Appetisers, Soups & Salads/ Poultry & Meat/ Recipes

Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad

Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad /

This Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad is a celebration of salad weather. When the heat is rising and appetite’s are falling, it’s time to eat light, fresh and nutritious meals like this one. In my home, we eat this Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad as a light yet filling lunch / dinner. But, it makes an excellent side dish and even a starter, served with tortilla chips.

How to marinate and cook your chicken perfectly

This recipe calls for juicy, boneless chicken thighs, with their skin removed. I picked very Indian, kebab-like  flavours for the marinade. The chicken should be marinated for 2 hours minimum and 24 hours maximum. This time allows the spices to adhere to the chicken while the acid in the yoghurt in the marinade tenderises the flesh. The spices are the usual ones, found in every Indian pantry. Yoghurt forms the base with coriander, chillies, cumin and garam masala (all in powdered form), aamchur (dried mango powder) and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, crushed) added to it along with grated garlic and salt. This marinade is the secret behind the succulent, creamy texture of the chicken thighs.

The name Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad suggests that the chicken is cooked on a barbeque or grill, which you can choose to do; but I grilled my chicken thighs in the oven. I found that cooking them at 200 ℃  for 15 minutes on each side and then put them on the topmost rack, under the grill at 230 ℃ 5-7 minutes to get those nice, charred edges and browning. This way, the meat is cooked through without drying out and losing its chickeny juices.

Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad /

Pick the right mango for the salad

In my salad I used ripe but still firm sundari mangoes, the ones with the pink blush on their skin. Any variety that is ripe but not overripe and squishy, doesn’t have fibrous flesh and  is sweet with a slight tartness, is what you want. Mangoes that are well into ripeness, will be hard to cut into cubes and will become wet and pulpy when you mix in the dressing.

Keep the dressing simple

The dressing for this salad is creamy, tangy, garlicky and so simply yummy that it tastes like it took effort to build those flavours. All you need is Greek yoghurt or natural, full fat yoghurt drained in a piece of muslin. I used hung yoghurt (why bother buying a tub of more expensive Greek yoghurt). Making it as easy as mixing in grated garlic, cumin powder, salt pepper and a little chilli powder. To make it a little pourable, add some water or whey (from the drained yoghurt) a little bit at a time till you have the right consistency. This dressing will keep in the fridge for 5-6 days without spoiling and can be used as a dip, spread, sauce, however you’d like to eat it.

Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad /

Like many salads my Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad too has lettuce. I used cold, crunchy, fresh iceberg but I ate it cut into wedges and drizzled with dressing. I love the textural experience of  biting into chilled, crisp crescents of lettuce. Try it this way. It’s like biting into an iceberg but make it yours and eat it the way you like it – chopped or used as cups to serve the salad.

Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad /

Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad

A punchy salad of spiced grilled chicken and sweet mangoes in a cool yoghurt dressing
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marination time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Modern
Servings 4


  • 5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 large, ripe, firm mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium size head of iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges and chilled covered in the fridge
  • 1 tbsp red or green jalepeno slices
  • 20 cashewnuts, toasted
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

For the marinade

  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder (cayenne)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp roasted cumin powder
  • ½ tsp aamchur (dried mango powder)
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), crumbled
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tbsp olive oil or any vegetable oil
  • salt

For the dressing

  • 150 g Greek yoghurt or hung yoghurt drained of whey (reserve some whey to loosen the dressing)
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder or chilli flakes
  • tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried mint – leaves or powder (optional)
  • Salt


  • Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl and add the chicken thighs. Coat them well, cover the bowl and marinate in the fridge for anywhere between 2-24 hours.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge 20 minutes before grilling and allow to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 200℃, place a grilling rack over a sheet pan or a roasting pan. Place the chicken thighs on the rack making sure they're well spaced, and cook for 30 minutes, turning them over after 15 mins. Grill the chicken on the barbecue if you have one.
  • While the chicken is cooking, make the dressing by whisking the yoghurt with all the spice powders and salt. If it's too thick, use some of the drained whey to loosen it to a pouring consistency.
  • After 30 mins, raise the temperature of broiler (top coil of the oven) to 230℃ and cook the chicken for 5-7 mins till there are small char marks. Take the chicken thighs out, rest till they've cooled enough to handle and slice into large dices. They should be about the same size as the diced mango.
  • In a large salad bowl, add the chicken, jalapenos, cashewnuts, mango and chopped coriander. Add some of the yoghurt dressing and toss lightly to coat. Serve the salad with chilled iceberg wedges on the side, drizzled with the remaining dressing.

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