Murg Malai Kebab ( Cream Chicken kebab)

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I wanted to post the recipe for this amazing kebab dish 2 days ago, to celebrate the one year anniversary of this blog. Yes! It’s been a year already, the BIG ONE. Unfortunately, I was  down with Viral Flu and could barely talk, I was like a Zombie. Although, I planned on writing the blog post and stuff- I just couldn’t do it. I would rather use the very little available energy to play with my munchkin (more like running after him) who has all the energy in the world and is constantly trying to climb and destroy things! #momlife LOL. Okay, maybe not destroy things but definitely bring everything down on the floor. Anyway, the point is, it’s work!

For those who know me, know that I love food – eating, cooking, watching food stuff on the TV, reading blogs, gawking at food pics on instagram, reading magazines/cookbooks etc. I think you get the point 🙂  I had contemplated writing a food blog for so many years (more than 8!!!) but I only got around doing it last year. January 5th, was the day I posted my first recipe- Homestyle Chicken Masala Curry. By the way, it’s one of my most popular posts till date.

Anyway, I still remember, it was late in the evening on 5th and I wrote the whole blog post in 20 minutes while my newborn son was napping- he was barely 2 1/2 months old then. I had a sudden impulse to finally start it after so many years of procrastination. I had made the dish for dinner on New years and had taken a picture of the curry on my phone taken while the dish was still on the stove! I just casually took a picture of it, it was never  meant to appear on a blog, nevermind be my 1st post. Someday, I’ll update the picture with a better one, I promise. But, at that time, that’s all I had and the blog had to be made.

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Coming back to the Murg Malai Kebab recipe, I made it for New years this year to share with friends. I always had this dish in the back of my mind, I have fond memories of ordering this Chicken Malai Kebab as takeout and having it with Butter Naan. This was way back when I lived in Mumbai at my parents house. It would come wrapped in an aluminium foil to maintain the heat of the kebabs and retain its juices. There was always some residual creamy Malai gravy which the buttery naan perfectly scooped up. The restaurant that I ordered it from had a tandoor and the kebab had a beautiful smoky charcoal flavour. The Malai kebab would melt in your mouth, it was that succulent. Creamy and cheesy, but still light. It was just a tiny, tiny bit sweet-I guess that was from the cream (Malai) and the cardamom in it. But, it was beautiful. This nostalgia was my inspiration!

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Now, coming to this recipe, I think it is  really simple and straightforward, it uses very few day to day ingredients. Also, this is an oven baked dish, but you can fry it in a skillet/pan in a little bit of butter, if you don’t want to bake it. The texture will definitely not be the same as a kebab but the taste will still be great! Needless to say, roasting the skewers on a charcoal BBQ will be super awesome! The smokiness and char on the Malai kebabs will absolutely accentuate the taste of the kebabs.

The recipe is as follows,

Prep Time- 10 minutes

Total Time- 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken Breast- 4 nos, boneless cut in 1 1/2 -2 inch cubes (you can also use thighs)
  2. Fresh cream- 1/2 cup
  3. Processed cheese- 3/4 cup, grated (use any white cheese- I used processed cheese cubes)
  4. Cardamom powder- 1 tsp
  5. Nutmeg seed- grate less than 1/4 of a seed (just a pinch)
  6. Fresh green chilli- 1 1/2, roughly chopped
  7. Fresh coriander leaves- 1 handful, roughly chopped (around 1/2 cup)
  8. Ginger-garlic paste- 1 heaped tbsp
  9. Black pepper powder- 1 tsp
  10. Salt- 1 tsp

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 450 F (or around 230 degree celsius) for 20 minutes.
  2. Place 10-12 bamboo skewers in a jug filled with water. Dry bamboo skewers will burn in the oven so they need to by hydrated. placing them in water for 12-20 minutes is enough. If using metal skewers, this step is not needed.
  3. First dry the chicken with a dry paper towel before marinating it. This step is necessary for marinating all meats as, if the surface of the meat is wet, the marinade won’t adhere to it. After drying the chicken breasts, cut them in 1 1/2-2 inch cubes. Place them in a bowl.
  4. To that bowl, add the salt, pepper, ginger-garlic paste and nutmeg powder. Mix the chicken pieces with these ingredients and set aside for 20-30 minutes if baking the same day. You can place this in the refrigerator for 1-2 days as prep for an upcoming dinner or party. In that case, leave it out at room temperature before adding the cream and cheese marinade. And then continue as normal.
  5. While the chicken is marinating, using a mortar and pestle or blender, make a paste of the green chillies and coriander leaves. Set aside.
  6. Grate the cheese on a plate and then mash it against the plate as though kneading it. With the heat of the palms and kneading motion, the cheese will become very soft in texture. Add it to a bowl with fresh cream, chilli and coriander paste and cardamom powder. Mix well. This cream marinade is best made fresh.
  7. Coat all the marinated chicken pieces in the cream and cheese marinade. Once, all the pieces are even coated, skewer not more than 5-6 pieces on each skewer and set aside. Do the same for all the chicken pieces.
  8. Place a roasting rack over a sheet pan ( the sheet pan will collect all the drips and fat) and lightly brush it with some oil. This will avoid the chicken pieces sticking on the rack while baking. Layer the skewers on the roasting rack leaving about an inch apart, and transfer the sheet to the oven.
  9. Bake at 450 F for 20-25 minutes, turning the skewers after 10 minutes for even baking. Then broil the chicken skewers on the highest setting for 5 minutes. This will give a good char on the chicken pieces. Enjoy with a side of pickled onions, lime  wedges and Naan!

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I hope you all like this recipe as much as I do! Enjoy:)

Thanks for stopping by and a very happy New year to All:)

Susan A

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