Tandoori Chicken Tacos

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance I haven’t met you. There’s an even bigger chance I probably love you. And I don’t just mean that I like you because you read my blog. That’s a given. I mean that I’d find something wonderful and unique about you to latch on to, even if your voice is obnoxiously loud or you’re not-so-secretly addicted to playing dress-up or you have a third nipple. I consider myself blessed to have a far-from-perfect family, and a great number of people who have given me the chance to love and accept regardless of how they came came into this world.

There’s really only one kind of person I can’t get along with. And I guarantee you’re not one of them. You wouldn’t be reading this if you were. I’m talking about the people who think anything besides meatloaf and mashed potatoes is “weird.” You know, that one friend who you hesitate to invite over because it means you’ll have to make plain roasted chicken (off the bone, naturally) instead of the Moroccan tagine you’re dreaming off. Or the brother who will only eat rice pilaf from a box, and wouldn’t dare touch the pear and blue cheese risotto you’re dying to try.

Well, I confess that I don’t actually have these people in my life. Because I make it a point to avoid them. I once dated a guy for about six weeks. In that time we went out for dinner roughly five times, three times at Chili’s and twice at Applebees. Each time his order was the same: a plain chicken sandwich. As my mouth watered for things like Thai food and sushi, I knew right away this wasn’t going to work, unless I dined alone for the rest of my life. Buh-bye.

I realize that this makes me sound completely void of any compassion and understanding whatsoever, which is the opposite of what I tried to tell you in the beginning. So the truth is that I actually feel bad for these people. I’m sad for them that they won’t bother to try figs, dates, or blueberry-vanilla goat cheese because those things aren’t “normal.” (Yes, I know this woman; no, she’s not my friend.) It’s a shame that they have no idea what they’re missing, just like the restaurant who declined to put  these Tandoori Chicken Tacos on their menu. Yes, I submitted this taco idea to a local establishment for their Taco Tuesday competition, and no, they didn’t pick it.

Bastards. Poor trendy tapas place with your Taco Tuesdays, you could have had a really great thing.

I’ll tell you just what they’re missing, so you can be sure not to fall into that trap. I’ve already divulged to you the deeply sweet and spicy mango-habanero salsa, its intensity achieved by roasting the fruit and vegetables. And last week I gushed about this mouth-watering tandoori grilled chicken. Marinated in yogurt, cilantro, ginger, and other spices, it’s incredibly tender and bursting with fresh flavor. Well, it turns out that they’re even better together, when piled on top of a grilled tortilla slathered with garam-masala spiced chickpea puree and crunchy red cabbage. If you can’t imagine the word “taco” without “Old el Paso” or “Bell”, you’ll probably think this is “weird” no matter how hard I try to convince you otherwise. But for me, the only weird sensation was wondering how I managed to go so long without these.

I can’t even begin to think about what plain chicken sandwich boy would do if I put this in front of him. Fortunately, I don’t have to. Instead, I’m married to a guy who’s insisting we eat these tacos weekly (and I’ll happily oblige) and pondering how many that silly place would have sold, had they put them on the menu. He’s quite positive that number would be a lot.



Tandoori Chicken Tacos
Printable Recipe

2 pieces of chicken breast from Tandoori Chicken recipe, warmed and thinly sliced
3/4 cup drained, rinsed chickpeas*
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1-2 tablespoons water
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup Roasted Mango-Habanero Salsa
4 small reduced-carb tortillas, such as Trader Joe’s
chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat grill to medium-low heat.

Puree the chickpeas with the garlic, garam masala, and water until smooth.

Spray both sides of the tortillas with cooking spray. Arrange the tortillas on the grill and cook for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip the torillas and continue grilling for another few minutes, until browned and slightly crisp, but still flexible.

Spread each tortilla with some of the spiced chickpea puree. Top each one with some of the cabbage, sliced chicken, mango salsa, and cilantro. Serve warm.

*For best results, remove the “skin” from the chickpeas by pinching each one between your thumb and forefinger

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 459.5
Cholesterol: 83.1 mg
Sodium: 751.0 mg
Total Carbs: 56.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 14.5 g
Protein: 48.4 g

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36 Responses to “Tandoori Chicken Tacos”

  1. 1

    Caitlin — May 10, 2011 @ 11:57 am Reply

    I'm so glad you posted these! I put them on next week's menu after you name-dropped them in the tandoori chicken post, hoping you'd have them up before then. I'm really looking forward to them!

  2. 2

    janet — May 10, 2011 @ 2:40 pm Reply

    Bring on the wacky ethnic dishes, Cara! I am so glad my SO appreciates my wacky culinary adventures as well. Otherwise, I agree, I don't think the relationship would work nearly as well.I don't understand those who like kitchen monotony. Variety is the spice of life! I shared my kale and beet salad with one of "those" friends of my parents. They said it was "earthy". Um, yeah, whatever!You want a guinea pig for your tagine? Count me in! :)

  3. 3

    Kelly — May 10, 2011 @ 4:16 pm Reply

    You crack me up that you make a point to avoid these people. I have to admit I don't know many either!

  4. 4

    Caitlin Jarecki — May 10, 2011 @ 5:03 pm Reply

    I'm so glad you posted these! I put them on next week's menu after you name-dropped them in the tandoori chicken post, hoping you'd have them up before then. I'm really looking forward to them!

  5. 5

    Caitlin — May 10, 2011 @ 5:59 pm Reply

    So glad you posted these! I added them to next week's menu after you mentioned them in the chicken post, hoping they'd be up before we got there. Can't wait to try them!

  6. 6

    Jess — May 10, 2011 @ 6:58 pm Reply

    I'd eat these any day! I totally hear you about eliminating those picky eater or plain chicken sandwich people. Some I can't get rid of (like my father) and wouldn't want to, but I just don't eat as many meals w/ them!

  7. 7

    Nikk — May 10, 2011 @ 7:00 pm Reply

    I couldn't agree more. I already love your passion for discovering new tastes and textures.

  8. 8

    brandi — May 10, 2011 @ 7:03 pm Reply

    these sounds fabulous! what a fun twist on tacos!

  9. 9

    Cara — May 10, 2011 @ 7:05 pm Reply

    Thanks Nikk!

  10. 10

    shinywhiny — May 10, 2011 @ 7:11 pm Reply

    This looks great, I can't have fruit at the minute as im on an anti candida diet but I have saved it cause as soon as fruit is added this is my first meal, it looks great. Oh and cara I must thank you, I now loooooooooooooooove asparagus after trying your haloumi and asparagus recipe. yum yum!

  11. 11

    Shanon — May 10, 2011 @ 7:19 pm Reply

    i love all tacos. and yours especially. i will makes these.

  12. 12

    Dawn Hutchins — May 10, 2011 @ 8:06 pm Reply

    I think I would like to fly up right now and have this. I love each and every element of this dish.And I wish I didn't have those folks in my life but unfortunatley I know a few too many that are most certainly unadventurous/booring in their food coices. You are so right. They are missing out!!!

  13. 13

    Krystal R. — May 10, 2011 @ 8:11 pm Reply

    I had a thai curry chicken from one the gourmet lunch trucks in my area, and it's beenon my mind lately. This sounds like it with a little bit of a kick to it….love it! Can't wait to try it out!

  14. 14

    Cara — May 10, 2011 @ 8:15 pm Reply

    Thanks shiny! Glad you liked the asparagus and haloumi recipe – perhapsyou'll be adventurous enough to try my asparagus muffins next? I'm no experton the anti candida diet, but I *think* they might work for you! (You justmight have to replace the flours with a gluten-free blend.) Hope you likethe tacos too!

  15. 15

    Cara — May 10, 2011 @ 8:15 pm Reply

    I'd love to have you over to eat tacos anytime, my dear!

  16. 16

    Em — May 10, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    Crazy! I'm making these for dinner tonight! I hope mine come out as good as yours!

  17. 17

    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — May 11, 2011 @ 12:45 am Reply

    Those are some tasty sounding tacos!

  18. 18

    Joanne — May 11, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    How lucky do I feel to have actually been one of the few to have met you! SCORE. I know exactly what you mean though. Especially given how boring all of my family is when it comes to eating. I just don't need that in my life. These tacos, on the other hand? DELICIOUS! What if I swapped chicken for paneer? Oh that is so happening.

  19. 19

    Cara — May 11, 2011 @ 1:19 am Reply

    Thanks Kevin!

  20. 20

    Cara — May 11, 2011 @ 1:20 am Reply

    I'm sure they're lovable for many other reasons :) Can you believe I'venever tried paneer? I guess I better get on that!

  21. 21

    Emily — May 11, 2011 @ 1:28 am Reply

    I love being married to an adventurous eater – makes life so much more fun. This is a great concept – kind of reminds me of eating tandori chicken wrapped in naan – but lightened up!

  22. 22

    grace — May 11, 2011 @ 7:10 am Reply

    aw, i love you too, cara! :) and i LOVE this taco idea! that's a lot of flavor to be contained within a little tortilla.

  23. 23

    Barbara — May 11, 2011 @ 1:19 pm Reply

    The chicken sandwich guy's eyes would have probably popped out of his head! He would also be a total bore.I'm loving every part of this taco, Cara! Bring on the unusual and complicated flavors…I'm all for it.

  24. 24

    Amanda L. — May 11, 2011 @ 2:42 pm Reply

    Wow these look amazing! Love the combination of 2 different cuisines!

  25. 25

    megi — May 11, 2011 @ 3:32 pm Reply

    Hi Cara, I had to laugh at the avoiding part, we all have those 'chicken sandwich' people in our lives. :) I find it amusing when they see my 'weird' concoctions and try to say something positive but they simply can't! I love the tandoori chicken tacos!

  26. 26

    d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo — May 11, 2011 @ 4:39 pm Reply

    This cracked me up – I totally dated a guy like that! His favorite dessert was canned peaches! And the only time we went out to order, he ordered a chicken sandwich!! Fortunately, I found myself an adventurous eater who loves some spice :)

  27. 27

    Cassie — May 11, 2011 @ 5:00 pm Reply

    These look phenomenal. Thanks for the recipe.

  28. 28

    Bianca Garcia — May 12, 2011 @ 12:29 am Reply

    This sounds so so good! I've only recently learned to appreciate Indian food, and I definitely would want to try something like this!

  29. 29

    Kerstin — May 14, 2011 @ 8:45 pm Reply

     Well, I used to be a picky eater, so I try to understand, although it secretly drives me nuts too (especially when my mom wants to go Cheesecake Factory in every city we visit instead of trying out the local options!). These look SO flavorful and tasty – I can see why he requested these weekly!

  30. 30

    Livinlocal — May 23, 2011 @ 4:06 am Reply

    These are simply gorgeous!  In my neck of the woods, it isn't unusual at all to go weeks without turning on the oven during the sweltering summers.  These tandoori chicken tacos will be a welcomed addition to our usual fare.

  31. 31

    Bianca Garcia — June 1, 2011 @ 2:01 am Reply

    This sounds so so good! I've only recently learned to appreciate Indian food, and I definitely would want to try something like this!

  32. 32

    brandi — June 1, 2011 @ 2:01 am Reply

    these sounds fabulous! what a fun twist on tacos!

  33. 33

    Caitlin — June 1, 2011 @ 2:01 am Reply

    I'm so glad you posted these! I put them on next week's menu after you name-dropped them in the tandoori chicken post, hoping you'd have them up before then. I'm really looking forward to them!

  34. 34

    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — December 31, 2011 @ 7:40 pm Reply

    Those tandoori chicken tacos are looking really good!

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