1 pinch saffron
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 tablespoons grated garlic
1 green chilli, finely minced
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
150 grams plain unsweetened yoghurt 600 grams chicken thighs
2-3 shishito peppers per person, optional
200 grams plain unsweetened yoghurt
1 bunch coriander, leaves picked and finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin or chaat masala
nasturtium leaves and flowers
one metal skewer per chicken thigh
CHICKEN KEBABS: Bloom the saffron in a small bowl with the boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes, until the water turns yellow. Allow to cool. Meanwhile mix the ginger, garlic, chilli, cardamom, garam masala and salt with the yoghurt in a mixing bowl. Once the saffron has bloomed, add the saffron water to the yoghurt mixture and mix again. Add the chicken to the yoghurt mix and coat well. Cover and marinate in the fridge for as long as you can, preferably overnight.
Pierce each thigh twice and thread onto a skewer. Cook on a hot barbecue for 3-5 minutes each side, depending on thickness. Also grill the shishito peppers until charred at this point, if using. The thighs can also be cooked in the oven on grill at 200°C for 10 minutes, or in a hot pan with a dash of oil for 3-5 minutes each side.
RAITA: Beat the yoghurt with a fork in a bowl until creamy, add the coriander and cumin or chaat masala, and season.
TO SERVE: Spread a spoonful of raita across a serving plate and top with a chicken thigh. Garnish with the peppers and nasturtium.
COOK’S NOTE: Add grated cucumber or beetroot and finely chopped mint to the raita to make different variations. Raita should be kept chilled.