Taj Mahal Salad

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A friend passed on the original version of this curried chicken salad, Taj Mahal Salad,  back in the ‘80’s, when the dish was popular and “trendy”.  I remember teaching my mother and grandmother how to prepare this when my grandmother was going blind from glaucoma.  Moo Moo was so proud to have a new salad to serve at the lunch parties she threw for friends and family, one that she could assemble with minimal help.

Recently, I watched Ina Garten update her version of a curried chicken salad, and decided to re-vamp my own.

Ina gave me the idea of adding mango chutney, a favorite condiment of mine. I make several big batches of mango chutney each summer, using my mother’s recipe. Right now the pantry is loaded with chutney, but it will be gone by next summer, just in time for mango season here.

In any case, and despite its corny name, this is a nice choice for a summer or early fall lunch or supper. I like to serve it with Indian or Mid-Eastern flat bread. I cook my rice in chicken stock for extra flavor and poach chicken in water with lemon juice. (Don’t forget to add the squeezed lemon halves to the poaching liquid. The lemon oil from the peel will infuse it.) One cup of raw rice yields four cups of cooked rice.

Serves 4

  • 4 cups cooked brown or white basmati rice, cooled
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cooled
  • 1-½ cup canola oil-based mayo
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ cup mango chutney
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, cut into halves
  • ½ cup chopped cashews, toasted
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. In a small skillet, toast the cashews and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine rice with the mayo, lemon zest and juice.

3. Shred the chicken into pieces, using your fingers, and add to rice mixture.

4. Stir in the curry, cumin and chutney. Blend well. Now add remaining ingredients, except for the toasted cashews.

5. Chill for at least 4 hours. Check seasoning.  Chop and add the cashews.  Serve on top of crisp greens.


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11 Responses to Taj Mahal Salad

  1. My Communal Table September 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    This looks great. I wish that you make it for my lunch today and we could chitchat over a glass of wine. Bravo!

  2. lizthechef September 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    I’d love to make it for you!

  3. lizthechef September 24, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    You are a doll, Mare – welcome home!

  4. Holly September 24, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    Wow! I just love the blog! What a wonderful site you’ve created to share! Well done and congrats!! : )

    • lizthechef September 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

      Thank you – and visit me again 😉

  5. Kelsey September 23, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    I LOVE LOVE your website!!!! Great recipes, warm feeling, great writing. Congrats!!!

    • lizthechef September 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

      Thanks so much for your visit! This really makes my day, Kelsey.

      • Mare September 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

        Liz, I just got back from Greece and saw your new blog…I love it! Great design and so personal! Just bookmarked it.

  6. Dani September 26, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Liz, your site is beautiful. It makes me want to cook again. Congratulations.

    • lizthechef September 26, 2010 at 1:29 am #

      Thanks, Dani – gosh, you, of all people, need to get back in your lovely kitchen.

    • lizthechef September 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

      Thanks, Dani – check out my Kauai post sometime – I’m ready to go back!

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