Chicken Tikka, Lentil, and Spinach Salad

If you associate salads with a lack of flavour, this recipe will knock you for six. In reality, it is about as far removed from a salad as a meal can be while still being called a salad. I’m no salad fan but this is one of my lunchtime staples – that’s the greatest endorsement I can give it.

Jamie Oliver provided the original inspiration for this recipe, but I have taken his creation and drastically simplified it. What’s left is a meal with a depth of flavour that defies its simplicity.

Ingredients

Serves 2, and takes about 15 mins

For the salad:

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 tsp tikka paste
  • Splash of olive or vegetable oil
  • 6 chestnut mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ 400g tin green lentils in water, drained
  • A splodge of tomato purée
  • A splash of red wine vinegar
  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Enough baby spinach to cover two plates
  • A liberal crumbling of feta cheese for each plate

For the sauce:

  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 heaped tsp mango chutney
  • 1 tsp turmeric

Throw the chicken into a frying pan over a medium heat with the oil and tikka paste. Stir to combine and cook for 2–3 mins.

Add the onion and chilli and fry for another couple of minutes.

Throw all of the other ingredients (minus the sauce, spinach, and feta) into the pan and stir to combine. Cook for 4–5 minutes.

While that’s going on, stir the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

Once the chicken is cooked through, serve on a bed of spinach. Pour the sauce over the top and finish off your masterpiece by crumbling feta over everything.

Tips and Suggestions

  • This dish uses some of the same ingredients as my Greek Chicken With Vegetable Couscous and Tzatziki. You may want to try them both!
  • While the ingredients list of this recipe is relatively long, it can be stripped back to barebones and still make a great dish. The core ingredients are chicken, tikka paste, green lentils, spinach, natural yoghurt, and mango chutney.
  • You can make loads of substitutions to match your tastes or what you’ve got to hand. Try any curry paste that takes your fancy in place of tikka paste. Use red or white onion in place of spring onions. Remove or replace any of the vegetables as you see fit. Try rocket or any other salad leaf in place of spinach.