Back in University, when I was doing my degree in English Literature, I used to love Robert Frost. One time I came across one of his quotes saying, “There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t, and that’s a wife who can’t cook and will”. I remember laughing out loud and thinking to myself, that will probably be me one day, putting forth burnt food every night at the dinner table. Bet, you won’t believe, I learned to cook after I got married and did start off with occasional burnt dinners but gradually, I started to excel. There was only one reason for that, I was always curious and always intrigued. The biggest blessing though was having a lifepartner who was extremely patient and encouraging towards me. For that matter, I think those are the core ingredients to push anyone in the direction where they need to find themselves and the hidden facets to their personality and undiscovered talents as Mark Twain imparts, “training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education”.
The first time I had the tikka filling was at a friend’s house a couple of years ago and again a few months ago when I went back to Pakistan to visit my family, my sister-in-law made smoked tikka buns for me, both of whom, by the way, are exceptional cooks themselves. I was awe-struck at the simplicity of the recipe with copious flavour. I think that is another reason how I found my calling to cooking, I am blessed with friends who are excellent chefs and the best thing about them is that they are daring with their food experimenting and that which eventually gave me wind under my wings.
So, moving forward, my inspiration from my friend and my sister-in-law resulted in me experimenting with the recipe. The day I made these I had made McArabia a day before and I had Hummus sitting quietly in my fridge, obviously, waiting to be used again. So I decided I will add the hummus to the tikka filling and to my astonishment, the harmony of the hotness of Tikka Masala with the creaminess of the hummus was melodious. It was Tikka meets Eurasia and the bonding was remarkable. Every once in a while when I accidentally make something I am not expecting and not to mention scrumptious, it makes me do a happy dance. This was such a moment.
Although, the hummus that I had was a store bought and it was a “sundried tomato and basil hummus” flavour. There are so many varieties of hummus out there now and I believe any flavour with hummus is simply exceptional. Hummus just seems to be on excellent terms with all the flavours it makes friends with. Nevertheless, if you can’t find the flavoured hummus, original hummus will do just as well, store bought or your own.
Coming to the recipe, it was pretty simple. The brioche buns are quite small so individial serving varies. I always keep a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of individual serving with these. The filling is mild-spicy and is very pleasing to the palate synchronizing with the sweetness that comes from the Brioche. I toast these further in the oven to kick it up a notch and make the buns crunchier. Once they are done, the bite is introduced to a crispy exterior followed by a luscious filling. It will make you sing.
Me personally, I make them, and decorate them in a basket and put it on my dinner table when I have a dinner party. My friends always go nuts over this and I am sure yours will as well. Furthermore, if you can’t find Brioche Buns where you live, you can use any buns that are available for this recipe.
The only thing I will add is that you need to try this to believe it’s phenomenal taste. It’s a little Brioche party in your mouth.
How amazing is that —
4 piece boneless chicken breast
4 tsp Tikka Masala (spice mix)
1/2 tsp Salt
5 tbsp Yogurt
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 Red Onions
4 tbsp Hummus (or Sundried tomato and basil Hummus)
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
4 tbsp Ketchup
A handful of coriander leaves
1 Green chillies (optional)
3 tbsp Oil
16 Brioche Buns (or any buns available)
- Marinate the chicken with yogurt, Tikka masala, salt and lemon juice for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a cooking pot and place the marinated chicken in.
- Cook the chicken for 30-35 minutes or until all the water has evaporated and the chicken is completely cooked through and tender.
- Let it cool.
- Shred the chicken and add mayonnaise, ketchup, green chillies chopped, red onions chopped and coriander chopped.
- Add the hummus and mix all together.
- Cut the brioche buns half-way through and fill them with the filling.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200*.
- Place the brioche buns in the oven for 8 minutes to get them nice and crisp on the outside.
- Serve with French fries or any side Salad.
Happy Foodieating ~