Going through my past posts, I realise a lot of them begin with a mention of the weather. I guess it is because discussing the weather is a common pastime in Scandinavia, and it is not restricted to just small talk.
Back in Mumbai, the only time we would talk about the weather would be to mention how unbearably hot it was or how it was raining cats and dogs. That’s it. The weather was more or less predictable in each season; not that it made any difference in the city authorities’ preparedness during the monsoon!
One of the things I love most about living in Scandinavia is the changing of the seasons. The crazily cold & dreary winter gives away to spring and you can feel it everywhere: in people’s voices, which are suddenly more cheerful, in their clothes, which are less black (!) and in your bones, which stop aching.
And of course, the food changes too. The rich, warming stews are replaced by light salads and barbecues are fired up everywhere.
And even if it is a rainy Spring day (like today), nothing beats sitting indoors with a plate of freshly grilled kebabs, accompanied by grilled corn on the cob.
The kebabs de jour are ‘Reshmi Kebabs’. Reshmi means silky in Hindi; that should give an indication of the texture of these kebabs. There are no heavy-duty spices used in this kebab. Instead the marinade contains cashew nuts, white sesame seeds and poppy seeds.
The result is a lightly spiced, beautifully nutty, luscious kebab that is so, so tender.
The best part: it needs to be marinated for only 30 minutes! No overnight prep needed.
I served it with a light lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad, the afore-mentioned grilled corn-on-the-cob and a dipping sauce made from simmering the leftover marinade. A perfect spring lunch sure to brighten up a rainy day.
Here’s the recipe:
Chicken Reshmi Kebab
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3 – 4
500 gms Chicken (boneless and skinless)
1 inch piece Ginger
4-5 cloves Garlic
1 teaspoon Poppy Seeds
1/2 teaspoon White Sesame Seeds
4 Green Chillies (reduce, as per level of heat desired)
12 Cashew nuts
1 tablespoon Fresh Cream
2 tablespoons thick Greek-style Yogurt
1 teaspoon Cooking Oil
1 tablespoon Cilantro, finely chopped
1 pinch Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves, optional)
Salt to taste
Clean the chicken, pat dry and cut into bite-sized chunks. Keep aside.
Soak the cashew nuts, sesame seeds and poppy in a little hot water for 10 minutes.
In a food processor, grinder or mortar, grind together the cashew nuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, ginger, garlic and chillies to a smooth paste.
Now combine this paste, yogurt, cilantro, kasoori methi, fresh cream and salt.
Mix well and add the chunks of chicken and coat well.
Cover and leave to marinate for atleast 30 minutes.
Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers and lightly brush with oil.
Grill over charcoal or in a gas grill or even in an oven, till done (should take about 10-15 minutes).
Serve hot with a light salad and other sides.