Indian Tandoori Chicken Salad
with Cooling Mango-Yogurt Dressing
Today, I'm adding Indian flavors to your summer-inspired Sunny Salad Bowl, with my Indian-staple, easy Tandoori Chicken Salad!!
Charred to perfection tandoori chicken marinated in homemade Indian Tandoori Marinade with cooling sweet-and-sour mango dressing, crunchy cucumber and radish, and nutty crunchy of curry-lime cashew nuts..... this Tandoori Chicken Salad will be your new favorite summer salad!!
We are addicted to eating Tandoori Chicken with Naan for dinner! During summers, however, to keep dinner lite, I often make Tandoori Chicken and serve topped on a salad instead of rice or bread. This keeps dinner lite, yet packed with flavor, low in carbs, and also gluten free.
First time I served Tandoori Chicken salad, it was so so well received by my carnivore-family that it has made a definite place in my summer-salad menu. In-fact, these days, even when I grill Tandoori Chicken for elaborate Indian Meal with naan, rice and raita....... I keep a portion of chicken, to pack salad, for lunch the next day!
Speaking of which, I must tell you that this salad can also be made with your Indian-takeout leftovers!!! How good does that sound?
Most of my tandoori dishes are cooked straight on Gas Burner, in broiler, or on the gas grill in summers.
Few weeks back, we went to Indian Market to buy some Indian spices. To my surprise, I found most vendors selling custom-made small Indian Tandoors (clay ovens)! It was so exciting to see Tandoor. I really would have bought one if we were not living in a tiny apartment. :) (perks of apartment living...) But... for now, I'm pretty happy with grilling or direct stove-flame cooking to get that high-heat taste of Tandoor.
For this recipe, I have grilled the marinated chicken on gas grill. However, recipe also includes instructions to broil the chicken. Indian Tandoor is a very high-heat vessel just like Italian Pizza Oven. So, whenever you planning to have that traditional charred taste of high-heat Tandoor, it is good to use a direct heat source like grill, or broiler.
This Tandoori Chicken Salad is perfect for BBQ or backyard dinner parties. Chicken marinated a day in advance will develop lots of flavor from tangy and spicy marinade of yogurt and Indian spices. Mango dressing will easily stay good in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
For summer grilling parties, I often marinade chicken a day in advance and make the dressing as well. Just before grilling, skew the chicken into metal skewers and throw on grill. Serve salad and dressings on the side.
PS: If you serve grilled naan bread with it, Tandoori Chicken Salad will be a substantial main course salad.
This kind of easy, hearty yet simple salads make me very happy when I'm not in mood to cook a lot. Really, other than processing mango-yogurt to make dressing and marinade for chicken, there is not much to do. Once chicken goes on grill or in the oven, it takes care of itself. In meantime, chop veggies, and you are ready for delicious, healthy, and flavorful dinner!!
Curry Lime Cashew really give an additional layer of flavor to this salad. However, you can also use roasted and salted Cashew, instead of curry-lime flavored.
Few more delicious Chicken Recipes:
Indian Tandoori Chicken Salad
- 2 Lettuce (2-3 big handfuls, chopped romaine hearts)
- 1 Cup Baby Romaine (a big handful)
- 1 Cucumber (sliced rounds)
- 1/2 lbs Radish (red radish, sliced thin rounds)
- Tandoori Chicken Marinade
- 1/2 lbs Chicken (bone-less chicken breast, cubed)
- 3 tbsp Yogurt
- 1 tsp Thyme (or use Indian Ajwain)
- 1/4 tsp Garam Masala (use up-to 1/2 tsp if like spice)
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Powder (paprika, or indian lal mirch)
- 1 tbsp Lime (lime juice)
- 1/4 tsp Food Color (10-12 drops of orange food color)
- 2 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste (1 inch ginger + 3 garlic cloves, grated)
- 2 tbsp Canola Oil
- Mango-Yogurt Dressing
- 2 Mango (puree in food processor, or 1/2 cup frozen, thawed mango puree)
- 4 tbsp Yogurt (mixed with 2 tbsp water)
- Salt and Black Pepper
- 1 Lime (zest of half lime and 2 tbsp juice)
- 1 tbsp Sugar (optional, add it if mango used is not naturally sweet)
- Lime-Curry Roasted Cashews(optional)
- 1 tbsp Curry Powder
- 1-2 Lime (2 tbsp lime juice)
- 1 Cup Cashew (raw, unsalted)
- Salt and Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Canola Oil
1. Make spice rubbed cashews for crunch - lime juice, curry powder, salt, black pepper, oil - roast for 10 minutes at 400 F.2. To marinate chicken, mix all ingredients for chicken marinade into a medium size bowl.
3. Add cubed, bone-less chicken and coat well to combine. Cover the bowl, refrigerate, and let it marinate overnight, or at-least for an hour. Additional Notes: Let the marinade, flavor the chicken, for at-least 1 hr.4. To grill tandoori chicken, preheat grill. Skew pieces of chicken in metal skewers, and then grill chicken for 10-12 minutes (on high), turn upside-down after 4-5 minutes, cook until charred and fully cooked through. Additional Notes: You can also broil chicken in oven: Broil chicken for 16 minutes, turn upside-down after 8 minutes, broil until charred and fully cooked through.
- 5. To make the dressing, in a food processor, combine yogurt, mango puree (or pulp, if using whole mangoes), lime juice, and sugar, pulse until smooth. Add 1-2 tbsp water if consistency is too thick. Adjust salt per taste.
- 6. In salad bowl, arrange lettuce, romaine, sliced radish and cucumber, top with chicken, roasted cashews. Serve dressing on side. Pour generous amount over salad just before serving. Enjoy!!
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