Many of us don’t know that Shashlik initially originated from Eastern Europe. It is a descendant of the word “shish” or “sis” in the turkish and Iranian language which actually means ‘skewers’ which later became “shyshlik” in Russian and journeying through Southern and Central Asia, when it came to the land of curry lovers, settled in the Indo-Pak Cuisine to be recognized as “Shashlik”.
As you can see, the dish is exactly what it’s name suggest; meat and vegetables skewered on to be grilled. Indian Cuisine now also proffers paneer Shashlik as a vegetarian option and you will ofcourse find variations of the dish, making it one of the most diverse dishes in the Indian Cuisine. As it is said, with evolution comes change and the change that is good is always colorful. This dish is just that, it has evolved over time adapting to varied geographical food cultures and being a spice-lover, I prefer the Indo-Pak version of it.
This dish is a burst of flavours and a burst of colors. It is a beautiful rainbow of a dish. The piquant flavour of the dish stems from the heat of Red Chilli Flakes in the Marinade and the sweetness of the pineapple, both further enhanced by the earthy flavour of the musturd paste. What I love about the pineapple is that when it’s skewered on with the chicken, it helps the meat tenderize enough to stay juicy and moist. All the flavours from the meat marinade seeps into the pineapple giving it a very sweet and spicy taste. It’s absolute mouth watering. It is served with a variation of rice like cumin fried rice, vegetable fried rice, egg fried rice, Jasmine rice or even plain rice etc. The sauce takes no effort at all. All you need is 6-8 minutes and it’s ready to be served. Me personally, I eat some of the shish as I take it off the grill. I can’t even wait for the sauce and rice. These Shish can be served as finger food on its own. This dish is a perfect amalgamation of smoky, sour, sweet and spicy and it requires very little oil making it a guilt free indulgence.
If you have never tried it, I recommend you should. This dish is something you should be running towards, discover something new and something exciting and feed your curiosity because “the discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star” (Jean Anthelme). Food for me has always been an adventure and I love my food journey and I love experimenting with spices and flavours, which sometimes might not intermingle as expected but they evolve me as a cook. So, Trust your taste because when you are baking, follow the directions precisely, but, when you are cooking, trust the judgment of your own taste, it will honestly surprise you.
This gorgeous dish is a perfect comfort food for any table.
Chicken Marinade ~
700g — chicken cubes
1 tsp – Salt
2 tsp – Mustard Paste
1 tsp – Red Chilli Flakes
1 tsp – Ginger and Garlic Paste
Shashlik Sauce ~
4 tbsp – Oil
1 cup – Grinded Tomatoes
1/2 tsp – Salt
1/2 tsp – Red Chilli Flakes
1/2 tsp – Black Pepper
1 tsp – Sugar
1 tsp – Cumin Powder
1 tsp – Mustard Paste
1 tbsp – Ketchup
1/2 cup – Pineapple juice from the tinned Pineapples
2 – Green Bell Pepper
2 – Red Onion
1 cup – cherry tomatoes
8-10 – Black olives
1 – Pineapple chunks tin
Egg Fried Rice ~
1 cup – Rice
3 tbsp – Oil
4 – Eggs
2 tbsp – Soya Sauce
1 tsp – Cumin
1 – Chopped Green Onion
1/2 tsp – Salt
1 tsp – Red Chilli Flakes
- First marinade the chicken cubes in the Marinade mix and leave for 1 hour.
- Dice the Green Bell Pepper and Red Onion into cubes.
- Half the cherry tomatoes.
- Drain the Pineapple chunks and reserve the Pineapple juice from the tin for the sauce.
- Weave on Green Bell Pepper, Tomato, Red Onion Marinated chicken and Pineapple on the skewers, finishing with a black olive on top.
- Grill the skewers on a grill pan and brushing them with a little oil.
These can also be baked in the oven. Place the skewers in a baking dish and brush it with a little oil. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 180* for 30-40 minutes. I would highly recommend grilling the skewers but it’s your preference.
- In a sauce pan, heat oil and add all the sauce ingredients in it. Cook this down for about 6-8 minutes and turn the heat off as the sauce thickens.
- Prepare the Rice ~ wash the Rice and boil it until it’s completely cooked.
- In a bowl, whisk together eggs with salt and Red Chilli Flakes.
- In a cooking pot, heat the oil and add cumin seeds to it. Saute for a minute and add the whisked egg.
- Stir the egg to make an omelette.
- Add the cooked rice, salt, soya sauce and spring onions. Mix to combine.
- Serve the skewers with the shashlik sauce and the egg fried rice and any leafy Salad.
Happy Foodieating ~