Hara Masala Chicken Skewers, a twist on my mom’s famous Hara Masala Chicken Curry. Marinaded in an herby, creamy cilantro sauce aka hara masala. The result, juicy, tender kababs that you will want to make on repeat! These Hara Masala Chicken Skewers are a great addition to your Ramadan or dinner party
What is hara masala?
Hara masala literally means green spice. Green because we use cilantro and green chilies to make the marinade. Many recipes call for mint but since my mom never added mint to her hara masala I have opted to skip it as well.
How to make hara masala chicken skewers
Make the marinade – Blend the cilantro, green chili, ginger, garlic, yogurt, cumin powder, salt, lemon juice and a tablespoon of water (to get things moving in the blender) together and marinate the chicken in it. Preferably overnight or at least 30 minutes.
Marination is key for juicy kababs especially if you are using chicken breast or tenders. If you don’t have time to marinate then use boneless, skinless chicken thighs since it’s a juicier cut of meat.
Thread the chicken onto the skewers – If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes so that they do not burn over an open flame. Thread the chicken pieces close together so as to retain moisture in the chicken. When I use small skewers, 4 pieces of chicken fill up the stick with space left on the top and ends.
Grill – Heat up a cast iron pan till it gets searing hot. You can use a non stick pan as well but I feel that cast iron gives a nice sear to the meat. And who can beat the good old outdoor grill? If you have one, use it!
If using the cast iron pan, brush the pan with a little oil and place 4-6 skewers on it. Brush the tops of the chicken with more oil and let cook uncovered for 4 – 5 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 4 minutes. Once cooked through plate and enjoy with grilled vegetables and Tamarind / imli ki chutney.
What to serve with these chicken skewers
- I like to keep it low carb so I usually serve them with onion rings and vegetables. You can grill some vegetables on skewers right along with the chicken. Think tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini.
- Serve with either tamarind chutney or spicy mayo as condiment.
- If you are tolerant of wheat, you can roll these skewers in a roti (flat bread), add tamarind chutney and onions and roll up and eat it like a wrap (kabab roll).
- If you want to make it a meal you can serve these skewers with daal and rice.
You can store these skewers in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To freeze them, let them come to room temperature no more than 2 hours and then simply put 4-6 skewers (such as the bamboo skewers pictured above) per quart sized freezer bag and seal it well. Freeze in a single layer in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Alternatively, you can also remove the chicken from the skewers and freeze those separately.
Some more chicken recipes to try
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to rate it! And let me know in the comments how it worked out for you. If you are on social media, share your pics with me on Instagram by tagging me @eatdrinkpure so I can see and repost it on my stories!
Hara Masala Chicken Skewers
- 1 cup cilantro packed
- 2 green chilies I use Serrano
- 1 inch knob ginger
- 4 small garlic cloves minced (or use 2 teaspoons minced garlic)
- 2 tablespoons yogurt I use Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon/lime juice
- 1 tablespoon water optional
- 2 pounds chicken tenders cut into 2 inch pieces
- Oil/ butter to baste chicken
- Pre soak bamboo skewers, if using, in a shallow bowl. Delay if you are marinading the chicken overnight. When ready to cook, take the chicken out of the fridge about 15-20 minutes before you are going to cook it and soak the bamboo skewers meanwhile.
- Take all the ingredients but the chicken and oil and place in a blender.
- Blend till creamy. Marinate the chicken in this creamy (hara masala) sauce preferably overnight or at least 30 minutes.
- Once ready to cook, thread chicken onto skewers and make sure they are close together so as to retain moisture in the chicken. This helps keep the chicken juicy. Usually 4 pieces are enough for a small bamboo skewer.
- Heat a grill or cast iron pan on medium high heat till searing hot.
- Brush the pan with oil and place the chicken skewers on the skillet. Place four to six skewers on the pan at a time. Brush some oil on the top of the chicken pieces and let them cook on one side for 4 - 5 minutes.
- Flip and cook on the other side for another 4 minutes.
- Continue to cook all the skewers in batches. Once done, place on a platter, drizzle with some lime juice, and serve with grilled veggies and or onion rings. Tamarind chutney pairs really well with these chicken skewers.
- Marinading is really important for juiciest results. Especially when using chicken breast. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Add a tablespoon of water to get things moving in the blender. A high speed blender may not require it so add as you go.