‘Busy’ would be too small a word to describe the frenzied state of activity in my life these days.
As many of you would be aware, my parents are here visiting us for a few months. It’s the last couple of weeks so most days seem like an extended holiday. Lots of short trips coupled with shopping expeditions mean I hardly get time to sit down for a blog post though my folders are overflowing with tons of delicious recipes.
So without much talking, I am gonna jump straight to the recipe today – Tandoori Chicken Thighs served with Grilled Veggies and Couscous.
One of my absolute favourite things to do at the moment is introduce my parents to cuisines from different parts of the world. They are in awe at the kind of food that’s available in Melbourne, the beautiful produce and ingredients from around the globe.
I came up with this dish just to showcase how a simple Indian marinade can be used in a slightly contemporary way but still appealing to their Indian tastebuds.
Tandoori needs no introduction at all; it is a global favourite and has staunchly become the face of Indian cuisine in most countries apart from the curry ofcourse.
Even though most of us might not have a traditional tandoor at home, it’s quite easy to prepare it on a barbecue grill, oven or even on a stove top grill depending on the kind of protein or vegetable that is being cooked.
I always make the tandoori marinade from scratch. Not a big fan of store bought masalas and moreover, the marinade is super easy to make. Many versions call for the addition of gram flour but I use only yoghurt which I feel imparts more flavour without that doughy taste to the coating.
For this dish, I have used the tandoori marinade for both the chicken thighs as well as the vegetables. While I cooked the thighs on a barbecue grill, I used a regular stove top grill for the veggies. Couscous pairs beautifully with a dish like this; it’s light and fluffy texture is a perfect accompaniment to the chicken and veggies. And a drizzle of the tangy mint coriander chutney completes the dish perfectly.
(Recipe for the mint coriander chutney can be found here.)
Tandoori Chicken Thighs (Grilled Vegetables, Couscous)
- 1 ½ cup thick curd
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder adjust to heat preferences
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin/jeera powder
- ¼ tsp black salt/kala namak
- ½ tsp chaat masala
- ¼ tsp dry ginger powder
- Salt to season
- 2 garlic cloves; grated
- 1 inch ginger; grated
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
For the chicken
- 5 chicken Maryland/thighs; score lengthwise
- 1 cup tandoori marinade
- Salt; to season
- Vegetable oil for barbecue
- 1 red onion; cut into cubes
- 1 red bell pepper; cut into cubes
- 1 medium zucchini; cut into cubes
- 1 punnet baby corn
- 1 small broccoli; florets separated
- 1 small fennel bulb; cut into cubes
- ½ cup tandoori marinade
- Salt to season
- Vegetable oil; for grilling
- 2 ½ cups couscous
- 2 ½ cups water
- Salt; to season
- Lemon wedges
- ¼ cup coriander leaves; finely chopped
- In a bowl, add all the ingredients and whisk well to get a smooth consistency.
For the chicken:
- In a bowl, add the required tandoori marinade to the chicken thighs. Season with salt (remember the marinade has salt) and rub the marinade well into the chicken. Keep refrigerated for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Bring to room temperature before grilling.
- Fire up the barbecue and grill the chicken pieces till done.
- Place all the vegetables in a bowl, add the marinade and season with salt if necessary. Mix well and keep for at least 1-2 hours.
- Heat a stove grill to high, brush with oil and grill the veggies in batches. Remember to grill on high to get the char but still keep the crunchy texture.
- Add 2 ½ cups boiling water to 2 ½ cups couscous (1:1 ratio), season with salt, cover and keep aside. After 10 minutes, use a fork to lightly fluff up the couscous. Do check packet instructions as the ratio of water to couscous can sometimes vary.
- Place the couscous in the middle of a large platter and arrange the grilled veggies around it. Garnish with half of the coriander leaves
- Place the chicken thighs on another platter, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with lemon wedges and mint coriander chutney.