These are toasted cumin chicken skewers that are complimented with a Greek yogurt, honey, and lemon dipping sauce. They make a perfect appetizer for any occasion with a variety of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter tastes. You can also serve this as a main dish with the suggestions described below.
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
Chicken and Cumin Seed Coating
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons toasted whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon fresh ground sea salt
4 small fresh chicken breasts
6 small blanched pearl onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 wooden skewers
Note: Fresh cilantro can be used as a garnish if desired.
Bring the Greek yogurt to room temperature. If it is cold it will clump together when mixed with the honey. In a small mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice, sea salt, and honey and mix until well blended using a wire whisk. Cover and place into the refrigerator for a couple of hours. This gives the flavors time to come together.
Using a sharp cutting knife and cutting board, cut each chicken breast into 6 equal sized chunks.
Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan on the stovetop. Make sure you watch them and stir often because they will burn quickly if not attended to. When they are nicely toasted put them in a small bowl and add 1 teaspoon of freshly ground sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Using a small spice blender or a mortar and pestle lightly grind the two together. Spread the mixture into a shallow baking pan.
Place 2 chunks of chicken and 1 onion on each skewer, put the onion between the two pieces of chicken. After you are done skewering the chicken and onions roll each of them in the cumin seed mixture to coat them. Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil and place on stovetop on medium heat. Add 4 skewers at a time and cook on each side for about 2 minutes. After they are all cooked set them aside and allow to cool down for a couple of minutes.
Remove the sauce from the fridge and place in a small serving bowl on a plate. Make a bed of cilantro (if desired) then lay 3 chicken skewers on top and garnish the top with more cilantro. Serve immediately.
You can substitute any type of meat for the chicken in this recipe. Beef, pork, fish, or lamb can be used or any other type of meat you desire. Make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly, you cannot serve undercooked poultry or fish. If you have a special marinade that you like to marinate your meat with you can use it as well. Just marinate the meat for the desired time before putting it to the skewers with your marinade of choice. For a vegan dish, meat can be substituted with imitation poultry products, tofu, tempeh, or any other favorite meat substitutes. To make the sauce spicier and give it a little “kick” you can add a half teaspoon of hot sauce, horse radish sauce, or yellow mustard. For something on the sweeter side, add 1/4 cup of finely ground pineapple and substitute the cumin seeds with coconut.
This dish is intended to be served as an appetizer but you could also serve it as a main dish. By adding a side of fresh vegetables such as asparagus, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, or beans and a side of rice or buttered noodles as well as a slice of bread or roll and you can turn this into a wonderful and tasty meal. Do you want to serve a romantic meal? Pair this dish up with your favorite wine. A red wine or even a dry white wine will compliment it very well. Add a mouth watering desert such as cheesecake or pie and you have a 3 course meal before you know it. With using the variations listed above, the possibilities are endless!