Indian-Spiced Chicken Salad

Recipe from

Food & Wine


1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tawny port
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch of ground turmeric
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
1/4 pound green beans
8 cups torn Boston lettuce leaves
1 large, ripe red papaya (1 pound)--peeled,
seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup roasted cashews, chopped


1. In a small skillet, toast the whole spices over moderate heat for 1 minute. Let cool completely, then coarsely grind.

2. In a large, shallow baking dish, mix 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of the ground spices with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the port, garlic, turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

3. Mix the remaining ground spices with the lemon juice, shallot and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Pat dry and cut into 2-inch lengths.

5. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade; discard the garlic. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 minutes, then cut in to 1 1/2-inch chunks.

6. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the papaya, tomatoes, green beans, chicken and the dressing. Sprinkle with the cashews and serve.


Marcia Kiesel,

August 2001
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