Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vij's grilled tamarind marinated chicken

My Father came in to meet me for lunch the other day and we went to one of our favourite Vancouver restaurants Rangoli's.  This is the casual cousin to Vij's restaurant on West 14th.  The food is every bit as good and if you arrive just before 12:00 noon you can usually get a table with no problem.  We both ended up ordering the same dish, tamarind marinated grilled chicken, which we also both really enjoyed.  So when I looked on Vij's website and found that they had a recipe for this dish I had to try it.

So Sunday night dinner I cooked an Indian meal with this as the star.  One of the main ingredients for this dish is tamarind paste.  You could of course buy tamarind pods, peel them soak them and push the pulp through a sieve, or you could buy a pot of tamarind paste. I think you can guess what I did, you can pick this up at any Asian market and it keeps for a long time in the fridge.

Feeds 4

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup of plain low fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind concentrate
  • 1 large garlic clove grated or finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cayenne 
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
Combine the yogurt and tamarind concentrate in a bowl.

Then mix in all the other ingredients.  This will make a fairly dark brown marinade.

Add the chicken and marinade for at least 4 hours.  For once I started working on this early enough to give it the full 4 hours!  You could cook this on indirect heat on the barbecue, but I cooked it under the broiler.  Lay out the marinated chicken on a broiler plan leaving some of the marinade clinging to the chicken.

Grill on low on each side for about 5 minutes, until the chicken has browned and is cooked through. I found after about 10 minutes of grilling I turned the grill off and left the chicken in the oven while I did the last minute preparations for the meal, and it was cooked to perfection.  You could of course use chicken breasts, but thighs really are moister and I think have more flavour, and that is what Vij uses, so good enough for me.

We had this with some aloo gobi my all time favourite Indian dish, basmati rice and paratha, which I had in my freezer from the Superstore.  I also served my green tomato chutney which as hoped went very well with my Indian dinner.

This was a delicious marinade and tasted just like the chicken that we had at the restaurant, but my Father pointed out that I had not made the sauce that came with it, and really I should try to figure out how to make that.  Oh well I guess some research is in order.

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