Indian cuisine is some of the most flavourful food in the world. It’s no wonder Indian restaurants in downtown Ottawa are so popular: with dishes like spicy curries and healthy samosas, just taking in the aroma of this ethnic food can make your mouth water.
One of India’s most famous dishes is chicken tikka. This dish originated in South Asia, though it’s unclear whether ownership should go to India or Pakistan. Whatever the case, it has remained a fast favourite in both regions for decades.
The word “tikka” in chicken tikka, when translated into English, means bits or pieces. Though there are many variations of the dish, depending on which restaurant in downtown Ottawa you go to, it should always include flavourful pieces of chicken that have been baked or roasted on a skewer.
There are many other components that go into making this dishes authentically Indian, though.
Indian food is famous for its colourful use of several exotic spices. Chicken tikka is no exception, and undergoes several steps to infuse it with powerful flavours.
First, the chicken is traditionally marinated in yogurt mixed with spices and citrus. This imparts incredible amounts of flavour while simultaneously tenderizing the chicken.
After the chicken has been skewered and cooked, it is traditional to serve the dish with an equally flavourful sauce with more Indian spices. Different Indian restaurants in downtown Ottawa will have their own signature sauces to set their dish apart.
It’s not just the flavour explosion commonly found in Indian food that sets it apart – it’s also the unique cooking methods they use that makes their cuisine stand out.
Part of what makes chicken tikka so amazing is that fact that it’s traditionally cooked in a tandoor. A tandoor is a clay oven fueled by a scorching hot wood or charcoal fire housed right inside the unit. Anything cooked in the tandoor is cooked quickly and efficiently and gets a pleasant charred or grilled flavour.
Any authentic downtown Ottawa restaurant will have one or more tandoor ovens in their kitchen. There are a plethora of Indian dishes that can be cooked tandoori style, such as naan bread. After trying chicken tikka prepared in a tandoor, no other style will compare.
It’s fair to say you can judge the authenticity of any Indian restaurant in downtown Ottawa by whether or not they include chicken tikka on their menu. It’s one of the country’s most famous – and most loved – dishes,; don’t miss out on this flavourful dish!.