What exactly is a tikka?
I’ve consistently made this dish for a few years now, and it wasn’t until today that I asked myself that very question. In Finnish it means woodpecker. Google dictionary tells me it is “an Indian dish of small pieces of meat or vegetables marinated in a spice mixture.” I think I’ll go with definition #2, but really, if it’s healthy and tastes this great, I don’t care what it’s called or what it means. It sort of reminds me of the classic dinner scene in the Sixteen Candles when they’re eating quiche and Long Duck Dong asks, “how do you spell it?” Grandpa Fred so cleverly replies, “you don’t spell it son, you eat it!” My thoughts exactly!
This marinade is packed with dynamic flavors and almost provides a barely there crispy texture to the outside of the shrimp. (I won’t go so far as to say it’s a crispy coating.) Try this Shrimp Tikka, and it will be a real crowd-pleaser… that is, if you want to share.
Ideal Protein: Phases 1, 2, 3, and 4
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil **(or 1/8 cup + 2 teaspoons if you’re in IP Phases 1, 2, or 3)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 fresh jalapeño, seeds removed and chopped (keep seeds for more heat)
- 1 (1-inch) piece peeled ginger, chopped
- 2 large garlic clove, smashed
- 2 teaspoons ground garam masala
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and tail removed
- Wooden or metal skewers for grilling
- Purée all ingredients, except shrimp, in a blender until smooth.
- Pour into a sealable bag, then add shrimp and marinate at cool room temperature, turning bag occasionally, 30 minutes.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Thread 4 shrimp onto each skewer, leaving small spaces between them. Put on a tray.
- Lightly oil grill rack, then grill skewers, covered, turning once, until just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total.
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