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  • Tandoori Chicken Keema Paratha (Indian Flatbread)

    Tandoori Chicken Keema Paratha (Indian Stuffed Flatbread)

    This is as traditionally Indian as it gets and a perfect example of down-home cooking: Paratha (flatbread) is filled with a keema (minced meat) of tandoori chicken. The stuffed bread is rolled out to a thin disk, then shallow-fried in a wok or large skillet. Paratha was a staple in our Punjabi household, usually stuffed with potatoes or seasonal vegetables—so the tandoori chicken here is a little different from what is expected in a paratha. Serve with fresh yogurt and freshly churned butter and Indian pickles.

    My version of tandoori chicken is less complicated than traditional recipes because it calls for store-bought spices and seasonings. And rather than cooking the chicken in the traditional tandoor oven, I like to grill it to get a charcoal-y flavor.

    Servings & Time

    • Servings 6 parathas, serving 3
    • Prep 1 hour, plus 1 hour marinating
    • Cook 20 minutes


    For the Tandoori Chicken Keema
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1½ teaspoons salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about ½ pound)
    • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
    • 1 tablespoon tandoori masala
    • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
    • 3 tablespoons canola oil
    For the Paratha
    • 2 cups atta (whole-wheat flour)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon ghee
    • Canola oil
    • Butter, for serving


    For the Tandoori Chicken Keema

    Combine the lemon juice, salt, and turmeric in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Let the chicken marinate for 5 minutes.

    In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, ginger garlic paste, tandoori masala, and cayenne. Add to the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.

    Prepare a gas grill for medium-high heat, prepare a charcoal grill, or heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken breasts, turning and basting with the oil, until cooked through and no longer pink. (You can also bake the chicken in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.) Cool the chicken and chop in small pieces.

    For the Paratha

    In a large bowl, sift the flour with the salt. Stir in the ghee and enough water (about 1 cup) to form a fairly dry dough. Knead well for about 4 minutes to make a slightly sticky dough that holds together and has a smooth surface.

    Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 15 to 30 minutes.

    Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface and dusting the dough occasionally with flour, roll out one portion of dough to a 4-inch circle.

    Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken keema in the center of the circle.

    Bring together all the sides to the center.

    Make a ball and pinch to seal tightly.

    Dust the ball with flour and roll out to a 6-inch circle.

    Repeat to make all 6 filled paratha. (You can freeze the rolled-out paratha, separated by waxed paper and wrapped tightly; thaw before cooking. Or cover them and let sit at room temp for up to an hour.)

    Heat about 2 tablespoons canola oil in a medium nonstick skillet or small wok over medium heat. Add 1 paratha and cook, turning two or three times, until both sides are golden brown.

    Repeat to make 6 paratha, adding more oil as necessary. Serve hot with a dollop of butter.

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