Cheat’s Chicken Shashlik

Fresh, smoky and fabulously spiced, this meal feels like a trip to the curry house (but without all the calories). Very quick to cook, too.

Use whichever curry paste you like, just make sure it’s the paste sold in jars, not curry powder.

On the subject of jars, the mint yogurt is made using the ultimate cheat: mint sauce. (Not to be confused with mint jelly, which is much sweeter and is set, like jam.) Mint sauce is a bit sweet but brings a vinegary edge and a pourable consistency. If you can only find mint jelly, first whisk it with a dash of white wine vinegar to loosen, then proceed as directed. It will be a close approximation.

Feeds 4


For the chicken shashlik:
2 large chicken breasts, each one cut into 8 large cubes
2 heaped tbsp red curry paste (i.e. not green)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 16 pieces

For the mint yogurt:
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 heaped tsp mint sauce

For the salad:
1 head iceberg lettuce
1/2 cucumber
1/2 medium red onion
2 large tomatoes
Squeeze of lemon, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper

To serve: naan bread and lemon wedges


Place the chicken pieces into a bowl. Add the curry paste and stir until evenly coated. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least two hours, up to 12 hours ahead.

Thread the chicken and pepper pieces onto four metal skewers. Season all over with salt. Preheat the BBQ.

Barbecue the skewers until the chicken is cooked through and charred in places, but don’t overcook.

While the chicken is cooking, make the salad and the yogurt sauce. Both are so quick this is hardly a challenge.

For the mint yogurt, all you do is mix together the yogurt with the mint sauce and a pinch of salt.

For the salad, chop up the iceberg, slice the cucumber and thinly slice the red onion. Cut the tomatoes into wedges. Place the salad into a large bowl and squeeze over a little lemon juice, drizzle over a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss, then divide between plates.

Warm the naan breads on the BBQ for the last minute of the chicken’s cooking time.
To serve, place a piece of naan bread on each plate, place a skewer on top and drizzle over some mint yogurt. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

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