Griddled tikka rabbit skewers with mint & parsley chutney

one for the pot

one for the pot - Credit: Archant

Beautifully juicy rabbit skewers and a fresh chutney absolutely bursting with zingy flavours... perfect for barbecuing. By Laura Paton

one for the pot

one for the pot - Credit: Archant

In my family, a good summer was always judged by how many times we’d been able to take our plates out onto the patio. To this day, my parents fondly remember halcyon days when we dined al fresco every night for two weeks before they had to usher us indoors when our teeth began to chatter.

So, with not-too-distant plans to dust off the barbecue and have friends round to enjoy the sunshine with, I’ve turned to warmer climes for inspiration this month, with a rabbit recipe flavoured with spices from the East to be cooked on a griddle pan or barbecue and accompanied by a fresh herb and chilli chutney.

Rabbit doesn’t have to be cooked long and slow; marinating the meat helps to tenderise it - as well as adding flavour – allowing you to cook it quickly, while the meat stays tender and juicy.

Dip these aromatic skewers straight into the bright-green sauce, or slide the meat off and they’ll make a great little ‘sandwich’ placed in a flatbread and drizzled with some chutney.

Griddled tikka rabbit with fresh mint and parsley chutney - Serves 4

Ingredients:

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* 2 whole rabbits, deboned and cut into approx 2.5cm dice

For the tikka marinade:

* 1 tsp coriander seeds

* 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

* 2 tsp garam masala

* 1 tsp smoked paprika

* 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated

* 2cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated

* a pinch of sea salt

* 2 tbsp tomato puree

* 2tbsp groundnut oil

* 300g natural yoghurt

For the chutney

* 28g mint

* 28g parsley

* 1 green chilli

* 1 clove garlic

* 2cm piece ginger, peeled

* 1 tsp sugar

* 1/2 tsp sea salt

* juice of 1 ½ limes

* 8 tbsp water

To serve:

* Flatbreads / naan bread

Method

1. To make the marinade: lightly toast the spices in a small pan over a medium heat until they become aromatic (approx. 2-3 minutes). Tip the spices into a food processor, along with the rest of the marinade ingredients, apart from the yoghurt, and blitz to a smooth paste. Stir in the yoghurt.

2. Place the rabbit pieces in a non-metallic dish and pour over the marinade, ensuring each piece is evenly coated. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least three hours.

3. Remove the rabbit from the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature before cooking. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using. When you are ready to cook, thread the meat onto skewers.

4. Cook on a barbecue or griddle pan, brushed with a little oil, for 10-15 minutes. You may need to cook them in batches.

5. While your rabbit is cooking, make your chutney: put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth consistency. Check the seasoning before pouring into a serving dish.

6. Once all the rabbit is cooked, serve with flatbreads or naan, with the chutney on the side.