Sitting shoulder to shoulder in a dark theatre, sharing a bag of salty popcorn, Mr. Feedbag and I watched The Hundred-Foot Journey with the delightful Helen Mirren on a recent date night. The film is about a Michelin starred restaurant in the French countryside that sees a family-run Indian restaurant open up across the road. While the precision and flare in the scenes of classical French cooking was impressive, I was stuck on images from earlier in the film of Indian grilling with yogurt-marinated meat and fragrant spices. I suspect the director wants you to get stuck on those images so you'll root for the lead character, a young chef called Hassan played by Manish Dayal, to not stray too far from his culinary roots as he rises ever higher in the world of haute cuisine.
After the show we debated where to go for dinner, and when Mr. Feedbag said he'd actually be up for Indian I didn't blink or ask if he was sure. We went straight to my favourite little spot and ordered a couple simple dishes with rice and naan, and by the end of the meal there was a slight but significant shift on the other side of the table. Mr. Feedbag decided he liked Indian flavours now.
No longer is my love of tandoori, butter chicken, korma and tikka masala limited to girls' night out! The day after we watched the film, I made these chicken skewers at home. So good. And after dinner Mr. Feedbag reconfirmed that he indeed likes Indian food now. Let there be grilled tandoori chicken...
Grilled Tandoori Chicken Skewers
Makes 4-5 servings
1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
2 tbsp (30 mL) lime or lemon juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) cooking oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp (30 mL) chili powder
2 tbsp (30 mL) garam masala
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground turmeric
2 1/2 lb (1.125 kg) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, oil, garlic, ginger, chili powder, garam masala, cumin, salt and turmeric. Chop each chicken thigh into about three pieces. Add the chicken pieces to the yogurt marinade and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Thread the pieces of chicken onto 4 to 6 skewers, depending on the length of your skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for at least 30 minutes beforehand to reduce scorching). Grill the chicken skewers about 10 minutes, then rotate and continue cooking another 10 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through.
Do you love some foods that your family isn't crazy about? How do you get YOUR fix?