Tandoori masala or tandoori spice is a fragrant and earthy spice mix originating from India and most commonly associated with the tandoor method of cooking. Exact mixtures vary quite a bit from region to region, but some of the most common spices found are cumin, turmeric, cayenne, coriander, ginger and garlic. To simplify this recipe, the use of a prefabricated tandoori spice mix is used, but of course, if you have the means and desire to, nothing beats a homemade spice mix. As is traditional with most tandoori chicken recipes, the meat is marinated in the yogurt that it eventually gets cooked with before it is dredged in a chopped almond and almond flour crust and fried until crispy. Served with a bright and sweet mango chutney, aside from being delicious, this recipe is also free of any processed white flour and, therefore, gluten-free.
Almond Crusted Tandoori Chicken Strips 6 Steps
Slice the chicken breast into strips approximately 2 finger widths thick. In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt with the minced garlic, tandoori spice, as well as kosher salt and mix well. Toss over the chicken strips to coat well, cover and allow to marinate overnight in the fridge.
Prepare the mango chutney: heat a small sauce pot on medium, add in the olive oil and then the minced shallots. Cook for 1 minute or until the shallot begins to brown lightly and soften. Add in the ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, cayenne pepper, sugar, crystallized ginger as well as the bay leaf. Cook for another 2 minutes or so until the spices become fragrant. Add in the water as well as vinegar and bring to a boil, in the meantime peel and seed the mango. Dice the flesh of the mango into 3/4 cm cubes (you should have about 1-1 ½ cups total) add to the simmering water and spices and cook for another 45-50 minutes until the mangos have softened and the chutney is thick. Remove the bay leaf, and using a potato masher or hand held immersion blender, puree until smoother if desired or leave chunky. Roughly chop the cilantro and fold in. The chutney can be kept in a glass jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
To fry the chicken tenders: bring enough neutral oil in a heavy bottomed pot to come up 2 inches in height on the side. Bring the oil up to 360°F.
Place the sliced almonds into a food processor and pulse until they are about the size of small lentils. Mix together with the almond flour in a shallow bowl and set aside.
While the oil is coming up to temperature, remove the marinating chicken fingers from any excess yogurt marinade by gently wiping off with a paper towel. Be sure to not wipe all of the yogurt marinade off from the chicken as it is what will help the almond crust adhere. Lightly season the chicken fingers with salt and then dredge in the almond and almond flour mixture until each chicken piece is evenly covered.
Carefully fry the chicken fingers in the oil for 2-3 minutes or until cooked and evenly browned, remove from the oil and allow to drain on a wire rack lined baking sheet. Serve immediately with the mango chutney.