Excuse the quality of the picture, but this was taken at a catering I did last December - when you're standing in a crammed kitchen, working hard at feeding a very hungry mob, have got barely a centimetre of free kitchen worktop, yet 12 different types of finger food to plate and assemble, you obviously can't put your spot lights up or think much about aperture and all those fiddly photography things that I don't understand anyway... a snapshot will have to do.
I first came up with the idea for these canapés when I had a cocktail party to do where the guests/hosts weren't very adventurous eaters, even agreeing on the menu was a bit of a struggle - don't like egg, don't like fish, don't eat nuts, don't eat vegetables much... that sort of thing. And as if that wasn't enough, there was also a gluten-intolerant guest at the event, so I had to limit any wheat-containing bases to a minimum.
Poppodums are great in this situation, as they're made from chickpea, black gram or lentil flour and in England, even the pickiest and unadventurous eaters will love their Tikka Masala. My version is not truly a Tikka Masala, but it's got all the main flavours, namely cardamom and ginger, it's just a lighter version as it is marinated in yoghurt and spices,then grilled. You can add some tomato paste to it, if you want, but I chose not to, for aesthetic reasons more than anything, and they don't need it for taste.
These poppodums with chicken tikka have become a standard in my fingerfood repertoire since then - they're incredibly easy to prepare and always go flying off the trays... that last time, the girls who were serving never managed to get to the far end of the room, so much were people crowding over them. Sure sign of a delicious canapé, don't you think?
Mini poppodums with chicken tikka
4 chicken breasts (ca. 600 g)
2 heaped tbsp greek yoghurt
1 tsp ground cardamom
ca. 4 cm fresh ginger (grated)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
salt & pepper to taste
50 ml double cream
40 mini poppodums
40 coriander leaves
Marinate the chicken breasts the night before. Clean the chicken and cut into 1 cm thin strips. Place in a tupperware container. Cream together the yoghurt, ginger, garlic and coriander, season with salt & pepper. Pour over the chicken, close the tupperware container tightly, then shake to evenly coat the chicken with the marinade.
The next morning, pre-heat your grill to the highest setting. Place the chicken strips on a baking tray, cover with the remaining marinade. Grill for about 8 minutes until just browning, then turn over and grill for another 4 minutes.
Finely chop the chicken, stir in enough cream to give a smooth, spooning consistency and adjust the seasoning.
To assemble, spoon about 1 tsp of the chicken tikka mix onto a poppodum, sprinkle lightly with hot paprika and top with a coriander leaf. Serve immediately so that the bases won't get soggy.