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  • Tonight for dinner, I made my dad one of my favorite dishes, tandoori tacos. The Indian and Mexican flavors mingle in the most surprising and complimentary way. To be honest, I was testing out my recipe for a dinner party I’m throwing on Saturday; but, as it turns out, Dad loves being my taste tester so it works out for him! He also has a knack for matching my cooking with the perfect music, this here being the "Immortal Sitar of Pandit Nikhil Banerjee" in the background.

    Here's the recipe so all of you can enjoy it too, my fellow Cowbirdies.

    Ingredients
    For the marinade:
    1 frying chicken, quartered and skinned
    1 cup yogurt
    3 cloves garlic smashed
    2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
    ¼ cup lime juice (the juice of about 1 and a ½ limes)
    2 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp garam masala
    1 tsp tumeric
    2 Tbsp paprika
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    4 Tbsp Patak’s Tandoori Paste

    For the raita:
    1 cup yogurt
    1 onion, minced
    4 inches English cucumber, seeds removed and chopped finely
    1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
    Dash of Tabasco sauce
    ½ tsp cumin
    Salt to taste

    For the cabbage salad:
    ½ cup green cabbage, sliced very thin
    ½ cup purple cabbage, sliced very thin
    1 carrot, shaved with a potato peeler
    Juice and zest of 1 lime
    1 to 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
    Salt to taste

    Other necessities to complete the dish:
    1 package of corn tortillas (10 count)
    1 lime, sliced into six wedges
    A couple radishes, sliced paper thin
    1 jar of Sharwood’s Major Grey Mango Chutney
    Additional chopped cilantro
    Hot sauce, if desired

    Directions
    1. Two days ahead, get a whole frying chicken from the local grocer. If possible have them quarter it for you and remove the backbone. At home, remove the skin and slash the meat with deep slits about 2 inches apart on the diagonal.
    2. Mix the yogurt, garlic, ginger, lime juice, spices and Patak’s Tandoori Paste together. Add the chicken to the mix and be sure that to fully coat it, including down in the slits. Refrigerate for 48 hours, rotating the chicken occasionally during that time.
    3. The day of your dinner, prepare the cabbage/carrot salad. It’s good to do this an hour or two before dinner so the lime juice really soaks the raw veggies. Mix in the cilantro and toss in some salt.
    4. For the raita, mince the onion and cucumber and toss it into the yogurt. Add the chopped mint, Tabasco sauce, cumin, and a dash of salt. Mix.
    5. Remove the chicken about an hour or so before grilling from the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature.
    6. Start the charcoal. You want it to be quite hot for this! Remove the chicken from the marinade and remove as much of the sauce as possible. Grill each side about 7 to 8 minutes. It should blacken and get crispy on the outside. Then grill it for about 10 minutes more on either side away from the high heat or until done.
    7. Let the chicken rest for a bit to cool down. Then, break it into bite size pieces and keep in a warm place (oven on 120ºF for instance).
    8. Heat the tortillas on an ungreased griddle or cast iron skillet until they puff up slightly.
    9. Each taco should have a thin layer of chutney spread across the tortilla first, then a large pinch of the cabbage/carrot salad, a handful of the chicken, a dallop of raita, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and radish slices. Et voilà!

    Serves 4.
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