As many of you that have read a few posts on my blog will notice, I’m a huge fan of Indian food. I’ve been cooking Indian for more than 20 years, and simply love the combination of flavors that are used in Indian cooking. Last weekend, I had a bit of a craving for Indian, but it was only 9am! So I decided to do something creative for lunch rather than have to wait for dinner. The idea of a tandoori chicken sandwich came to mind. Why not pair a marinated, grilled tandoori chicken breast with an Indian-spiced mayonnaise, a pickled jalapeno relish, some tomato and shredded lettuce? Sounded like a good idea, so I gave it a try.
It was fantastic. Delcious. Mouth-wateringly good.
The deliciousness of the moist chicken paired with the sweet and tangy relish and accented with the spiced mayo really worked together. I played with the recipe a bit and have made it a bit better than that first time, and here is the recipe for you to enjoy. This makes 2 sandwiches or wraps if you use flatbread or Naan.
Tandoori Chicken & Marinade
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup plain yogurt (preferably Greek style)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp turmeric
Mix all ingredients but the chicken until well blended in a small bowl. Pound the chicken breast until about 1/2″ thick uniformly, then place in a ziploc bag with half the marinade. Spread the marinade around in the bag to make sure the chicken is covered, and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Reserved marinade from above
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp garam masala
salt & pepper to taste
Mix the remaining marinade with the mayo and the garam masala. Taste, and season with salt & pepper to taste. The mayo should be tangy, spicy and salty enough to taste good on its own.
Pickled Jalapeno Relish
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of mint leaves
3/4 cup of cilantro leaves
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, coarsely chopped
juice from 1/2 a lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
In a small food processor, put all ingredients in the bowl and process until you have a slightly chunky paste or chutney. It should be thick enough to spread, but have enough liquid to process well. Add a slight bit more oil if needed to process smoothly.
For the Sandwich or Wrap
2 rounds of flatbread or Naan (see Note below)
Fresh cilantro leaves
First, cook the chicken either in a grill pan on the stove or on a grill. To cook to desired doneness, cook over direct heat on the grill or medium-high on the stove for no more than 4 minutes a side. Warm the flatbread or Naan in a dry skillet over medium heat.
Toss the shredded lettuce (about 1 cup) with the spiced mayonnaise.
Place the flatbread or Naan on a work surface and spread a generous portion (about 2 Tbsp) of the relish onto the bread. Layer the shredded lettuce and sliced tomato on top of the relish. Slice the chicken breast across the grain into generously large pieces, and lay on top of tomato. Lay fresh cilatro leaves on top, and serve.
NOTE: If you can’t get flatbread or Naan easily, you can use sliced sourdough bread, but it will get a big soggy, so toast it first.