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Spicy Chicken Tacos (with an Indian twist)

Spicy Chicken Tacos are made with an Indian twist! These have the same components as a traditional Mexican taco but slightly modified with Indian flavors. A must try recipe if you love Indian food or all things tacos!

If you love Mexican as much as we do, then try our Chickpea Taco, Tilapia Tacos, Cauliflower Tacos or Potato tacos.

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a hand grabbing an indian taco from a black plate and all the taco components in the frame

SPICY CHICKEN TACOS

We love tacos around here. Be it for weeknight dinner or meal prepping, they are a family favorite! It is also a great option of entertaining, since guests gather around the table fixing their own, just the way they like it.

Tacos gotta top the list for a family friendly weeknight favorite dinner idea. These have the same components as a traditional Mexican meal but slightly modified with an Indian twist <— familiar yet different!

They are super simple but delicious and full of flavor! They aren’t fussy and don’t have a lot of layers. You could add avocado, a sprinkle of cotija cheese or a squeeze of lime if you’d like. The creaminess of the sauce compliments the spicy meat and zesty pico perfectly. You can top them off with your favorite salsa, sour-cream or our popular creamy cilantro sauce.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE?

  1. Stovetop Meal. Simple, quick and easy made in a non-stick or cast iron skillet.
  2. Customizable. Add any and all of your suggested or your favorite Tex-Mex toppings to make these your own.
  3. Flavorful. These are jazzed up with a combination of Indian spices (which are almost similar to Mexican), an unbelievably good quick herb sauce and pico de gallo.
  4. Easy to Make Ahead. Do you like to meal prep? This filling works perfectly for salads or burrito bowls and is delicious as leftovers.

HOW TO CHAR TORTILLAS?

Before you load them up with your favorite fillings, warming tortillas is a must for a good Mexican experience! It will make them soft and pliable to be hand held. You can easily cook them using open flame, microwave or skillet.

  1. Open flame – Turn your gas burner to medium-low and using tongs, place tortilla, one at a time, directly over the flame. As soon as it starts to brown, give a quick flip to color the other side and then take off heat.
  2. Cast iron or stainless steel skillet – Place tortilla in a hot skillet, for about 15 to 30 seconds on each side. You want to look for few browned or darkened spots on both sides.
  3. Microwave – Stack about 5 tortillas on a microwave safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel.  Microwave for about 20 seconds, then repeat at 10 second intervals if needed until warmed through.
  4. Oven:  Stack about 5 tortillas and wrap them in foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

HOW TO KEEP TORTILLAS WARM

Once your tortillas are warmed, keep them warm and pliable by wrapping them in a clean kitchen towel. You can also stack them on a plate and cover with a kitchen towel.

BREAST OR THIGHS?

You can use whatever you have on hand. However, we highly recommend thighs, since they are moist, juicy, don’t dry out and tends to be less expensive than breasts.

HOW MUCH CHICKEN DO I NEED FOR TACOS?

This recipe makes 8, and I get one pound of boneless, skinless thighs. Feel free to adjust the amount of meat you purchase depending on how many people you’re serving.

COMPONENTS

  1. Spicy filling – Chopped boneless, skinless thighs are tossed with Indian spices and cooked in a skillet.
  2. Corn tortillas – Charred over open flame
  3. Pico de Gallo – Chopped onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeños, lime juice and salt
  4. Creamy mint-cilantro sauce – Cilantro lime sauce made easier and with the addition of mint

PRO TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Thighs cooks up tender and juicy, however boneless, skinless breasts can used.
  • Charred corn tortillas is optional, but it makes the tortilla pliable and helps in adding a touch of complex flavors. Keep them wrapped in a clean kitchen towel until serving time.
  • Both cayenne and jalapeños can be adjusted depending on your spice level.

Toppings Ideas

You can top with anything your heart desires. There really is no right or wrong way to add toppings as long as you have the delicious filling and the creamy sauce to marry it all together.

  • Lettuce: chopped Romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce
  • Tomatoes: chopped roma tomatoes instead of pico de gallo.
  • Pico de galloYou can use my homemade pico de de gallo recipe or store bought. It can be made ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. 
  • Avocado Crema
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced Avocados
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese: You can also garnish with Cotija or queso fresco. 
  • Cilantro: Chopped fresh cilantro makes it pretty and fresh.
  • Hot Sauce: Add more heat
  • Cilantro Sauce: Instead of the creamy sauce in the given recipe
  • Jalapenos: you can also amp up the heat with chopped or sliced jalapeños.   
  • Fresh squeeze of lime juice.
2 black plates with spicy chicken tacos, a blue bowl with pico de gallo and more spicy chicken
a cast iron skillet with indian spicy chicken garnished with lemon wedges and cilantro

HOW TO MAKE?

  1. Make filling – Toss diced boneless, skinless thighs with coriander, cayenne, turmeric, salt and ginger garlic paste. Cook in a skillet with some vegetable oil, until cooked through.
  2. Pico de gallo – Stir finely chopped onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeños, lime juice and salt together.
  3. Mint-cilantro sauce – Stir together yogurt, mayonnaise, minced mint, cilantro, jalapeños, lime juice and salt together.
  4. Char corn tortillas – Cook tortillas over open flame, until slightly charred on both sides.
  5. Assemble – Top each charred tortilla with some cooked filling, pico de gallo and a drizzle of mint-cilantro sauce.

What goes well with these? GOOD SIDES?

So many options for side dishes. I like to serve cilantro lime rice, spicy cilantro rice, fresh pico de Gallo, refried beans, air fried corn on the cob or air fryer nachos . Quick, easy, and so delish!

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS?

Cooked and cooled filling can be refrigerated for up to 4 days (reheat in microwave before using) or frozen in a sealed zip lock bag for up to a month (thaw overnight in refrigerator and heat in microwave until heated through).

Mint-cilantro sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days in a covered container. Pico de gallo can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days in a covered container.

HOW TO MAKE AHEAD?

This is a great dinner idea to make ahead for a busy week ahead or for entertaining. Spicy filling, Sauce and Pico de gallo can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Warm tortillas day just before serving.

CAN THIS BE FROZEN?

Sure can! The filling is great frozen for up to a month. Homemade Pico de gallo can be frozen as well, but the tomatoes tends to get softer as they thaw, but still be delicious.

HOW TO REHEAT?

Defrost meat in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in microwave, until warmed through. You can also reheat in a skillet with a tablespoon of water, so they they don’t dry out.

2 black plates with chicken tacos, a blue bowl with pico de gallo and more spicy chicken

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How many calories in a serving?

There are 301 calories in each taco.

What are the spices used?

Common Indian spices like coriander, cayenne, turmeric powders along with ginger garlic paste, mint, cilantro, lime juice are used to make an Indian filling.

How many tacos do you need per person?

We usually need 2 for a not too hungry adult.

More Creative Indian Recipes to try for Dinner:

spicy chicken taco on a black plate

MORE TACO RECIPES TO TRY:

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Spicy Chicken Tacos (with an Indian twist)

Spicy Chicken Tacos (with an Indian twist)

Yield: 8 Tacos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

Spicy Chicken Tacos are made with an Indian twist! These have the same components as a traditional Mexican taco but slightly modified with Indian flavors. A must try recipe if you love Indian food or all things tacos!

Ingredients

Spicy Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (add more or less depending on your spice level)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or use 1 teaspoon grated ginger + 2 garlic cloves, grated)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste (I used 3/4 tsp)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Mint-Cilantro Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain thick yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup minced mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeños pepper, minced (remove seeds to make it less spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water 

Additional ingredients

  • 8 small corn or flour tortillas
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sliced jalapeños (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions

Make Spicy Chicken


1. Add chicken and all other ingredients (under spicy chicken), except vegetable oil into a medium bowl and toss well until evenly combined. Let marinade for about 10 minutes (begin cooking, if pressed for time).

2. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat with vegetable oil. Add chicken in a single layer and cook for about 3 minutes, until golden brown, turn over, stir in 1/4 cup water and cook for additional 2 to 4 minutes or until cooked through and no water remains. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

(Make pico de gallo, mint-cilantro sauce and char tortillas while the chicken is marinating/cooking)

Make Pico de Gallo


Toss all pico de gallo ingredients together in a small bowl.

Make mint-cilantro sauce


Stir all mint-cilantro sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, until evenly combined (add enough water to make sauce slightly thinner, DON'T MAKE IT WATERY)

Char tortillas


Char tortillas on the stovetop over the flame, until lightly charred on both sides.

Assemble tacos


Place about 1/3 cup cooked chicken on each tortilla and top with few tablespoons of pico de gallo and drizzle of the mint-cilantro sauce. Top with more jalapeños and cilantro, if desired.

Notes

How to char tortillas - Turn your gas burner to medium-low and using tongs, place tortilla, one at a time, directly over the flame. As soon as it starts to brown, give a quick flip to color the other side and then take off heat. Alternatively, you can cook tortillas in a cast iron skillet – Place tortilla in a hot cast iron skillet, for about 15 to 30 seconds on each side. You want to look few browned or darkened spots on both sides. Keep them warm wrapped in a clean kitchen towel.

Storage instructions - Cooked and cooled chicken taco filling can be refrigerated for up to 4 days (reheat in microwave before using) or frozen in a sealed zip lock bag for up to a month (thaw overnight in refrigerator and heat in microwave until heated through).Mint-cilantro sauce and pico de gallo can be refrigerated for up to 2 days in a covered container.

Chicken thighs : Chicken thighs cooks up tender and juicy, however boneless, skinless chicken breasts can used.

Both cayenne and jalapeños can be adjusted depending on your spice level.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 547mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 18g

I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com.. Although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact sources and algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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