Chicken tikka

My daughter had the third stage of her spelling bee contest today. She lost and didn’t qualify for the finals. She spent the whole way home crying because she did try very hard, she spent so many nights preparing for this and in the end she didn’t win.

 How do you explain to a 7 year old that there will be so many times in life when you will do your best and still won’t get what your hoping for? and more importantly, how do you teach them that when that happens it is not the end, the mistake or the failure does not define you. If you lose once you are not a loser. You can learn from your mistakes and try again and even if you fail then, you pick your self up and try again.

Sometimes I watch my kids sleeping and worry about the long road they have ahead of them on their way to becoming mature grown ups. All the lessons they have to learn, the joys, the tears, the friends they will make and the ones they will lose, the hopes and the heartbreaks.Growing up was hard enough the first time around but watching your child go through it reminds me of what a character in my favorite series of novels (the sword of the truth) who keeps saying: “nothing worth while is ever easy”Parenting may not be easy but I know the easy way to introduce a new meat recipe to my family, put it on a stick!The kids are welling to try the new dish no matter how crazy the name or the list of ingredients is. Chicken tikka was no exception to the rule. I had a new naan recipe I wanted to try out and thought the chicken tikka would be a good companion for it . Tikka means pieces or chunks. This chicken recipe calls for marinating the chicken in a yogurt spice marinade that not only tenderizes the chicken but also makes it so flavorful and aromatic.

I served these chicken tikka skewers with triple C raita and naan bread. I have already shared my go to recipe for naan and told you in that post that I had my eye on a naan recipe that is supposed to be as close to the naan you eat in restaurants as you can get in a home made bread. Well today was the day I decided to try it. This naan was definetly more nutty due to the whole wheat flour in it . That being said I am still leaning towards my old recipe, it produces fluffier naans and  requires less work. 

Before we get to the recipes I would like to announce that the winner of the giveaway by Macy’s.

Cecilia from the kitchens garden Congratulations 🙂


Chicken tikka

3 boneless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon dried ginger (or you can use 1 tablespoon fresh)

3 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoons ground coriander

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/3 cup greek yogurt

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 red pepper cut into cubes

Cut each chicken breast into chunks

Mix the marinade ingredients and toss in the chicken

Marinate for 2 hours up to over night

Alternate chicken pieces with the red pepper on the skewers

Grill or cook in a grill pan or in the oven until done.

Naan bread

recipe from Jugalbandi


(6 medium or 8 small)

2 and 1/4 cups flour (bread flour, whole wheat flour, or a combo

1 medium potato (preferably a drier variety like Russet)
1 and 1/4 tsps. active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup water (reduce water by 1 or 2 tbsps if using all white flour)
1 tsp. honey or sugar
3 tbsps. plain yogurt
3 tbsps milk
1 tbsp ghee or melted butter
1/4 tsp baking powder
ghee or melted butter to brush
nigella seeds (kalonji) – optional

1. Skin and cube the potato, add a tablespoon of water, cover it and microwave for 4 minutes. Mash it when it’s hot, and measure out 1/2 cup. That’s all we need.

2. Add the water to it. Check to make sure it’s not warmer than 105F (just a touch warmer than your hand) then add the honey and yeast, stir it and keep it aside for five minutes.

3. Meanwhile, assemble the remaining ingredients. Start with 2 cups flour, and add the rest only if you need to.

4. Mix everything together and knead it into a soft, pliable dough. The potato makes it sticky, and you may need more flour. Knead for 5-7 minutes until satiny and elastic.

5. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap and keep it aside in a warm place until it doubles in volume (one to 1.5 hours. you may also keep it in the refrigerator to rise slowly overnight)

6. Turn the dough out on to well-floured surface, punch out the air out gently with your knuckles, and divide the dough into 6 or 8 portions (depending on the diameter of the pan you are going to use for cooking), plus one tiny piece (to be explained soon).

7. Start heating the pan you are going to cook the naans in, using medium heat.
Roll the dough out into thin discs and keep them one by one on a floured baking sheet covered with a damp towel until you’ve rolled them all. Or stretch them by hand into teardrop shapes. They fluff up, so the thinner you can roll/stretch them, the better. Do it gently, ‘cos it is a tender dough that breaks and sticks easily.

8. Take the tiny piece you kept aside, flatten it, and put it on the pan. If it gets charred within a few seconds or the pan smokes a lot, take it off the heat, and let it cool down a tad. If it does not show brown spots in 4 or 5 seconds, your pan’s not hot enough.

9. When you have the pan to the heat level you want (medium), put a disc of dough on it, it will start forming bubbles almost right away. After 2-3 minutes, brush it with ghee/butter, turn it over wait for the bottom to get blistery spots, then turn it over, and brush it again with ghee/butter, take it off after another two minutes, when both sides have some dark brown spots on them, and the bread is cooked through. If the pan is too hot, the naans will brown too quickly without cooking through.
Take it off the fire, and sprinkle with nigella seeds.

Alternately, toast the naan on one side for two to three minutes on medium heat on the stove top until it gets brown spots on one side, turn it over, brush the uncooked side with ghee/butter, put it under the broiler on HIGH, wait for it to get bubbly and get a few dark brown spots. See warning above. Sprinkle with nigella seeds.

10. Wipe the pan clean with a kitchen towel after each naan. Make all the naans this way.

(For garlic flavoured naans, fry some crushed garlic in ghee/butter and use that to brush the naans)