Dear Reader, if you don't like a meal, do you mention verbalise it? Mr NQN and I were in a restaurant recently. It was one of those squishy restaurants where tables almost touched and we felt like we were dining with the table next to us. Every byte of their conversation seemed as though it required an answer from us because they were so close and once the mains arrived, the table near us started eating and then critiqued each dish. We felt as if we were getting a preview of our meal.
"That's waaaay too salty. I need a drink."
"There's just too much cheese there. It's so greasy!"
"Ewww! That pork belly is so fatty! I can feel the pounds creeping on."
Apart from the fact that pork belly is always going to be a fatty cut, we were entertained by their antics particularly when the waiter came by to pick up the plates (which looked licked clean). He asked them how the food was.
"It was amazing! SO delicious. Perfect..." they cooed smiling and as he left one said "No need to bum him out right?"
Ever since then, worried that the same thing will happen to me, I ask Mr NQN several times if he likes what I've cooked. "Be honest" I will say, fretful that he is trying to spare my feelings. Like this dish. I was determined to make a healthier tandoori chicken (which is actually quite healthy anyway) and pair it with a three ingredient paleo naan made using coconut milk, tapioca flour and almond meal. My trainer Nina had recommended it to me unreservedly and I was intrigued to try it.
The chicken was easy enough and requires mostly marinating in the fridge overnight. There's no need to buy pre - made tastes for tandoori chicken and you may possibly have all of the ingredients in your spice cupboard anyway. The naan was delicious -not exactly like a puffy bready naan but no less delicious.
The naan dough mix takes less than a minute to create but I will warn of one thing, frying them takes about eight minutes even on the highest heat. By the time that your chicken is cooked, your naan will be made and I just served it with some baby spinach leaves so that we could make wraps with the chicken, naan and some home made minted yogurt.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you tell waitstaff if you don't enjoy your food and explain why or do you prefer to not go into it at the restaurant? And have you ever written a complaint or compliment letter or email?
Healthy Tandoori Chicken & 3 Ingredient Naan
Healthy Tandoori Chicken
- 3 chicken breasts or 5 thighs (breasts have less fat but thighs are juicier and have more flavour)
- 1 cup natural yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
- Red and yellow food colouring (if desired)
Step 1 - Cut the chicken up into small pieces that you can thread onto skewers or keep the pieces whole. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a container and coat the chicken pieces in the yogurt marinade. Marinate overnight.
Step 2 - Preheat oven to 230C/446F. Line a baking tray with foil to make cleaning easier and place a rack above this. Roast the chicken for 25 minutes or until done.
3 Ingredient Paleo Naan
Adapted from My Heart Beets
- 1 cup thick part of coconut milk (see note below about using regular milk)
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- Oil or ghee for frying
Step 1 - Heat a frypan on high heat. Meanwhile mix the three ingredients together with a spoon. Pour into a jug.
Step 2 - If you have a good non stick pan, I don't think you would even need to use oil but if yours sticks a little, add a teaspoon of ghee or oil. Pour the batter into the pan-make it as small or large as you like but one warning, each naan takes about 8 minutes to cook in total so it depends on how much time you have. That's the only downside about this recipe.
Step 3 - When the bottom has become golden and crispy, turn over.
Note: if you are using regular milk, it is thinner than coconut milk so the batter is much runnier and the resulting texture is a stretchy naan but it does cook slightly quicker than the coconut version. Cook the batter on high heat on a good (as in very non stick) non stick pan without any oil and make sure that they're about 10 cms/4 inches in diameter and not too large.