Thursday, June 14, 2012

Curried Chicken Salad

Back when I was working (I've been "on sabbatical" for almost 3 years now!), I think I was the only one in my campus who was all enthu about (at least some of) the cafeteria food. Every Monday, Chef Dave would send out the menu for the week and I'd eagerly scour the menu to see what was interesting. Wednesdays were ethnic foods days (his chana masala was way better than mine, I must add) and Fridays were fried food. Salads, soups and deli stations were available everyday and there were deli specials each week. One of his specials was curried chicken salad in a mango chutney/relish smeared spinach wrap, that was one of my favorites. Delicately flavored chicken salad with raisins for sweetness and roasted nuts for added crunch (not to forget nutrition & flavor) and that sweet-spicy mango chutney spread which took it up a notch or two, for sure. Chef Dave was kind enough to share his recipe with me, which (me being me) I cannot find. Below is an effort to recreate it. The greek yogurt sub for mayo is my own thing. Chef Dave would use only real mayo, of course! :) And you could easily substitute the chicken with chopped hard-boiled eggs for a delicious curried egg salad and have it the same way. Or as my sis added, chopped boiled potatoes for a nice potato salad.

Curried Chicken Salad


1 cup chopped cooked chicken (I used pre-cooked chicken strips, chopped)
1 stalk of celery, chopped thin
1 tsp minced yellow onion
1 tbsp shredded carrot
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp walnuts or cashewnuts, chopped (optional)
1 tsp garam masala/curry powder
a pinch of turmeric
a dash of lime juice
2 tbsp mayonnaise (or the seasoned greek yogurt substitution mentioned below)
salt and pepper to taste


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
If using yogurt instead of mayo, whisk the yogurt with a dash of lime, sugar and salt. Then mix in along with the rest.

For the sandwich:
Spread some mango chutney on a toasted slice of bread.
Place mixed greens/lettuce/spinach and tomato slices on top of another slice. Top with the chicken salad and the mango chutney smeared slice.

Or wrap the chicken salad in a whole wheat tortilla smeared with some mango chutney goodness. Add shredded lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and whatever else you please, basically.


Kannada Cuisine said...

Me too on a 'sabbatical' for almost 3 years now ;)..the sandwich looks good!

Priya said...

Wow droolworthy and irresistible salad.

Arch said...

Nice combination...would love a sandwich like that !
And ya, tell me about sabbaticals...*sigh*

Bong Mom said...

Wow..this salad is really, really good. All my good cafeteria days ended in India. Except for the first work place none other had a good cafeteria :(

I am going to try this for sure. Which pre-cooked ch.strip do you buy ? I have not bought any and always wondered how they taste.

S said...

And my one and half year sabbatical is driving me up the wall already! Love the choice of yoghurt over the mayo .. looks very very tempting. Would love to try with the eggs ... would dryish chichen from homemade curry work?

Vani said...

KC, Priya, Arch - thanks, guys :)

San - will check the brand name the next time (not Purdue for sure) but it is one of those plain grey/brown cardboard boxed, vacuum sealed chicken, comes in grilled and seasoned varieties. And it is usually in the luncheon meats section. Will msg you when I have the name.

S- yeah I think that would work well too. Do let me know if you tried it, though, so I know for next time :)

Vani said...

San - the pre-cooked chicken I mentioned is called Natural Choice by Hormel. No preservatives. I generally use them in salads for protein and in quesadillas. Made a chicken curry using that once and it was not bad, but not great either. Perhaps the seasoned chicken might work better there.