a delightful twist

Inspired by the ever-popular Vietnamese sandwich, Banh Mi, I set out to create an Indian version that would excite your taste buds and offer a new experience for your palate. Introducing my take on the classic: the Chicken Tikka Banh Mi. This mouthwatering creation brings together the best of Indian and Vietnamese cuisines, offering a delightful twist on the classic sandwich. Of course, you can use paneer in place of chicken for a vegetarian version!

Chicken Tikka Banh Mi

chicken banh mi, reimagined!

In the vibrant world of culinary fusion, few sandwiches embody the perfect marriage of flavors quite like my Chicken Tikka Banh Mi. It’s the traditional Vietnamese chicken banh mi, reimagined, with succulent pieces of spicy Indian grilled chicken tikka with all the same elements of the sandwich – the crisp baguette, the tangy crunchy vegetables, jalapeños, fresh cilantro, and a hint of spicy mayo.

Chicken Tikka Banh Mi

Elevate your summertime weekend lunches with the Chicken Tikka Banh Mi sandwich! With its vibrant flavors and easy portability, it’s an ideal choice for picnics in the park or beach outings. Hosting a summer BBQ? Turn it into an easy and interactive affair by setting up a sandwich bar where guests can assemble their own delicious creations. From its portable nature to its versatility in entertaining, the Chicken Tikka Banh Mi adds a touch of gourmet flair to any summer gathering, making it a must-have for your seasonal menu.

the focal point

My Chicken Tikka Banh Mi sandwich features succulent grilled chicken tikka, marinated in a blend of aromatic spices and yogurt. It is undoubtedly the focal point and a key element of the sandwich. To ensure optimal layering within the toasted baguette, I prefer using larger pieces of thigh meat. This also simplifies grilling, as larger pieces can be placed directly on the grill grate without concern of losing any to the flames below.

For those craving a vegetarian version, fear not; simply substitute the chicken with paneer tikka for an equally delectable experience. Be sure to use slabs of paneer, about 2″x4″, so it can be layered in the sandwich easily.

its all about the fixings

While the protein is an important part of the sandwich, for me, it’s all about the fixings! Similar to the sriracha aioli on the classic sandwich, my Chicken Tikka Banh Mi features a fiery red chili-garlic thecha aioli spread on the toasted baguette slices. And just like the cilantro, jalapeños and pickled carrots and daikon radish on the original sandwich, my Indian version is adorned with crisp radish slices, refreshing cucumber sticks, zesty jalapeños, fragrant cilantro leaves, and a tangy, crunchy slaw comprising a medley of cabbage-red onions spiced with chaat masala.

The result is a sandwich that’s bursting with flavor, offering a unique and exciting experience with every bite. Whether you’re a fan of bold spices or simply love trying new and inventive dishes, the Chicken Tikka Banh Mi is sure to become a new favorite!

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Chicken Tikka Banh Mi


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x

Description

An Indian spin on the classic Vietnamese sandwich: chicken tikka on a baguette with red chili thecha aioli & spiced cabbage-onion slaw.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Chicken Tikka

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large 2″x 4″ chunks (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)
  • neutral oil or cooking spray, for grilling

For the Marinade

  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1/2-inch (1.3-cm) piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1/2 tbsp (6 g) Kashmiri red chili powder (see FAQs & Notes)
  • 1/4 tsp hot red chili powder (skip or use less for mild flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) mustard oil or neutral oil of choice
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • Salt, as needed

For the Red Chili Garlic Aioli

For the Slaw

  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 1/21 tsp chaat masala (see FAQs & Notes)

For the Sandwiches

  • 4 baguette pieces, sliced in half
  • 56 radishes, trimmed and sliced
  • 12 baby cucumbers, trimmed and cut into sticks
  • 12 medium jalapeños, sliced
  • leaves from 45 sprigs of cilantro

Instructions

Marinating the Chicken

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the marinade.
  • Adjust salt or spice level and then toss in the chicken pieces. Make sure the chicken is coated evenly with the marinade.
  • Seal with a plastic wrap and marinate on the counter for 30-60 minutes.

Preparing the Red Chili Garlic Aioli

  • While the chicken marinates, prepare the aioli. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for it until well combined.
  • Adjust seasonings and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preparing the Slaw

  • In a medium bowl, toss well the ingredients for the slaw together. 
  • Adjust seasonings and refrigerate until ready to use.

Grilling the Chicken (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)

Outdoor Gas Grill

  • Preheat a gas grill to 400°F (200 °C). 
  • Brush or spray the grates with cooking oil
  • Using a pair of tongs, transfer the chicken pieces, one by one, onto the preheated and greased grill pan. Shake the excess marinade off. 
  • Brush or spray the top side with cooking oil. 
  • Let the chicken grill on the first side, covered, with the hood down for 5-6minutes, 
  • Flip the pieces over and continue grilling covered, for another 5-6 minutes before transferring to a platter.
  • Let it rest for 4-5 minutes, so that the juices redistribute and then serve with the rest of the ingredients for assembling the sandwiches.

Assembling the Sandwiches

  • Toast the baguette slices on the preheated grill after grilling the chicken.
  • Place a toasted baguette on a plate.
  • Smear the insides with the prepared aioli.
  • Spoon the prepared slaw on the bottom baguette slice.
  • Lay 1-2 chicken tikka pieces over it.
  • Top with radishes, cucumbers, jalapeños and cilantro leaves. 
  • Place the other baguette slice on top. 
  • Serve immediately.

Keywords: BBQ/Grilling

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Can I use chicken breast?

I recommend using chicken thigh meat as it stays moist, tender and juicy throughout the grilling process. You can use breast meat. Please take extra care during the grilling process to not let it overcook.

What is Kashmiri red chili powder? What can I use if I don't have it?

Kashmiri red chili powder is essentially Indian paprika, made by grinding dried Kashmiri red chilies without any veins or seeds and imparts its brilliant red color to food without any heat. Mild Hungarian paprika is a great substitute. The whole chilies are (mild, dark red or maroon chilies that are grown in Kashmir, with a sweet aroma and a bitter aftertaste that mellows when added during cooking.

How do you know if the chicken is properly cooked?

Chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature of the chicken on the thermometer reads 165°F or 75°C

Where can I find Thecha (red chili garlic chutney)

It is available in most of the Indian grocery stores in the pickles isle.

You can also find it. online on Amazon.

Feel free to use Sriracha in its place!

Don't have chaat masala?

Its available in the Indian grocery stores or online on Amazon.

 

Recipe Variations

Don’t eat chicken? You can substitute with same quantity of 2″x 4″ x0.5″ slabs Indian Paneer for vegetarian or tofu for vegan versions. Also substitute Greek yogurt with dairy-free yogurt for vegan variation. 

Outdoor grilling not feasible? You can use a grill or flat pan over the stove or roast the chicken in the oven. Check out the detailed guide to making Chicken Tikka using other techniques

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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