September 09, 2006

WHB 1-Spicy Chicken Kebabs

The chilies from my garden are finally maturing after being green for over 40 days. I had almost given hope, initially not knowing that they need the hot summer sun to let their fiery capsaicin loose.The Scotch bonnet and Habanero Chilies are different pod types of the same species. They come in different colors, ranging from chocolate to yellow. My scotch bonnet chilies are an inch long, pale orange in color and oval in shape with a pointy tip. They are slightly sweet yet intensely hot. My previous post on the chili itself desribes its characteristic and has some rustic garden photos.
Scotch Bonnets from my garden were plucked and waiting for its time in the limelight. A special chili like Scotch Bonnet chili needs a special recipe that highlights its spicyness centerstage. Something like a Kabob/Kebab with a simple blend of flavors exploding in each bite.
A Kebab is minced meat on a skewer or meat cubes marinated in an array of spices and grilled. Kebab is usually made of lamb and beef, although chicken and fish can be used for some styles. The word kebab means “to roast,” which is what grilling is, properly speaking. Kebabs originated in Turkey but spread through the Middleeast to Asia. There are many varieties of Kebabs, as listed partially in Wikepedia.
My kebabs are from an Arab recipe but I added the sweetness of a Red bell pepper to balance the heat of the chilies. The scotch bonnet can be substituted by 5-6 green chilies or 2 jalpeno peppers. The Kebabs go well with Pita bread and White Sauce.
I am also sending this to the entertaining and educating Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Kalyn's Kitchen.

You will need: (makes about 10 kebabs)
Boneless Chicken Breast- 1 lb
Red bell Pepper- 3/4 of a whole pepper (1 cup chopped).
Onions-1/4 cup chopped finely
Scotch Bonnet Chili- 1/3 or more as per taste.(substitute any hot chili)
Black Pepper- 1 tbsp
Garlic -4 cloves
Parsley/Coriander leaves- 1 cup chopped
Lemon Juice- 3 tbsp
Spice Mix-1 1/2 tbsp
Olive oil-3 tbsp
Salt- 3/4 tsp
Metal skewers-Thick square ones.
Spice Mix:
Cinnamon-1 piece
Cardamom- 4-5
Nutmeg- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Dry roast and grind all together and keep aside.


1. Wash the chicken breast and pat dry with paper towel, until completely dry.
2. Cut into small pieces and mince in a chopper in batches. Without adding any water, pulse for 1-2 minutes for each batch. Remove the minced meat into a mixing bowl. If there is any moisture, the kebabs would not hold together. So it is important to ensure that the chicken pieces are dry before mincing.
3. In the same chopper, now finely chop the red bell pepper (without seeds and core), parsley/coriander, onions, and chilies and add to the chicken. Add all the other ingredients and mix with hand or fork till well blended. Keep aside for at least one hour. The more the marinated time, the better it will be. It can even be marinated overnight in the refrigerator.
4. Grease your hands with a bit of olive oil and gather lemon size ball of the minced meat and shape it into a small tube. The oil is to keep the meat from sticking to the hand. If your hands start getting sticky, wash them well, dry and apply a new layer of oil before rolling again. If you have the thick square skewers, the kebabs should be chorded onto it along its length. Else, just insert a regular skewer through the length and remove it. It is not easy to make it hold on to the regular metal skewers as it falls apart when it cooks.
5. Preheat the grill to 300 degrees. The kebabs can be put directly on an outdoor grill, but if doing in an oven, line a tray with aluminum foil and spray a film of oil.
6. Place the kebabs on the grill and cover it to cook for 5-10 minutes. Turn only once after 5 minutes and do not keep opening the grill. Maintain heat at 300 degrees.
7. Serve hot with Yogurt-Mint Dip(chutney) described below and Pickled onions.

Yogurt-Mint Chutney:
Coriander leaves-1 cup
Mint leaves(pudina)-1 1/2 cup
4 green chillies
Garlic-3 cloves
Lemon Juice-2 tbsp
Plain Yogurt-4 tbsp
Salt as per taste
Wash and chop the coriander. mint leaves coarsely. Put all ingredients except yogurt in a small blender. Blend till smooth. Add very little water if required. Remove with a rubber spatula. Add the yogurt and taste. Add more salt if needed. Stays fresh for 3-4 days with yogurt and for 2 weeks without yogurt.
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Asha said...

OH!Kababs look good enough to grab some!! Thanks Shaheen..

Priya Bhaskaran said...

Shaheen--- I have heard about these chilies in TV shows..even in "Fear factor" show they asked the partcipants to eat this--- thats crazy--recipe looks yummy:) Nice pictures.....

Kalyn Denny said...

I do absolutely know what you mean about the peppers never seeming to get ripe! This recipe sounds fantastic. What a burst of flavor with all those great ingredients. I do have some the thick blade type skewers too, which I love. I am saving this reicpe to as soon as I finish typing this!

Gattina Cheung said...

I haven't ever made kebab at home... look at yours very very tempting, I think I'd give it a try!

Anonymous said...

Kabab looks great. Will prepare it for my guests next time.

Hey..I have posted one chicken curry recipe(traditional one), you might like it. Have a look.

Anonymous said...

Looks so delicious,Shaheen..And I've tagged you for a meme.Do check it out

indosungod said...

Scotch Bonnet Chili plant looks gorgeous and the Spicy Chicken Kebabs look like I want some

Meena Kandlakuti said...


kababs looks great...its been long enough i did some thing with chicken..your recipe inspires me to do so...thanks for sharing:))

Shah cooks said...

priya, fear factor has a reason.. my hands had the mulaku on it for half a day even after i washed it multiple times with soap.
kalyn, good to have a chili compatriot. gattina, do try and let me know.
indu, meena, foodie's hope its not intimidating, try and make it.
annita, i will follow up the meme.

Anonymous said...

hi shaen,
gr8 going.ur presentations are fantastic... i mean,
mouth watering .

Anonymous said...

Hello Shaheen,

I have been a fairly regular reader of your blog, but haven't really commented till now. However I tried your recipe for these kebabs last night, and they were a really big hit with my husband and me. So just wanted to say thanks! :)

Unknown said...

Hi Shaheen,
Heard a lot about your blog! Great pictures & presentation ..looks very professional..The kababs look so yummy,will try making them soon.Keep up the good proud of you.

Anonymous said...


I tried this recipe and it came out great. From your recipe, I assumed it is either 1 cup of coriander or 1 cup of parsley, and ended up using just 1 cup of coriander. Did you mean half-half of coriander-parsley?


Anonymous said...


I tried ur kababs y'day, then turned out really delicous.... I just broiled them.... This is a keeper. Thx

Anonymous said...

your recipes sound amazing, and your blog looks great! I will have to try some of your dishes! :)

Anonymous said...

The kababs look very delicious and thanks for sharing such a great recipe for the grill. Can you use minced chicken instead of chopping/grinding the boneless chicken breast in the mixer?

Sonu said...

this looks mouth watering,must try it...thanks shaheen

Unknown said...

Hi Shaheen,

Never heard of such an easy way of preparing kababs..... thank u for ur wonderful receipe and ofcourse how can i forget?

Happy Ramaadaan !!!!!!!

zian said...

Very good presentation Shaheen. Nice blog. First time in malluspice.

Anna said...

Hello Shaheen,

I really love your blog.These Kebabs are so mouth watering that I want to try it some time.One of my friend is an ardent fan of your mutton Biriyani and for all get together he makes is yummy.. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful recipes.. treasures right out of your Moms and grandma's Kitchen.