Chicken and Salmon Tikka served with crouton salad and green mayo

When the cookery school began back in 2005 a number  of local gents formed a cooking club that met once a month in the Stirring Stuff Kitchen. They called themselves The Big Boys Cooking Club or the BBCC for short. Every month they would suggest a skill or a particular dish that they would like to try and My job was to plan a menu and  lesson around their idea. Each evening would culminate in a very late dinner of the dishes that we cooked, washed down with excellent company, vital conversation, friendly banter and good wine.  The following Tikka was on the menu from the evening that Cyrus Todiwala http://www.mrtodiwala.com/ was invited to teach us more about using spices in Indian cuisine.   Cyrus very generously allowed me to use the recipes that he cooked for us on that evening as the basis for my Curry Club Indian Cook and Dine events at the school. The Curry Club Cook and Dine days and evenings were amongst the most popular course at the School so Thank you Cyrus for helping us on our way.  I hope you caught his talk this summer at http://www.henleyonfood.com/.  If you haven’t eaten at any of Cyrus restaurant’s then make time to go http://www.cafespice.co.uk/. Failing that then invest in one of his cookery Books, his knowledge of Spices in Indian cuisine is next to none.

It so happened that I was in the midst of cooking my favourite variation from Cyrus original recipe  for photographing last week when my very dear friend the pilot and adventurer Tracey Curtis Taylor https://www.facebook.com/birdinabiplane/phoned. After being away for almost nine months flying her beautiful bi-plane, Spirit of Artemis, from the UK to Australia, a journey of great beauty and epic proportions.   When this ended she packed up her plane and headed to the USA to begin yet another daring  adventure  following the first postal service flight routes in the USA. Her aim in all of this is to celebrate the lives and achievements of women Pilots such  as Amy Johnson and Mary Heath (Tracey Flew across Africa in 2015 following the route of this great lady http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/aviation/10560546/Tracey-Curtis-Taylor-from-Cape-Town-to-Cairo-in-a-Forties-biplane.html) and to inspire people to find their own adventures however grand or small. You can catch some of her story on Mid Week with Libby Purvis http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qrpf.

After all of these adventures, on a wet night in London she was moving back into her flat. Coming down to earth after any adventure can be a difficult transition as the people and the adventures become something of the past.   I had food and she had stories to tell and so with great delights on both sides  I packed up my food and my camera and headed into London.  Food and Friendship – what a lovely way to celebrate a home coming –  Well for the time being, she’ll be off adventuring and inspiring again before too long – you cant keep a good lass down!

 

Chicken and Salmon Tikka Skewers served with Fresh Coriander and mint Chutney and whole grain mayonnaise.

Chicken and Salmon Tikka Skewers served with Fresh Coriander and mint Chutney and whole grain mayonnaise.

Tikka

Serves 4-6

x 2 large boneless chicken breasts

300g piece or two portions of salmon fillet

3-4 pods green cardamom

1 flower mace

3 whole cloves

4 black peppercorns

30g cashew nuts or pistachio nuts

30g ground almond

3 cm piece fresh ginger

2 large cloves garlic

150g Greek yoghurt

50ml double cream

40g Cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon lime juice

8 wooden skewers and silver foil strips

Cut the Salmon down its natural lines to the skin and then remove each ‘fillet’ from the skin.

Cut the salmon along its natural lines down to the skin and then remove each 'fillet' from the skin.

Cut the salmon along its natural lines down to the skin and then remove each ‘fillet’ from the skin.

Cut the salmon strips into even sized cubes. Cube the chicken into even pieces.   Put the cubed chicken and salmon into separate mixing bowls for marinating.

Marinade:

Marinade Spices. Mace, Green Cardamom, Whole cloves and black peppercorns

Marinade Spices. Mace, Green Cardamom, Whole cloves and black peppercorns

Put the cardamom, mace, whole cloves and the peppercorns into a small frying pan and roast gently over a low heat until they are fragrant. Remove from both the heat and the frying pan to stop them from burning (they will taste bitter if this happens). When the spices are cool grind to a powder in a mortar or a dedicated spice coffee grinder.

Put the marinade ingredients into a blender (that is the yoghurt, cream, grated cheese, and the chopped garlic, the ginger and the crushed spices) and blitz  to a smooth paste. Add additional cream or a touch of water if the mixture gets a bit thick. You are after a marinade the consistency of thick custard.

Divide the marinade between the cubed chicken and salmon mixing gently to make sure everything is well covered. Cover the bowls and marinade in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.

Marinade the cubed Chicken and Salmon

Put the cubed chicken and salmon into separate dishes, cover with the marinade and combine well.

Divide the cubed chicken between 4 sticks and do the same with the salmon. cover the exposed ends of the wooden skewers with foil to prevent them from burning while cooking.

_MG_7662

Wrap the exposed wood in strips of foil to prevent burring on cooking.

To cook:

Grill on medium high or cook in a hot oven for 10-12 minutes . the Salmon will take a little less time than the chicken.  The meat should be cooked through and the sauce bubbling and golden.  These tender and fragrant Tikka also make a great addition to a BBQ. cook over a moderate BBQ heat, turning once during cooking.

I like to Serve these Tikka on a bed of crunchy lettuce scattered with croutons and a little finely chopped green chilli. You can scatter a few halved baby tomatoes for added colour. The following sauces can either be served separately or combine a few spoonful’s of the Coriander chutney with the mayo for a creamy flavoursome sauce.

Coriander and Mint Chutney

Fresh Ingredients for the Coriander and Mint Chutney

Fresh Ingredients for the Coriander and Mint Chutney

 

25g fresh coriander

12g  fresh mint leaves

1 medium hot green chilli

1-2  cloves garlic, skins removed

5cm fresh ginger, skin removed and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Juice of half a lime

50-75 ml water

1/2 teaspoon Tamarind paste (optional)

Roughly chop the fresh herbs and put into the jug of a blender.  Test the chilli for heat by tasting a tiny piece from the stalk end. If it a bit hot then cut it in half and remove and discard the seeds, otherwise roughly chop the whole chilli and add into the blender along with the garlic, chopped ginger, sugar, slat and lime juice.

Blitz to chop and then add the water 25 ml at a time until the ingredients forms a   smooth green paste.

Taste and if it is a little hot for your liking add the tamarind baste and blend again. the sour flavour helps the chilli to dissipate in the mouth so that the effect feels less hot.

 

If the chilli heat is a bit 'hot' add in a small amount of tamarind paste.

If the chilli heat is a bit ‘hot’ add in a small amount of tamarind paste.

 

 

whole grain mustard Mayo

1 medium egg at room temperature

1 teaspoon  whole grain mustard

1/2  teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon lime juice

a good pinch of freshly ground black pepper

a good pinch of salt

125ml sunflower oil or light olive oil – at room temperature

NB – the mayonnaise is less likely to split if the eggs and the oil are at the same temperature – they either need to be both cold or as they are here at room temperature,

Put all of the ingredients except the oil into a blender or the jug of a stick blender and process for a minute.

With the blender running pour the oil in a steady but slow steam over the eggs. Stop and stir from time to time to make sure everything is mixing evenly. After you have added about half of the oil the mayonnaise will begin to thicken. you can be a bit more liberal with the pouring in at this stage.

Once the oil is incorporated and the mayo is thick and creamy, adjust the seasoning,transfer to a bowl or jar and refrigerate.

Fresh Coriander and Mint Chutney and Whole Grain Mustard Mayo.

Fresh Coriander and Mint Chutney and Whole Grain Mustard Mayo.

You can either serve the chutney just as it is and allow your dinners to dollop over as much of the chutney as they wish or it is lovely mixed in with mayonnaise or a combination of mayonnaise and yoghurt.

 

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