Indian spiced barbecue chicken with spinach, mango & avocado salad

To be completely consistent I am again posting this while lying in bed (I must be seeming like the most lazy person in the universe…), but this time it’s from Shanghai! It is -1˚ outside, windy and a bleak, cold morning, so I’m not feeling any great inclination to leap out of bed. This is the final leg of my trip – in the last 12 days I have traveled from Auckland to Shanghai, Berlin, Amsterdam, Berlin, and back to Shanghai and tomorrow night we head home to Auckland. Everywhere I have been I have walked and walked, exploring, eating, shopping (a little) and endlessly taking photos. The Amsterdam leg was frustratingly difficult as I had a rotten cold and temperature while I was there, but that couldn’t dull the excitement of being in Holland for the first time. I have eaten (and learned to make) Chinese dumplings, scoffed German butter cake, meatballs and currywurst, Dutch olliebollen, stroopwaffel and apple cake, drunk vats of coffee and enjoyed a tipple or two – basically I will be waddling home…! It has been fantastic – there really is nothing like travel for creative inspiration – but now I am ready to get home to my lovelies, to see Henry before he flies out to his new home in Melbourne (he tells me I really must stop calling it a ‘trip’, he is actually moving there…), and to see Rich for his last two weeks before moving to Wellington to go to university. Omfg (as the kids would say), its going to be an actual empty nest. I’m not going to dwell on that too deeply now, but no doubt once the reality kicks in it will be a different story.

In the meantime, and to stop myself blathering on, hows about this recipe I did for Fairfax then!? It is a fab Indian spiced barbecue chicken, with a simple spinach salad with sweet mango, creamy avocado, fresh mint, a little chilli kick and a refreshing yoghurt dressing. Tuck the spicy chicken and fresh salad into a piece of Indian bread and the combination is bloody delicious! For the southern hemisphere you can take it outside and barbecue the chicken for a great summer dinner, while in the north the spice can add a bit of heat to a freezing cold evening. Wherever you are, I hope you give it a go at some stage, it’s just too easy and tasty not to! Next time, it’ll be business as usual and I’ll be posting from my normal bed at home!!! See you soon πŸ™‚

Indian barbecue chicken
Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
ΒΌ cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup high smoke point flavourless oil such as Rice Bran
12-14 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2/3 cup mango chutney (I used Barkers Peach & Mango chutney)
Indian flatbreads to serve

3 limes, halved

Put spices, honey, lime juice garlic, tomato sauce and ΒΌ cup oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Trim chicken thighs and slice in half. Place in marinade, stir to coat, cover and leave for 1 hour or up to over night. Heat the barbecue to medium hot and brush the hot plate or grill with a little remaining oil. Cook the chicken 6-7 minutes each side or until cooked through (slice to check that there is no pink remaining). Heat flatbreads for 5 minutes, either in the oven or by popping on a spare bit of grill plate, then serve immediately with chicken, salad, mango chutney, lime halves and Indian flatbreads.

Mango, Spinach and Avocado Salad
Serves: 6
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: –
1 cup plain yoghurt
Β½ teaspoon cumin
finely grated zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp lime juice
2 teaspoons runny honey
1/3 cup coriander leaves
1/3 cup mint leaves
6 cups spinach leaves
1 large avocado, sliced
1 mango, cut into 2cm cubes
2 spring onions, finely sliced

Β½ red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

Put yoghurt, cumin, lime zest and juice and honey in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss herbs with spinach and layer onto a serving plate with avocado, mango and spring onions. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with chilli and remaining herbs to serve.



  1. I don't blame you for staying in bed Sarah – I am not good with the cold weather and that is certainly something I don't have to worry about living in Western Australia.
    This dish will be perfect for our balmy summer evenings and avocado and mango is one of my very favourite combinations.Another great recipe – thank you.
    Travel is wonderful but I must say there is nothing like walking in your front door after a trip away ☺☺

  2. My goodness this is delicious! The fresh sweet mango with the hum of spices is fantastic and such a great healthy way to eat indian flavours. I absolutely loved and devoured it!

  3. I just tried your recipe and it was delicious. My husband didn't leave enough for me! Btw, your presentation of the food looks amazing, mine didn't turn the same way.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it – and with the presentation I think there is a bit of a knack to it – I have been doing food styling for years. Was there any particular thing that you would have liked to look different? Salads tend to look best when layered into the serving bowl, not tossed – don't know if that helps!? πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Sarah, This looks amazing – which flatbreads tdid you use or recommend. In the picture looks like Paratha?
    thanks, Karen

    1. Hi Karen, thanks, and yes I did use paratha, which always makes me feel a bit guilty – not the most healthy option, but most definitely delicious! πŸ™‚

  5. Sarah, I made this last night and it was AMAZING – lolled as I made my husband cook the chicken on the BBQ in the cold rain! Used Paratha and it was amazing – kids thought it was great too. Thank you for sharing!

  6. We had this for dinner tonight – fabulous! so easy & all the kids liked it! will be going into the regular rotation – thank you!

  7. so so so good! assumed you meant ketchup not tomato paste as you listed ‘tomato sauce’? Did the ketchup even though I wasnt sure but wrong or right it was DELICIOUS!
    We ate this with the mango chutney you suggested and also had mango pickle as an option as we love lime pickle and the family scoffed it. Also used mini rotis heated on the stove and ate them taco style.
    One of the best recipes I have tried in years. Cant wait to make this/share this with everyone! Great job

    1. Woah, yay I am so glad you enjoyed it – and you were absolutely right to use ketchup (what we call tomato sauce here). Thanks so much for your lovely message πŸ™‚

      1. Just came back to check if you replied and realised you did the same day! Whoops.
        Made this again for my brother and his fiance, they absolutely loved it and asked for the recipe. Its such a genius delicious yet simple to make dish. I marinate the night before and then everything comes together so quickly once it comes to cooking time!
        If you make this for yourself again, try it with the mango pickle instead of real mango – really adds a zesty kick!

        1. Thanks so much Stevie – and I’ll definitely give the mango chutney a go! πŸ™‚

  8. This looks so delicious. It is an adventurous dish to try Indian barbecue chicken with mango salad. Excited to try this new twist to traditional tandoori chicken. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  9. This looks so delicious! It is adventurous to try Indian barbecue chicken with mango salad. Excited to try this new twist to traditional tandoori chicken. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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