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tajkrishna11A plate of melt-in-the-mouth chicken kebab with a cup of piping hot tea equals a perfect evening. If you ask any food connoisseur in Hyderabad, they will tell you that your hunt for the perfectly cooked chicken kebab in the city would not end without a pit-stop at Firdaus in Taj Krishna.
Executive Chef Nitin Mathur and his team there are known to rustle up chicken kebabs  fit for the royals with a dish called Kebab- E-Firdaus. “We had started working on this
recipe around ten years ago, when I was in Kolkata. We thought, why offer boring starters like chicken tikka over and over again, when you can do something different?” says Mathur. For him, resorting to short-cuts while cooking is a strict no-no. Talking about the reason as to why his kebabs are so perfect, he adds, “Follow the recipe. They were written elaborately for a reason.”

Kebab–E–Firdaus

Ingredients

Chicken thigh (with bone): 4 nos

First marination
Salt  to taste | Ginger garlic paste: 5 gms | Lemon juice: 3 ml

Second marination
Hung curd: 50 gms | Star anise powder: 5 gms | Fennel powder: 2 gms | Deggi mirch powder: 5 gms | Oil: 10 ml | Tomato ketchup: 10 gms | Crushed cashew nuts: 5 gms | Butter: 15 gms

Method

■    Marinate the thigh pieces of the chicken in ginger-garlic paste, salt and lemon juice and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
■     Take hung curd in a bowl, add the deggi mirch powder, star anise powder, fennel powder, oil, tomato ketchup,
and crushed cashew nuts. Mix well.
■    Add in the chicken thigh to this second marinade, mix well, and leave it  in the refrigerator for at least three to four hours.
■    Take the marinated chicken and put them on the skewer. Cook them in the tandoor. Turn the skewers at regular intervals and keep basting them with melted butter till it is cooked.
■    Serve hot on a well-garnished platter with lachha onion, mint chutney and lemon wedges.

Tips

■ Use the thigh from the chicken weighing not more than 850 grams as the meat is tender.
■ If you are using a convection for cooking, pre-heat the oven
at 200 degrees centigrade (392 degrees fahrenheit) and cook for 20 minutes. Keep basting with butter at regular intervals.

—Paulami Sen

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