Tikka is one of my favourite appetizers, but unfortunately, good tikka is surprisingly difficult to come by outside India. Craving decent tikka (especially fish tikka), I have tried multiple recipes over the years, and finally, I think I’ve found the perfect combination and balance of ingredients. This recipe, arrived at after some fine-tuning and re-mixing, and much experimentation 😉 is also relatively easy to follow.
Mmmm just look at how delicious this looks:
If you’d like to try it out, here is the recipe!
1 pound fish cut into 1.5 inch cubes (I’ve found that haddock works really well for tikka)
For the Marinade:
6-8 large cloves of garlic
1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp grated lime zest
1 tbsp kashmiri red chili powder
1 tsp freshly ground cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1 tsp rock salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard oil
1 tbsp gram flour
1/2 cup yoghurt
Set aside the gram flour, yoghurt and half the oil. Put the rest of the marinade ingredients in a blender, or food processor, and process into a smooth paste.
In the meantime, fry the gram flour in the oil that was set aside, until the flour darkens a bit and becomes fragrant (this should take about one, or one and half minutes).
Combine the fried flour, spice paste, and yoghurt in a bowl, then add the fish pieces to this. Marinate the fish in the mixture for at least 4 hours, or even overnight (place the fish and marinade in the refrigerator during this time).
When you’re ready to serve the tikka, broil the fish in the oven (at the highest setting for about 15 minutes, basting half way through with butter), or, if you can, grill it over a barbecue. I think it tastes best when it’s grilled on the barbecue, but broiling works well enough, at a pinch.
Serve the tikka with mint chutney (to make chutney at home, blitz a cup of coriander leaves with half a cup of mint leaves, 2-3 green chillies, 2 tbsp of lime juice, 3-4 tbsp of greek yoghurt, and rock salt to taste. Add more yoghurt if you want a thicker consistency, or if the chutney tastes too hot for your liking). You can also garnish the plate or tray you serve the tikka on with onions sliced into rings, or green chilies.
And there you have it, a delicious appetizer, that I sometimes eat with roti or rice as a main course. It also makes for a great snack at cocktail parties.