The best Indian food on the Central Coast is in Santa Barbara at Bibi Ji. Indian-American sommelier Rajat Parr teamed up with Alejandro Medina to offer the taste of Parr mom’s and grandma’s cooking right on State Street. They have a hyper-local focus on ingredients. Their aim of blending traditional Indian flavors as the foundation, while also incorporating local bounty, results in a unique Central Coast-Indian cuisine.
Get Bibi Ji’s Michelin-rated recipe for Chicken Tikka!
Chicken Tikka Recipe
- 2 cups of whole yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons of Panch Phoron (available at spice shops or online)
- 3 Tablespoons of Kosher salt
- 5 Tablespoons of freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 5 Tablespoons of local olive oil
- 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- dash of sugar or honey
- 1 pound of red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound of spring onion, thinly sliced
- Mix 2 cups of whole yogurt, 3 Tablespoons of Panch Phoron (available at spice shops or online), 3 Tablespoons of Kosher salt, 5 Tablespoons of freshly-squeezed lemon juice and 5 Tablespoons of local olive oil. Cover 6 pounds of chicken thighs with the paste, and marinate for 2-6 hours.
- Whisk together 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and a dash of sugar or honey. Add in a pound of thinly sliced red cabbage and 1/2 pound of thinly sliced spring onion and toss. (This can also be made ahead of time and marinated.)
- Grill the chicken thighs until tender — or heat oil in a pan on medium-high heat and add chicken thighs. Cook about 5-6 minutes, then flip and cook for 5-6 more, or until done. Add a pat of butter and a sprinkle of chaat masala to the pan. and a dash of lemon.
- Place the hot chicken on top of the cabbage slaw, add a dash of lemon, and serve.