It's a Keeper: Tandoori Chicken with Mashed Chick Peas and Pepper and Onion Salad

I got a little lazy taking this picture, so sorry it's a little dark! But the meal itself was certainly bright and happy. I saw the recipes for Tandoori Chicken with Mashed Chick Peas and Pepper and Onion Salad on an episode of 30 Minute Meals called The Lighter Side.

The recipe as very easy to cut in half if there are just two of you. Usually, when I cut a recipe in half I still make the whole recipe for the sauce since someone in my house tends to like his dinner with more sauce than the average bear.

I think this recipe is also a great example of how you can mix it up a little with your chicken dishes. It's so easy to have chicken and rice every night, so why not go a little nuts and have your chicken with chickpeas, pita bread, and an pepper and onion salad? My husband would have been happy without the mashed chickpeas, but I liked putting them in my pita with the chicken and salad.

Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

1 cup Greek yogurt [It's worth trying to hunt down Greek yogurt, since it is thicker than regular yogurt. Whole Foods says: "If Greek yogurt is not available, make a substitute by straining plain yogurt, either from cow's or sheep's milk, over a cheese cloth or coffee filter to drain some of the whey for a couple of hours, thus thickening the yogurt." You could also just buy yogurt made with whole milk.]
2 inches grated ginger root
4 cloves garlic, grated, divided
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons plus some for drizzling extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut across in 1/2
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cans chick peas, drained
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup tahini paste [No tahini in my store, so I did some internet searches and learned that peanut butter with some sesame oil is a decent substitute, so that's what I used.]
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced or 1/2-inch dice
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced or 1/2-inch dice
Hot banana pepper rings, drained and chopped plus 2 tablespoons juice
Handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 lime, juiced, plus 1 lime, for garnish
4 pita breads

Preheat oven to 500 to 550 degrees F, as high as it goes. Cover a baking sheet with foil and set a baking rack on top if you have one - not necessary but use it if ya got it.

Place yogurt in shallow dish and combine with ginger, 3 cloves grated garlic, chili powder, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cardamom, cumin and 2 tablespoons oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and coat in sauce. Arrange on baking sheet and roast 20 to 25 minutes until juices run clear.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 clove grated garlic. Pulse chop the chick peas in food processor then add to garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Mash with chicken stock and tahini and reduce heat to low.

Combine red onion, bell peppers, chopped hot peppers, to taste, 2 tablespoons hot pepper pickle juice, cilantro leaves, lime juice. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Wedge the remaining lime, reserve.

Warm and crisp pitas in hot oven last few minutes chicken is roasting.

Serve chicken with lime wedges to squeeze over top. Serve mashed chick peas alongside. Top the chicken with pepper salad. Cut pitas in half and pass at table.

Two more pictures:


  1. Faith - I'm telling you, you gotta try it!

  2. Whole foods is right. Yogurt cheese (or YoChee) is a wonderful versatile ingredient you can make at home from your yogurt. It has substantial nutritional benefits ( a creamy food which is low or no fat plus high protein and calcium). You might want to take a look at,” Eat Well the YoChee Way” a guide and cookbook to this important food. It really expands the use of yogurt cheese to desserts, main courses and much more. Also nutritional content. Also, the website contains a free yogurt cheese how- to slide show, nutrition information and free recipes.

  3. Nikki,

    I think Whole Foods wasn't recommending yogurt cheese. I think they were recommending using regular yogurt, but straining it through cheesecloth.

  4. It is confusing :Straining yogurt is oddly called "yogurt cheese" even though it is not a cheese. (That is why we call it "YoChee" in our book.) You can also buy store bought more traditonal cheeses called yogurt cheese.
    YoChee is a terrific ingredient and we recommend that those concerned with a tasty healthy diet look into it.

  5. Thanks for the clarification, Nikki!


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