Indian Pasta Salad with Chicken
Pasta is not the first ingredient that should come to mind when you think about Indian cuisine because of course it is an Italian ingredient. However that is the beauty of fusion cooking. This Indian pasta salad offers some exciting flavors, all of which go together nicely. When combined they offer an exotic flair in what would otherwise just be a basic pasta salad.
You can find all kinds of ingredients in this Indian pasta salad which come together wonderfully. The neutral flavor of pasta along with its firm al dente texture means a spicy, aromatic dressing is sure to suit it instead of clashing. In the following recipe we are teaming our pasta and chicken breast with a fragrant Indian inspired dressing.
Taking inspiration from the classic English Coronation chicken recipe, this salad boasts plenty of exotic flair. Learn more about how British Indian cuisine began and grew and you will soon see how such dishes gained such popularity in the UK.
Serving Tips and Tweak Ideas for Indian Pasta Salad
This Indian pasta salad pairs well with a bunch or red grapes. Alternatively you could serve it over a bed of lettuce, or even just as it is for a ‘lunch in a rush’ at your desk. Feel free to tweak the ingredients. Perhaps you prefer to use turkey (or have some left over) instead of chicken. Maybe you’d like to swap the celery for green bell pepper or the slivered almonds for cashews.
You might want to use fat-free mayonnaise or even Greek yogurt instead of half the cream in this Indian pasta salad. Any of these tweaks is fine. Try swapping the sugar for ½ tablespoon of mango chutney if you have some, or throw in a pinch of chili powder to ramp up the heat. Use mild curry powder if you want a mild taste, or choose the medium or hot kind instead if you prefer.
When to Serve Indian Pasta Salad
You will find this Indian pasta salad to be wonderful for any occasion, whether you are looking for potluck salad recipes, something tasty to take along to a picnic, a nice dish to serve for lunch with bread and maybe some kind of baby leaf salad, or simply a deliciously different buffet dish.
If you’re looking for something more classic, Italian rather than fusion, you might like to compare this recipe with our pasta salad and parmesan cheese recipe.
Warm or Cold, Indian Pasta Salad is Always Good
I like to enjoy this Indian pasta salad warm but it’s also good cold. Another benefit of refrigerating it means all the flavors and ingredients are given time to mellow and combine, and the end flavor will be better. I usually can’t resist a couple mouthfuls while it’s still warm though, just because it is so tasty!
Let the chicken cool down enough to shred it though, else you might burn your fingers. Similarly the pasta needs to cool down before you stir in the creamy ingredients so the dressing doesn’t separate.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 oz (170g) uncooked pasta shells
- 4 thinly sliced celery ribs
- ½ cup (125 ml) sour cream
- ½ cup (125g) mayonnaise
- 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
- ¾ cup (75g) slivered almonds
- ¾ tablespoon white sugar, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons curry powder
- ¾ (120g) cup golden raisins
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- Simmer the chicken in water until it is cooked through, then drain it.
- Boil the pasta in the chicken-cooking water until al dente then drain it.
- Use a pair of forks to shred the chicken when it is cool enough to handle.
- Alternatively you can dice it with a sharp knife.
- Combine the other ingredients to make the dressing.
- Combine the pasta and chicken, then stir in the dressing.
- Use a silicon spatula or wooden spoon to get everything combined.
- Taste the salad and ensure it is sweet/savory/spicy enough and the balance is good.
- If not, add a little more of whatever it needs.
- Chill the salad for a few hours before serving.
Photo by: Audreys6, on Flickr