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Moomin | Dec 17, 200511:31 PM

I'm on a quest... I'm looking for the very best chicken tikka, for the very lowest price. I'm not speaking of chicken tikka masala, the mid-century Glasgewian abonimation with tomato sauce sluiced over the top, just plain spit-roasted chicken tikka.

My rubric is as follows:

Ideal color: Red. With chared, blackened patches over approximately 40% of the surface of each piece. Ideally this char will have been imparted in a charcoal fired tandoori oven. Big points will be knocked off for pallid yellow tikka, or even worse white or green tikka. Proper Tikka should be flaming red.

Ideal texture: Tender, with a thick (more than 1/16th of an inch) layer of rendered red-yogurt clinging to the full exterior of each piece. No bald patches. For the yogurt to properly adhear it'll have to be cooked outrageously hot and fast.

Ideal flavor: Deep roasted spices, further deepened by the whole fat yogurt marinade. The spicier the better. Just because it's coated in roasted, warming, spices is no reason to be stingy with the hot red pepper.

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