My friend and neighbour, Emily, has a single mint plant in front of her house that’s the size of a small shrubbery. She encourages me to grab handfuls of it if I’m ever walking by.
Because she brought a few jars of beet preserves to me last week – pickled beets, beet relish and chutney – I pondered what I might make with mint that would go with the tangy beets, knowing she had the same plethora of mint and pickled beets at home too.
And so I took a handful or two and whizzed it into a slurry with plain yogurt, the juice of a lemon (the zest would be great too), some ginger and spices; yogurt acts as a flavour carrier while tenderizing chicken – you can leave it in the fridge for a day to get to know each other, or freeze the lot – the marinade protects the chicken from freezer burn.
Thread the chunks onto soaked bamboo skewers and they cook in about five minutes on the grill. Emily’s beet chutney, I have to tell you, is divine – made with onions and apples, vinegar, sugar and spices, it’s everything I love in a chutney, with fab colour to boot.
Grilled Ginger-Yogurt-Mint Chicken Skewers
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup torn fresh mint (a big handful)
juice of a lemon
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. garam masala (optional)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
8 bamboo skewers
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the yogurt, mint, lemon, ginger, garam masala, brown sugar and salt and pulse until blended. (Alternatively, stir everything in a bowl, then finely chop the mint and stir it in.) Add the chicken, stir to coat well, and refrigerate for a couple hours, or overnight.
Meanwhile, soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 10 minutes and preheat your grill to medium-high. Thread the chicken onto the skewers and cook for about 5 minutes, turning as needed, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve as is or with beet chutney. Serves 4-6.