Ameet Malhotra is a designer in Hallmark’s Creative Marketing Studio and a dedicated father to his son, Aadi. When he’s not busy making Hallmark.com look top notch, he can probably be found whipping up a home-cooked Indian meal for (and often with!) his family.
I was born into an Indian family and raised in both Mumbai, India, and Dubai, U.A.E. Family, friends, music, food and drink are what we do. When I moved to the United States in my early twenties, I had never cooked an Indian meal, other than the occasional omelet and boiling water for chai. Craving a home-cooked desi (Indian) meal, I turned to my father. He shared the way his father would cook. The memory and influence of my grandfather sparked a passion in my father, and he started cooking often. With my father’s help, along with recipes and guidance from my late grandmother, I started experimenting with various Indian spices, garnishes, etc.
I don’t really follow any recipe or spice proportions. I just cook with the heart. My grandmother always said that the most important ingredient is love. My dad reminds me to say a prayer before every meal preparation, to bless the food with nutritional value.
Cooking is my passion. What I look forward to the most as I am preparing a dish is sharing my food with those I love, my family and friends. What inspires me is sharing my heritage and techniques while cooking with my son Aadi! The delightful look on his face, his eagerness to learn, and the bond we share while making a meal is priceless.
Chicken tikka wraps are a fan favorite and easy to make. Follow the recipe below for a great for summer dish for any type of get-together.
Prep time: 12 minutes
Cook time: 17 minutes
- 1.5 to 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
- Olive Oil
- 1.5 tsp coriander powder
- 1.5 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- Salt to taste
- 4 to 6 pods of garlic
- 1-inch thick piece of ginger
- 2 Serrano peppers (depends on how spicy you like it)
- 1 bunch Cilantro
- 1 large onion
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 1 lemon
- 2 cups yogurt
- Black pepper
- Roti/chapatti (Available at an Indian grocery store or Costco. Whole-wheat tortillas or even lettuce will do as well.)
Cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and place into a Pyrex dish. Generously drizzle olive oil over the cut chicken pieces. Sprinkle salt to taste over chicken. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika powder and curry powder.
In a food processor, chop the ginger, garlic, Serrano peppers and half of the bunch of cilantro leaves. Add the chopped mixture to the chicken. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients and the chicken so that the chicken is coated universally with the spices and chopped mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you have time, refrigerate longer.
Chop and dice the onions, tomatoes and the rest of the cilantro and place into a bowl. Make sure you have equal parts of onion to tomato. Squeeze the lemon into the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients together and refrigerate.
Put the yogurt into a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate.
Cook the chicken in a pan until tender. Cook the roti in a flat pan until light brown. Make sure to flip and cook them on both sides. I wrap the cooked rotis in cloth and place them in a tortilla warmer, to ensure they stay hot and soft.
Once the above steps are complete, lay the roti flat on a plate, add 3 to 4 pieces of chicken, the onion-tomato-cilantro mix, and the yogurt. Roll up the roti, and you are ready to go.
I hope you, your friends and your family enjoy. Namaste!
Photos by Jane Kortright.
Need a dessert to go with those chicken tikka wraps? Find five sweet recipes perfect for Father’s Day HERE.