Cilantro Chicken Kebabs

Cilantro Chicken Kebabs

2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon besan
1 lemon
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled, grated
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
3 cloves garlic, crushed (peeled)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 green chiles, stemmed and sliced
1 cup cilantro, stems removed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
sliced onion and cucumber (garnish)

Cut each breast in half lengthwise and then cut each half crosswise into three or four equal pieces. Lay the pieces in a single layer on a platter. Sprinkle the salt and the juice from the lemon over them and rub into the chicken. Set aside for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the yogurt in a small bowl. Beat it with a fork or whisk until it is smooth and creamy. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and garam masala and besan. Stir.

Make a paste out of the green chiles, cilantro and 1/4 cup of water in a food processor. Add the paste to the yogurt mixture. After the chicken has sat around for 20 minutes, hold a sieve over the chicken pieces and pour the yogurt mixture into the sieve and push through as much as you can with a rubber spatula. Mix well with the chicken pieces and refrigerate for 6-24 hours, in an airtight container.

Preheat over to maximum temperature (best is to use the broiler). Thread the chicken pieces on skewers. Brush the chicken with half the melted butter and put in the oven for about 7 minutes. Take out the baking tray and skewers. Turn the chicken pieces over and brush with the rest of the butter. Bake for another 8-10 minutes. Serve with thick slices of onions, and cucumbers.

Serves 4-6.

Note: Gram flour (besan) is made by milling split bengal gram to a fine flour. Also known as gram flour in many recipes. It is a fine, pale yellow flour made from roasted chana dal (Cictrarietinum). Besan is used as a batter for deep frying and in soups. It is traditionally used in batters for vegetable fritters (pakoras) and savories working as a binding agent. Many Indian sweets are made from besan. It is to an Indian kitchen what egg is to a western kitchen. Indian besan has been roasted prior to milling.

The flour, milled from hulled and roasted kala chana and called variously chickpea flour, gram flour or besan, is second only to wheat flour in popularity. It is not only protein-rich, but flavorsome, adding distinctive character to pakora batter, vegetable koftas and yogurt karhi sauce.

In India, used as a binding agent for Koftas, kebabs(meatballs or vegetable balls), in a batter for fritters and as the base for countless savory snacks,

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