treat in a sandwich.
I like to marinate the meat over night in yoghurt with the spice blend below; however, a pre bought paste or powder is fine.
For 6 skinless chicken breasts, each cut into 4 portions, mix in two pots of plain yoghurt (250 ml/ 1 cup) and 2 to 3 tablespoons of spice. Cover and put into the fridge over night. It can be grilled on the barbecue (but I wimped out as it is raining!!). Take out and place onto a non-stick baking tray (with a lip as there is liquid that will be released while cooking) and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes at a low oven of 140°c / 285°f . I don't oil the tray as I cook it slowly so it doesn't dry out. Remove the chicken and you can serve with some yoghurt mixed with a tablespoon or two of the spice and a good trick is to add a little bit of fresh mint finely chopped and stirred in.
THE SPICE BIT...
2 tablespoons of coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
1 teaspoon of chilli seeds
Put the whole seeds in a non-stick pan and you want to heat them through so they start to toast; you will start smelling them toast (not burn!) - keep them moving and add in the rest ground spice for the last minute of cooking :
3 tablespoons of paprika (the sweet mild one, smoked if you like)
2 tablespoons of turmeric - ground
1 tablespoon of ginger - ground
1/4 nutmeg grated in
1 tablespoon of onion powder or garlic powder (or bit of each)
Once cooled, grind in an electric coffee grinder (used only for spice - or your coffee with taste spicy) or in a pestle and mortar (if you have neither then you could buy all the spice already ground). You can add or remove what spices you want, that is the point of going to all the bother of doing it at home. I still think it is worth it as you end up with a fresher blend and something more delicately perfumed. Keep this in a jar for freshness - it was the same mixture that I used on the spatchcock chicken.