We rushed into Summer this last week, even though it's still Springtime. The temps hit 99 to 100 and the last thing I wanted to do was leave my air conditioned office where we were working on a script and have to cook anything. No heat, no flames. When it gets that hot I don't even feel particularly hungry. Of course that's me and not everyone else around here, so I cook... but just barely. I wanted something Indian since a lot of what's been going on involves French food for CocoaPlanet Modern French Cafe.
I started thinking about chicken salad, mainly joking around... chick sal sand.... etc and that's when I thought why not a classic Indian Chaat Salad? A chicken chaat salad to be exact. It would be fast, cool, and... leftovers... yes that's important. Served hot or cold that salad seemed just perfect. Another plus, I had everything right on hand. Can't beat not having to go to the market to cook a meal.
This salad can be made up in less than an hour, you can use uncooked chicken but if you want to be extra speedy, get some cooked chicken, even leftover cooked chicken will work for this. I had cooked a couple of chicken breasts ahead of time. I pan steamed them and they were ready to roll. So gentlemen and gentleladies, start your chicken.
Chicken Chaat Salad
Here's What You Need:
1 lb of cooked or uncooked chicken breast cut into cubes.
1 large russet potato, unpeeled
1 onion finely chopped
1 large shallot finely chopped
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbs vegetable oil, (I use coconut oil)
1 serrano chili finely chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt , or to taste
1/2 cup of plain yogurt whipped smooth
2 Tbs lime juice
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Here's What To Do:
Put the potato in a small pot of water to cover and bring it to a boil. Boil until tender, about 10 minutes or so.
Let the potato cool, then peel it chop it into cubes and set it aside (this can be done in advance.)
Heat the oil in a skillet or kadhai on medium high heat.
When it's hot, toss in the chicken (if you are not using precooked chicken) onion, ginger, shallot, and serrano chili.
Then add in the garam masala, fenugreek leaves, and salt.
Cook until the chicken is cooked through (about 5 to 10 minutes.)
If you are using cooked chicken once the vegetables are translucent and soft, you can add it in, and warm it up.
Now, add in all the yogurt.
Cook until most of the moisture in the yogurt is absorbed. This takes about 5 minutes.
Mix in the lime juice.
Now add the cooked cubed potato...
...the bell pepper and cilantro...
...and cook for another 3 minutes.
Dish it out and serve it up!
This is a great salad and works both hot or cold. We wound up wrapping in in flatbread as roll ups since I was too lazy to get the chapattis fired up. It would also work great in rice paper wraps or lettuce roll ups.
This is definitely going to be part of my Summer meal rotation as it's a great make ahead , easy serve weekday meal! Coming up next, a simple vegetarian lentil salad also good hot or cold, perfect for Summer fun days. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori