If you’ve been following my blog for a while you can probably see by now that I love putting food in edible ‘cups’, whether it’s lettuce, cabbage, pita, spinach leaves, pastry or pappadums, I just love piling all of the yummy textural ingredients into another textural ingredient and trying to take a bite without making the worlds biggest mess; which is impossible. But that’s part of the fun, neat eating is boring.
This is a great weeknight meal as you can just pick up a barbecue chook on your way home and whip this up in no time. Of course you could cook the chicken yourself too if you like; shredded poached chicken breasts work well. You will also need a microwave for the pappadums if you want to do it quickly. You can deep fry them too but I prefer the microwave method as it keeps them lower in fat. Come to think of it, I think pappadums are the only thing I ever use the microwave for! Use any colour of quinoa that you like, or even replace it with another pulse, legume or grain if that’s what you’ve got in the cupboard.
1 BBQ chicken, flesh and skin removed, shredded
3 tsp curry powder
2 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs black mustard seeds
1/2 cup tarragon leaves
3 tsp garam masala
2 long red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups quinoa (red is best in my opinion)
1/2 cup green split peas
3-4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
Punnet of cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 shallots, finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped cashews
Pappadums (cooked to packet instructions)
Combine the chicken in a bowl with the curry powder and some salt and pepper. Use hands to rub into the chicken and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat and cook the mustard seeds, stirring, for about 3mins or until they start to pop.
Reduce heat to medium, add the onion, garlic and chilli, cook for another 5mins or until soft.
Add the garam masala and half of the tarragon leaves and cook, stirring, for 1 min, or until fragrant.
Add the quinoa, split peas and 3 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for about 20-30mins or until quinoa and peas are cooked and the liquid is absorbed. If liquid absorbs before the quinoa and peas are cooked, add some more stock and continue cooking.
Meanwhile, for the salad, combine the spinach, parsley, tomatoes, shallots, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Toss lightly to combine and set aside.
Once, quinoa mixture is cooked and liquid has absorbed, stir through the curried chicken and turn out onto a serving plate or bowl. Scatter with the other half of the tarragon and the cashews.
Serve with the salad, pappadums and yoghurt.