Chicken tikka wrap, a timeless classic dinner that has been given a makeover with my rose tea smoke, encased in a soft shell tortilla like a modern day taco. Serve these on the next Sunday brunch or for a weeknight dinner and wow people. All it takes is less than 30 mins.
“Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.”
—Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed
Isn’t that one of the most beautiful quotes ever?? Yesterday I was reading the book (try re-reading for the 20th time) when suddenly, from the cobwebs of the letters, this particular sentence rose and hit me in the face like a sack of bricks. I wonder why I had never noticed this quote before. It seems like one of those sayings that strike you from the first moment. May be I was lost in the story of it, may be I was lost in the lives within, may be I was lost in some echoing mountains of my own. But yesterday, I read it..I really read it and since then I really cant stop thinking about it or how true it is.
Do you know what else is beautiful?? Memories. Memories created unwittingly, randomly by the people we love. Its the beauty of these memories that last a lifetime and almost always have a hand in shaping us..in molding us into the kind of person we become later in life. For as long as I can remember, I have only fond memories of my family. Sure, my family has had its share of ups and downs, its share of yelling and screaming, of heated debates over nothing and random door slamming. But somehow when I think of them I hardly ever remember those temper tantrums. What I do remember, is how we were always there for each other, how quick we were to help and encourage each other…how, no matter how much we erred, our parents always, always steered us back to the right path, and how we never needed to hide anything from them. That to me is the absolute beauty of relationships that bonds one for life. The need to be ourselves is paramount in most of us..and when we get the freedom to be us, the beauty and joy of that feeling is nonparallel.
Similarly, food is also memories. And as with most of my recipes, this one belongs to my mom. However, i did add my touch to it by experimenting with smoking the tikkas. Instead of a traditional roti or egg roll filled with chicken tikka, I decided to make it lighter by encasing the smoked chicken tikkas in a small whole wheat tortilla, layered with mint mayonnaise, fresh salad, pickled onions and of course these chicken tikkas.
Actually what happened is this. I had some tikkas leftover from the Rose team smoked Chicken Tikka Masala I made the other day.
Instead of eating the tikkas as it was (which you can do of course..they are Ah-mazing!!) or turning them into Achari Chicken tikka (another HOT fave in my home), I decided to go down the nostalgic route and make my mom’s chicken wraps, with my own special touch.
The result was FABULOUS. It was everything you want in a soft shell taco. The meat was heavenly , smoky from the rose tea yet spicy, the zingy lemon dressing added some much needed relief to the heat from the tikkas, and its perfect companion was the sweet and sour pickled onions. Spread some mint mayo and Greek yoghurt, thrown in some fresh herbs , a squeeze of lime, and honestly I can’t think of anything better or easier than this, especially on a weeknight or for Sunday brunch. You can try my fun Fried Egg Wraps as a minor variation to these too. They spell BREAKFAST extravaganza as do these recipes of mine. Have you checked out the collection yet??
Serving suggestions: Keep all ingredients in separate plates and have your guests make their own wraps. Make it look colorful and fresh, add some optional toppings of your choice. Keep a big punch bowl by its side, and enjoy a laid back Sunday with friends.
PS: You know the weather is perfect for these!!
- For Chicken Tikka:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into cubes)
- 2 tsp Kashmiri red chiliie powder
- 1½ tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1½ tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp Mustard Oil
- For the Rose-tea smoke:
- 1 piece charcoal
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 4 dried rosebuds
- 1 tablespoon Darjeeling tea leaves
- 2 cardamom pods
- Ghee/ clarified butter- 1 tsp
- For the Tortillas/Wrap:
- Whole wheat - 1 cup
- All purpose flour- ¼ cup
- Yoghurt - 2 tbsp
- Oil- 1 tbsp
- Salt- a pinch
- Water- as needed to knead
- Sesame seeds - optional , about 1 tsp
- Make the tikkas:
- Mix all the dry ingredients into the mixture of yogurt and lemon juice to prepare a marinade.
- Add chicken pieces into the marinade.
- Mix everything well. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers.
- Grill the skewered chicken until done or pop it into the oven for 15-20 minutes at a temperature of 400 deg. F
- Next, smoke the chicken tikka.
- Set the charcoal over high heat and allow to become really hot, about 10 minutes. Transfer the hot charcoal to a small bowl. Add the half cinnamon stick, rose buds, tea, cardamom pods and 1 tablespoon of the clarified butter and immediately place on the plate next to the chicken. Cover with a cloche, making sure the charcoal bowl and chicken are sealed with the smoke inside. Set aside to smoke for 6 to 8 minutes.
- From http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/rose-tea-smoked-chicken-tikka-masala
- For the Tortillas:
- Start by making the dough. Mix the flours in a mixing bowl, make a hole in the centre, add the yoghurt and oil and mix, Slowly add the salt, sesame seeds and water as required to knead.
- Knead for atleast 5 mins till smooth and soft. Cover with a damp towel and set aside for 15 mins. You can do this the previous night also, just remember to bring the dough out a good 30 min before you start.
- For the tortillas:
- Roll out the tortillas thin and about 3-4 inch diameter . Keep the remaining dough covered while rolling out.
- Heat a girdle, fry a tortilla on one side, flip, pour a little oil and let it cook for 30 sec. Flip, fry for another 30 secs and remove. Keep aside in a roti basket or aluminium foil.
- To assemble:
- Take a tortilla, Spread some hot and sweet tomato ketchup on it, add some mint mayo. Place the Smoked chicken tikkas, a pile on the fresh veggies,pickled onions. Dress with some fresh coriander , squeeze of lime juice,a sollop of Greek yoghurt and a dash of Sriracha.
- Roll up in half like a soft shell taco and serve immediately!!