bloody hell, this was a beautiful dish…
the chilli kick of the chicken fires up savagely in your mouth, but is quickly extinguished by the cool and crisp of the watermelon. the nuttiness and creaminess of the gouda cheese, is matched perfectly by the salty almonds….. and right there alongside it, the mint brings an explosion of palate cleansing freshness.
this is an absolute favourite, it will be yours too.
option: if you don’t have access to soy (tamari) almonds, use toasted almonds and replace the gouda with feta – youll get the same balance of flavours!
Serves 2 (verrrry comfortably – probably 3 actually)
for the chicken
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp paprika
1 tblsp smoked paprika
3 inches fresh ginger, grated
5 garlic cloves, crusted
3 tblsp avocado or rapeseed oil
½ lemon juice
2 tsp smoke essence (optional – I used it)
3 tsp salt
5 chicken thighs
6 kebab sticks
for the salad
½ watermelon, deseeded and cut into 1 inch cubes (who wants seeds in their salad)
150gm tamari almonds (Ceres Organics), roughly sliced
2 cups mint leaves
1 red onion, finely sliced and soaked in half lemon juice and water for 30 mins
3 cups rocket
150 gm gouda cheese (I used kapiti cumin gouda – it goes well with the cumin in the chicken!)
for the chicken
if you are using wooden kebab sticks, place these in water to soak while you prepare the chicken. this stops the wood from burning when you cook the chicken later.
place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. mix to blend well. cut the chicken into even bite sized pieces and add to the marinade. stir to coat and set aside in the fridge for at least an hour – the longer the better!
once marinated for desired length of time, remove and place the chicken pieces on kebab sticks – I had about 4-5 pieces per stick… so I ended up with 6 kebabs.
heat a frypan, griddle pan or BBQ to high. place the chicken on the pan and cook til nice and charred on all 4 sides. this should’ve cooked the chicken nicely.
place the watermelon, almonds, mint leaves, rocket and gouda in a bowl. drain the red onion slices and add this too. add a dash of oil and pinch of salt and toss to coat.
serve immediately with the kebabs on the side.