Photo by Tamara West
I am not so into creamy Indian curries, finding tandoori chicken a less rich, more lean option. The big question round here is usually what to have with it? I like the idea of a fresh salad and recently I had a go at making one that would bring some favourite flavours together. A recent discovery of mine is an Indian seasoning powder called chaat masala (see box below.) It adds a salty, sour and hot note to anything you put it on and is often sprinkled on to fresh pineapple (a great combo). I’ve borrowed that idea and incorporated it into the salad for its tangy zingy effect.
The poppadoms add lots of crunch to the salad.
Buy the small, thin ones from the Indian grocer — they come in a range of flavours such as chilli, cumin, garlic and pepper. Cooking them over a gas flame omits the need for oil and you get lots of flavour from the blackened bits. Taking the essence of the sweet, minty yoghurt sauce that is traditionally served with tandoori chicken, the final touch is mint.
|1 tsp||Vinegar, white or cider|
|2 small||Carrots, grated|
|¼ cup||Chopped mint|
|½ cup||Green cabbage, finely grated|
|1||Red onion, finely sliced|
|½ cup||Lettuce, finely sliced|
|¼ cup||Coriander, chopped|
|½ cup||Pineapple, cut into small pieces|
|2 tsp||Chaat masala, to taste|
|1||Chicken, whole, takeaway tandoori|
- Use metal tongs to hold poppadoms over a gas flame for about 10 seconds each side until they puff up a little and look bubbly. Keep moving them around quickly so they don’t get too burnt; a little charring is good but take it easy. If gas isn’t available you can puff them in a microwave on high for about 20 seconds.
- Warm the vinegar in a small pan so you can dissolve the honey into it easily. Pour this over the grated carrot and mix in the chopped mint.
- Put the cabbage, onion, lettuce and coriander in a bowl and place the pineapple on top. Sprinkle chaat masala powder on to the pineapple then toss everything together. Crumble the poppadoms on just before serving and mix in gently to keep them as crisp as possible.
- Serve the tandoori chicken nice and hot, I like to reheat mine in the oven for 10 minutes unless it’s still steaming from your favourite takeaway place.
To find out more about Chaat masala, have a look in our glossary.