Bored of Ordinary Kebabs? These Will Have You Singing a New Tune!

If you’re into Indian food, you will definitely have to try the Indian-Spiced Chicken, Eggplant, and Tomato Skewers. Here chicken, eggplant, tomatoes, and red onion all get marinated in the same richly spiced coconut milk, then divided onto skewers by ingredient to ensure each is grilled to the optimal doneness—no overcooking the chicken because you’re waiting for the onions to cook. In fact, we apply this principle often when grilling kebabs.

As suggested by another reviewer (but not noted in the directions), I simmered the marinade components in a pot for about 10 minutes to soften the ginger and garlic. Once cooled, I tossed in the cubed (and I use that term loosely) chicken and marinated overnight. About 2 hours before we planned to cook, I put the eggplant chunks and cherry tomatoes in the remaining marinade. While the grill is heating up, thread the ingredients onto 12 to 15 metal or (water-soaked) bamboo skewers.

To accompany the skewers, Russ found this brown rice curry from Cooks Illustrated that paired perfectly. We decided to omit the peas, but that’s your call. Anywho, you can start singing that new tune now…

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Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 (3″) piece ginger, finely grated
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Canola or vegetable oil (for grill)
  • Naan or flatbread, cilantro, lime wedges, and plain yogurt (for serving)

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I whisked the garlic, ginger, coconut milk, lime zest and juice, tomato paste, salt, turmeric, cayenne, and cardamom in a pot and simmered over the stove for about 12 minutes.

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Once cooled, I measured the sauce, which equaled 2 cups, and poured half of it over the chicken chunks.

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The chicken with sauce will marinate overnight in the frig.

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After marinating the veggies for two hours, I threaded each type on its own set of skewers; followed by the chicken on another set of skewers.

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Start grilling the onion and eggplant skewers first for 15 minutes, followed by the chicken for 10, and the tomato by 5 minutes.

Directions

  1. Whisk garlic, ginger, coconut milk, lime zest and juice, tomato paste, salt, turmeric, cayenne, and cardamom in a large bowl. Transfer half of marinade to another large bowl. Add chicken to 1 bowl of marinade; toss to coat. Add eggplant, onion, and tomatoes to the other bowl; toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
  2. Thread each ingredient onto its own set of skewers: divide chicken among 6 skewers, tomatoes among 4, eggplant among 3, and onion on 1.
  3. Prepare a grill or grill pan for high heat; generously oil grates. Grill skewers, turning often, until well charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes for tomatoes, 10 minutes for chicken, and 15 minutes for eggplant and onion.
  4. Just before serving, toast naan on grill until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Top grilled chicken and vegetables with cilantro and serve with naan, lime wedges, and yogurt alongside.

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We plated all of the vegetable skewers onto one platter topped with chopped cilantro.

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The grilled chicken was strewn on another platter, also sprinkled with cilantro.

Do Ahead: Ingredients can be marinated 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Skewers can be assembled 1 day ahead; cover and chill.

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All of the ingredients made for a beautiful medley on the dinner plate.

By Anna Stockwell of Epicurious.com

Side Dish: Curried Brown Rice with Tomatoes and Peas

Ingredients

  • tablespoons unsalted butter
  • small onion, chopped medium (about ⅔ cup)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
  • tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • medium clove garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
  • table salt
  • can diced tomatoes (14 ½ ounces), drained
  • 2 ⅓ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups long-grain brown rice or medium-grain brown rice, or short-grain brown rice
  • ½ cups frozen peas, defrosted (optional)
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For the rice side, cook the chopped onion for a few minutes until translucent.
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Next add the diced tomatoes for a couple of minutes, set aside.
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After cooking in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours, the rice will look like this before you stir it.
Directions
  1. Heat butter in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foaming; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add curry powder, ginger, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes; set skillet aside.
  3. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread rice in 8-inch-square glass baking dish.
  4. Bring vegetable broth to boil, covered, in medium saucepan over high heat; once boiling, immediately stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and pour broth over rice.
  5. Stir tomato mixture into rice and spread/rice tomato mixture in even layer. Cover baking dish tightly with doubled layer foil. Bake rice 1 hour and 10 minutes until tender.
  6. Remove baking dish from oven, uncover, and stir in peas. Cover dish with clean kitchen towel; let rice stand 5 minutes. Uncover and let rice stand 5 minutes longer; serve immediately.
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