Sunday, August 17, 2014

Secret Ingredients


Chicken Shashlik

Chicken shashlik at a family dinner, courtesy of mom

Have you ever tasted a really great dish somewhere, perhaps when you've been over for dinner at a friend's? Have you then gone on to ask for the recipe, only to fail at recreating the dish again exactly? Apparently this happens because people withhold key steps in the method, or fail to mention certain secret ingredients. 

Thankfully getting recipes from (mostly) family has meant that I haven't had to face this! But hearing my mom say she uses mustard powder and oyster sauce for her Bangladeshi style chicken shashlik reminded me of those stories. They're not the most obvious ingredients I would think of if I was trying to create a shashlik recipe myself. Not that I can claim these are secret ingredients anymore, but hey, to me food is all about sharing. These are the chicken shashlik I've grown up with, now up online for anyone else to try and recreate. I recently made this for a party at mine, and ingredient amounts are now updated accordingly. 

  • 300.00 Chicken breast
  • 2.00 teaspoons of garlic paste
  • 1.25 teaspoons of ginger paste
  • 1.00 teaspoon of black mustard seeds, crushed
  • 1.50 teaspoons of yellow mustard powder
  • 1.50 teaspoons of oyster sauce
  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Tomato
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

  • Cut the chicken into cubes and mix with the pastes, powder and oyster sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and leave to marinate while preparing the vegetables or up to 24 hours.
  • Pre-heat the oven to grill at 180 degrees.
  • Slice the onion, pepper and tomato into little cubes that can be easily skewered as per the picture above.
  • Assemble the shashlik onto the skewers alternating between one piece of chicken and one piece of vegetable.
  • Once assembled, place in the grill and cook for 15 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 15 minutes so that all sides are evenly crisp. Ensure the chicken is cooked through before serving.
  • Vary the size of the shashlik based on whether this will be served as main, side or snack.

Additional Information
If you don't have access to an oven, shallow frying this combination of chicken and vegetables should still give a close approximation. Once cooked, the chicken and vegetables can be assembled onto a skewer for presentation. 

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