Saturday, May 17, 2008

Indian Chicken Salad

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
I love Indian food and, as you know, the local restaurant options are extremely limited, and I can never remember which restaurant is known to give people food poisoning so I don’t go to either. I have taken to making Indian food at home. Sometimes I start with Trader Joe's stuff and then adapt it — that works really well. But here is a great recipe for an Indian chicken salad from scratch, which is delicious, and a great do-ahead meal.

4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
5 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger
2 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
2 tablespoons Fennel seeds
1 tablespoon Cumin seed
1 tablespoon Turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 28 ounce can tomatoes packed in puree
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves for garnish

Place cubed chicken in a single layer in a greased glass or enamel baking dish. Place fresh ginger, garlic, coriander seed, fennel seed, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, ground ginger, tomato paste, and lemon juice in food processor fitted with a steel blade and process to a thick paste. Add tomatoes and process till blended. Season to taste with salt. Pour spice mix over chicken and let marinate in fridge overnight, covered with plastic wrap. Next day, preheat oven to 450. Bake chicken, stirring often till cooked through — about 20-25 minutes. Cool to room temp and toss in serving bowl with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve with mango chutney, a Jasmine rice salad, yogurt raita, and flat bread. Or how about some mint iced tea?