I love indian food and therefore I love tamarind. I became aware of tamarind in cooking, about 10 – 15 years ago when my mum would make a dish with new potatoes,tamarind and mustard seeds. (Trying not to drool on my laptop right now). Recently, I have read that tamarind is widely used in Asian and African cuisine as much as it is Indian and therefore I’m reluctant to call it by the name I have heard it referred to a few times – the ‘indian date’.
I sometimes have this chicken with salad and omit the potatoes altogether for a lighter meal. The chicken itself is very healthy. There are no lashings of butter, cream or ready made sauces here. (Although, I do sometimes use lashings of all of those in my meals 😉 ). The flavour of the tamarind in this meal anyway, is rather subtle if it is not marinated. That is why this step should not be missed if possible.
What I love about this recipe is that it is so easily adaptable. I don’t have a car at the moment, so I can’t just rush off to the shops with 2 bubbas in tow. As fun as that would be. When I don’t have tamarind, I use a mixture of lime juice, brown sugar and chopped dates instead and if I don’t have honey, I use jaggery or brown sugar instead. The tamarind mixture, is also great with chicken thighs/wings instead of breast meat.
The potatoes…I just love these potatoes. They are just as moreish when they are mashed. My neighbours eat these potatoes with crushed unsalted peanuts over the top. So, so so so good!
I served my chicken with a simple yoghurt dressing with a pinch of salt, pepper, some coriander, some red chilli powder and pomegranate seeds. I also had my favourite red onion side. PLEASE make it! I simply slice 1 red onion very thinly, I then add the juice of one lime and some salt and let it stand so they taste like pickled red onions. Hmmm..
Easy Tamarind Chicken and Cumin Potatoes
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 - 2 green chillies sliced finely
- 2 tbsp tamarind
- 1 flat tsp crushed ginger
- 3 cloves crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch thin slices
- 5 - 6 medium sized potatoes boiled
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 green chilli chopped finely
- 1 tsp salt
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp chaat masala Optional, (Available in most large supermarkets)
Marinate the chicken breast in the tamarind, garlic, ginger, green chilli, honey, pepper and salt for 2 hours.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the chicken and tamarind paste.
Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes each side or until the chicken is done and the juices run clear when cut in the centre. (Cooking time depends on the thickness of the chicken breast).
Peel the boiled potatoes and cut them into cubes.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, allowing them to sizzle.
Turn the heat down slightly, and add the green chilli and garlic and fry for around 30 seconds.
Add the potato cubes, sprinkle the cumin, turmeric and salt, pepper and chaat masala, if using on top.
Saute for 2 minutes.
Now add the lemon juice and mix through.