Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Whole Spices
This is a heavenly combination of textures and fragrant, spicy flavours, and has the added advantage of not being too high in fat.
The coriander chutney is a perfect accompaniment, but this also goes well with mango chutney if fresh coriander isn't available.
This recipe is from Delia's Complete How to Cook. Serves 4
Begin by dry-roasting the cumin and coriander seeds and the cardamom pods over a medium heat for 1 minute, until the seeds begin to jump.
Remove from the heat and, once cool, remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and crush them with the cumin and coriander seeds using a pestle and mortar. Next add the ginger, turmeric, garlic and salt and mix everything well. Now cut each chicken breast into 5 pieces, place them in a bowl and toss them first in the groundnut or flavourless oil, then in the spice mixture, mixing everything around so they get an even coating.
Next add the yoghurt, give everything a good stir and press the chicken down well into the marinade. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for a few hours or, preferably, overnight.
To make the chutney, simply whiz everything together in a blender, then pour into a bowl and leave aside for 2-3 hours so the flavours develop. When you are almost ready to serve, soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes to stop them from burning, then light the barbecue or pre-heat the grill to its highest setting. Next, thread half a bay leaf on to each skewer, then a piece of chicken, a piece of onion and half a chilli. Carry on alternating the chicken, onion and chilli until you have used 5 pieces of chicken per kebab, then finish with half a bay leaf on each. Make sure you pack everything as tightly as possible, then season, lay the kebabs on the grill rack or barbecue and sprinkle with a little olive oil.
If you're grilling, put a heatproof dish lined with foil under the rack and grill the kebabs for 10 minutes on each side, about 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat source, or simply cook over the barbecue. Now slip the chicken and vegetables from the skewers, using a fork to ease them off, and serve with Spiced Pilau Rice with Nuts (see below), garnished with lime quarters, and the chutney handed round separately.