Grill the Dream: Tikka-Style Shrimp Recipe

“Tikka” is a Hindi term for marinated and skewered meat. This aromatic recipe works equally well with shrimp or chicken!

Grilled Shrimp

Lynda Morris Childress

I live aboard Miramar, my Islander 30 Mark II, in Seattle for a few months of the year; I spend the rest of the time in Japan. Sailing isn't only about the journey. Sure, we want to get there—there's something magical about destinations that can only be reached by water. That's the dream. The reality is that we're often moored cheek by jowl in a crowded marina or anchored little more than swinging distance away from other vessels. At such times, what you grill on your barbecue can make a serious difference. These days, you can't establish serious BBQ cred with hamburgers and hot dogs—no way! You need to grill something that'll make the neighbors sit up and take notice.

“Tikka” is a Hindi term for marinated and skewered meat. This aromatic recipe works equally well with shrimp or chicken!

Tikka-Style Shrimp Recipe
Makes 4 servings
1 pound large shrimp (or chicken pieces)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon yogurt
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground or cracked pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 large clove garlic, minced finely
1 half-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Combine all ingredients except shrimp/chicken to make a thick paste. Rub over the shrimp/chicken pieces. Refrigerate for 3 hours. (It can be frozen at this point for future use). Cook shrimp on medium barbecue for 2 to 5 minutes per side. (See “Quick Tips for Grilling Shrimp,” below.) Cook chicken (with bone) on medium-hot grill for 30 minutes, turning frequently. Alternative: Bake in a 400 F oven for 12 to 15 minutes (shrimp) to 30 minutes (chicken with bone), turning and basting once.

Quick Tips for Grilling Shrimp
by Lynda Morris Childress

  • Use medium-sized shrimp; jumbo is even better. Small shrimp are hard to skewer and easy to overcook.
  • Use metal or bamboo skewers. To prevent scorching, soak wood skewers in water for 20 minutes before you use them.
  • Shrimp absorb flavors fast, so limit marinating time to 3 hours max. Skewer shrimp through both head and tail ends for
    even cooking.
  • Use medium or medium-low heat. Lightly oil grill and skewers before cooking.
  • Shrimp cook very quickly. Grill medium shrimp for 2 minutes per side; grill jumbo shrimp 3 to 5 minutes per side or until they turn uniformly light pink and grow firm to the touch.
  • Don't overcook!