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Cast iron canteen

Tandoori chicken couscous salad


This one is so simple, yet nicely packed with flavour.

I’ve been working on quite a few salad recipes lately, ones with bulgur and quinoa too.  Salads for breakfast, as well as other meals.  This salad here is the first one in the series that’s coming.  And I’m delighted it’s so easy to make.

I lost my sense of taste and smell when I got sick at the end of last week. This dish does a good deal to open my senses back up, but still I had to wait until I had a reasonable amount of judgment to be able to tell whether this one works or not.

And it works!

I really love substantive salads, they make meal time so easy. They’re easy to prep ahead and they hold for days, thus freeing yourself from making a decision about your meals for at least as long as the salad holds out. Of course, they’re still salads so you’re never like, “Oh yay, I have salad sitting in my fridge, I can’t wait to eat for lunch.”  Maybe I’ll be there someday.  This salad gets me at least one step closer.

I also want to say that in these first few months of experimentation, I’m trying to find the right combination and style of posting as well as frequency that works with my schedule. I appreciate so much those of you who’ve already signed up to get my email updates or follow me on social media. That’s awesome, and your early commitment will surely payoff when my blog grows into the vision I have for it. Ahhh, dreams are so nice to have.

This week has been hard to concentrate, first with getting sick, second with containing my excitement about the fact that my parents are visiting this weekend!  This means putting some blood, sweat and tears (not joking about all three) into this 1902 home.  Instead of really making a “honey do” list of everything that needs to be done with this place (I can’t have it on my conscience the murder of an entire forest for the reams of paper necessary to contain such a list), we are going to weatherproof our shed.

It is an old super-ugly shed.  It was built with whatever “extra” materials they had laying around. The roof they put on is too heavy for the almost flat grade that is is.  I will hopefully get around to posting some before and afters, not that the after will be much of a visual improvement, but at least the weather won’t ruin everything inside of the shed.  That is the goal.  And the grapevine is very dead, smells like rot, so it will be going too, even though it is a charming substitute for a pergola.

New fence needed on the right side in due time as well….


So that we all don’t have to live with the chaos of the backyard, I have given into a tacit agreement that no grill will be purchased and moved into the space until the backyard is fixed up and usable.  There are 5 (and a half) of us living in the house, separated into 3 separate units.

What I really want to get out of it (ultimately) is usable space–maybe a permanent photography set-up for Cast Iron Canteen (permanent for summer, at least).  And some eating space, the grill, it will be a little slice of oasis someday.

So now you tell me: What are you most looking forward to doing outdoors at home this year with your friends and family?  Are you thinking about making any changes to your outdoor space?  What’s the most important aspect of your backyard (or balcony) space for you and your family?

As you can see in the case of my awful backyard, the potential is enormous, my time is all precious….and as such, perfect for eating a salad, since I don’t have time to cook more than necessary!

Here’s the recipe….

Tandoori chicken couscous salad
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Simple and flavourful couscous salad with Indian spices
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tandoori masala spice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoons crushed red chilies
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 cup dry couscous
  • ⅓ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Heat olive oil and onion in frying pan over medium heat. Add the tandoori, turmeric and red chilies and stir. Add the chicken and finish cooking, approximately 15 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan bring one cup of water to boil. Immediately remove from heat. Add one cup of couscous and stir just until all couscous is wet. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.
  3. Combine chicken and onion mixture, couscous, goat cheese, dried cranberries, and parsley until ingredients are all evenly distributed. Mix in two tablespoons of olive oil. Serve immediately.


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