Scrumptious, spicy, Indian style baked chicken is hands down one of my favorite dinner ideas. The best part is it goes really well with any side dish of your choice. In fact, it’s one of the most customizable recipes on the planet.
While a bowl of steamed rice is more than enough to convert this chicken into a real hit, I took it one step ahead and made this fabulous cilantro rice salad. Honestly, it’s the simplest side dish you could ever imagine.
The rice salad is chock full of cilantro, green peas and crunchy toasted cashew nuts. But feel free to customize it your own way adding more of your favorite veggies or even dried fruits.
For the Indian baked chicken, marinating chicken fillets for at least 30 minutes (or overnight if you have time) will certainly bring out maximum flavor. And I highly recommend using thigh fillets in this recipe as they are the juiciest part of chicken.
All in all, this baked chicken with cilantro rice salad is the simplest way to cook a fabulous dinner for your family and friends.
Before you start, preheat oven to 200ºC. Place all the ingredients for the marinade – turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic, black pepper, paprika, red chili powder, lemon juice, natural yogurt, 1 tbsp oil and enough salt in a small bowl. Mix well to form a smooth paste.
Use 1 tbsp of the paste to marinate cherry tomatoes.
Use the rest of the paste to marinate chicken. If you want, you can leave it the refrigerator for 30 minutes or even overnight.
To seal the chicken, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over high heat. Place the chicken thighs in it in batches. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until browned.
Transfer it to a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes. Bake again for another 15 minutes. Cherry tomatoes will be ready when they soften and burst.
Now to make the rice salad, cook rice. When done, add green peas and heat through.
Stir in chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves and chopped cashew nuts. Serve Indian baked chicken with cilantro rice salad.