masala-chicken-lettuce-wraps

MASALA CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

This recipe is spiced with anti-inflammatory turmeric, ginger, and cumin.

Marinating chicken in an Indian-spiced yogurt creates a tender, flavorful meat. In this dish, it’s paired with brown rice, pickled onions, and a versatile date chutney. “You can make extra chutney and use it in sandwiches or alongside pork,” says Laura Rege, a New York City-based recipe developer. 

Prep Time: 25 minutes     
Cook Time: 10 minutes               
Serves 4

FOR THE PICKLED ONION:

  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces

FOR THE DATE CHUTNEY:

  • 9 Medjool dates, pitted and cut into quarters
  • 1½ tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • ⅓ cup boiling water

FOR SERVING:

  • 4 cups steamed brown rice
  • 2 heads little gem lettuce, leaves separated
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine onion with water, cider vinegar, and ½ teaspoon sea salt and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic with ginger, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, 1 teaspoon of salt, and yogurt. Set aside ½ cup of the yogurt mixture in a small bowl. Cover the rest and refrigerate.
  3. Add chicken to the ½ cup of yogurt mixture. Toss to coat; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the dates, tamarind, ginger, cumin, and a pinch each of cayenne and salt. Pour ⅓ cup boiling water over the date mixture. Mash with a fork, until it forms a chunky paste. Set aside.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish.
  6. To serve, spoon rice and chicken into lettuce cup. Top with pickled onion and cilantro. Serve with chutney and reserved yogurt sauce for dipping.
Photography and styling by Jenny Huang