July 13th, 2009


Malay Chicken Curry Kebabs

After such an appalling summer  last year, it took some time for me to realise that we are actually having a brilliant one this year. I grab every opportunity to barbecue and enjoy as many meals as possible outside on the patio.

The Cape Malay marinade that I made a week ago came in very handy. The tangy sweet slightly fruity and mild curried aroma made this marinade the prime candidate for my delicious deboned chicken skewers. The deboned chicken thighs cook quickly on the barbecue but still remain moist and succulent.

I love crispy chicken skin. I simply cannot resist the caramelised crispy and juicy chicken skin from the barbecues thighs, it’s simply finger licking good.

Talking about the barbecue, I never realised how serious and personal the choice of the actual barbecue can be. I grew up with a braai which is an open fire made with wood, lit with fire lighters and fueled with petrol to set it alight. It sounds primitive but its simple and very effective. I think that we are trying to be far to civilized and complicate things too much by faffing about with expensive flash looking gas barbecues or a charcoal equivalent.

Just last night I got it all wrong again trying to get it going with  charcoal. I either put too much or too little charcoal on at the beginning and it just does not burn as it should,but I persisted and we managed to enjoy these Malay chicken curry kebabs with my mothers special cheese, tomato and onion toasties.

These cheese, onion and tomato toasties are the ultimate barbecue treat. We actually do not eat them on the day but the following morning. There is something simply irresistible about cold barbecue toasted sandwiches. When I first introduced these to Ross he frowned and was not quite sure what to expect. Now it’s tradition and we must make them every time. I do not complain as it sorts breakfast!


Cape Malay Marinade

  • 40ml olive oil
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 3 sticks of celery chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 175ml cider vinegar
  • 2tbs Worcester sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 150g peach or mango chutney
  • 2 whole red chillies, chopped
  • 3 table spoons of demerara sugar
  • 150g water
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • 1tbs mild Madras curry powder
  • 1tbs whole coriander seeds

Place the garlic, coriander seeds, a small portion of oil and seasoning in a pestle and mortar and crush.

Heat a medium size saucepan with the rest of the oil and saute the chopped onions, celery and the crushed garlic mix until golden brown.

Add the remaining spices, bay leaf, sugar and chopped chillies, saute for a further 2 minutes.

De-glaze the pan with the vinegar and Worcester sauce, cook until the liquids have thickened, add the chutney and water.

Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook the marinade for about 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and use a hand held stick blender to pulse blend the marinade until a spreadable paste, it's your choice if you want a smooth or slightly coarse marinade.

Let the marinade cool completely, and it is better if it sits for one day as the flavours blend together.

Curried Chicken Sewers

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 100g Cape Malay Marniade
  • 40g natural yoghurt
  • 1tsp nigella seeds


Remove the thigh bones from the chicken thigh by simply making an incision next to the bone with a sharp knife. I find that a small paring knife works well. Once you have loosened the bone simply pop it our and remove the two gristly bits at either end.

Mix the natural yoghurt with the Cape Malay marinade and mix with the chicken.

Let the marinade infuse into the chicken for a few hours in the fridge.

While the chicken is marinading ,soak 12 wooden skewers in cold water.

Lay the marinated chicken flat onto a chopping board and skewer with two skewers per thigh on either side to balance it out, this will help to keep the chicken flat and ensures that the chicken  cooks evenly. Sprinkle the nigella seeds over the skewered thighs.

Cook the chicken on the barbecue until cooked all the way through, turn it regualrly to ensure an even caramelisation.

Serves 6

Simple Barbecue Cheese, Onion and Tomato Toasties

  • 12 slices of thick white bread
  • Soft unsalted butter or margarine spread
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated mature cheddar cheese


Butter each slice of bread on both sides.

Peel the onion and finely slice using a sharp mandoline. Wash and slice the tomatoes as thin as possible and grate the cheese.

Assemble the sandwiches by layering the cheese, tomato and onion and seasoning. Place another slice of bread on top.

Barbecue the toasties until golden brown all over, turn them regualrly to prevent the bread from buring.


Serves 6

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6 Comments to “Malay Chicken Curry Kebabs”

  1. Bob says:

    We had guests round on Saturday and I made them the Chicken Curry Kebabs. It took me a while to make the marinade, but it was certainly worth the effort. I cooked them in my smoker/BBQ over hickory chips which just enhanced the flavour further.
    This was my first attempt at a British Larder recipe, but it most certainly wont be my last.
    Our guests enjoyed the meal so much they went to the restaurant the following day for lunch. As we only live around the corner we will be going soon also.
    Fantastic news that we have got such a venue on our doorstep after so many failed attempts by others

  2. Leahlash says:

    I love cheese & onion toasties done on the braai…(makes me homesick) and they are even better the next day – another favourite is onions wrapped in tin foil placed in the coals of the braai – gorgeous!

  3. johanna says:

    i live out in the country, my grilling is a bit more primitive,
    but it is definitely the woodfire that counts. i set a grill top on top of
    two pieces of split oak- sits about 4-5 inches from the ground.
    i build a stick fire also, fed with kindling, than add some
    smallish split pieces. relaxing to sit and watch the fire.
    when the coals appear, i shovel 2 or 3″ layer under the grill.
    when they have a white ashy look, cook.
    old timey fire cooking cant be beat.

  4. I agree with you, I love roasted chicken skin too… your kebabs look delicious!

  5. Y says:

    Chicken looks delicious, but what I have instantly fallen in love with is your cheese toastie maker! :D

  6. I like the fact you’re barbequing at every opportunity. Warms me up whilst I’m in freezing temperatures. BBQs here in New Zealand are more like grills using gas bottles. When we moved into our house people kept saying did you budget for the ultimate BBQ. I always say, no, I open the window and I have the ultimate cooker (A rangemaster) and I’ll simply pass the food out the window. I’m a purist when it comes to BBQ and it has to be charcoal or wood or not at all. Love the idea of the toasties but I’m not sure they’d last till the morning!

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