Kashmiri spiced chicken pitta, that worked out even better than I thought it would!
This is an idea that got carried over into this week's menu list, having been bumped from last week's good intentions. I have done similar things with meat and pitta bread very successfully in the past (see Spicy Chicken In Pitta Bread, Kibbeh Meatballs in Pitta Bread and Minty Aromatic Pulled Lamb Pittas), so I had a good feeling about this one.
As dinner concepts go, it really is simplicity itself.
Good sized chicken breast chunks are marinated in goat yoghurt, lime juice, Kashmiri chilli powder and curry powder, then oven baked. Easy peasy! Plus, don't be worried about making too much of the chicken, as it is just as good the following day as a cold sandwich filling. It is very well worth finding the Kashmiri chilli powder, as it has an interesting flavour being not terribly spicy hot at all but very flavoursome. It also has an amazing red colour that is particular to the Kashmiri chilli and I've put a link at the bottom of the page to Amazon, where they have a number of different suppliers. We found our Kashmiri chilli powder in our local ethnic shop (one of these shops that sells all kinds of spices, fruit and tins of things you've never heard of) so do keep an eye out for it.
The wholemeal pitta (it's worthwhile using wholemeal as it adds to the nutty flavour and tend to stay softer than the white versions) has hummus and a home made raita - plus the chicken of course - inside of it. Serving everything is the work of minutes to grill the pittas, then smear in some hummus, add the chicken pieces (a pair of tongs works very well here), drizzle over the raita and you're done.
I served them with some home made salt & pepper potato wedges and a watermelon & tomato chopped salad with a pomegranate molasses dressing, which provided a nice freshness.
Everyone loved these pittas - the heat of the curry spices, cool cucumber and mint together with the nuttiness of the pitta and hummus was a complete winner.
KASHMIRI SPICED CHICKEN PITTAS (serves 4)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
3 dessertspoonfuls of goat yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt)
2 heaped tsp of mild curry powder
1.5 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder (or 1 tsp ordinary chilli powder)
half a tsp of Garam Masala
a pinch of sea salt
the juice of half a lime
4 wholemeal pitta bread
8 heaped tsp hummus.
For the Raita :
2 inch piece of cucumber, peeled and seeds removed, chopped fine
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper
2 dessertspoonfuls of goat yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt).
1. Mix the goat yoghurt, curry powder, chilli powder, Garam Masala, lime juice and sea salt together in a bowl. Add the chicken chunks, stir to coat in the mixture and leave to marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. To prepare the raita, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside for the flavours to get to know one another.
3. Place the chicken pieces along with the remains of the marinade, onto a baking tray with sides, as there will be liquid produced as the chicken cooks.
4. Cook the chicken at 200degC/400degF/Gas 6 for 25-30mins, until the edges are just beginning to char and the chicken is cooked through. Half way through the cooking time, remove the chicken from the oven and pour the cooking liquid away. Return to the oven for the remainder of the time.
5. Grill the pitta bread and slit down one side.
6. Spread 2 tsp of hummus onto one side of the pitta bread.
7. Fill the pitta with chicken pieces, then drizzle with raita.
Serve the pittas with a side salad of your choice and salt & pepper potato wedges.