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Tandoori & Yogurt Chicken Tostadas with Quick Pickled Onion

Tandoori & Yogurt Chicken Tostadas with Quick Pickled Onion

We are all trying to feed our hunger. If it’s not our physical stomach-growling hunger, it’s the brain’s belly yearning for peace, inspiration, or simply something to look forward to. We have emotional hunger that is almost always trying to lasso the particular brand of connectivity that our diverse cocktail of atoms require. We yearn for authentic connection versus the artificial kind summated by swipes, likes, and thumbs. Our hearts starve without belonging. Our eyes have their own type of desire, needing to lock with another pair and feel seen. The list of ways in which we feed our being is endless. We are simple, yet complex. Needing only the basics to survive but a plethora of satisfactions to thrive.

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I keep reiterating that “cooking is about more than making a meal” and I believe it. It is the ethos my passions circle. Our bodies must be fed but our souls need nourishment, too. I love the idea that sitting around the dinner table for a meal could potentially embody both the body and the soul. The food satisfying our basic needs but the intention and tone at the table altering vibrational frequencies that transcend just the stomach. Maybe we can get a little bit enlightened, if we are lucky.

When I feel as if my creative energies are low in the kitchen, I am learning to not attempt the pièce de la résistance, but rather embrace simple. Straightforward cooking allows space for the soul work that can happen when we sit with our families and engage. A simple meal can be delicious and give back the gift of time. Fewer dishes, less mess, great flavor maintained, and the opportunity to serve our deepest selves.

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Tandoori and yogurt chicken tostadas have become one of those simple go-to’s when I need to eat something delicious, make something easy, and allow myself the freedom to simply be. Recently, I have found myself receiving lovely bursts of creative energy immediately followed by low points of feeling like I have nothing to offer and the imprint I will leave behind will be a small stack of post-it ramblings rather than the epic adventure I have always envisioned. Between the waves and in the lulls, I don’t want to think about what I am going to eat or feed my family. I need it to be mindless. And I refer to my backlog of staples and put the record on repeat for awhile until the tide returns.

Tandoori paste is like a healing balm for my exhausted energies. It is exciting and it’s easy to throw it on just about any protein or vegetable. Although my tandoori tostadas are clearly not the traditional tandoori dish, this recipe is still a fast track to flavor and delight. Few ingredients, little time, and my kids will eat it. Bonus, bonus, bonus.

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I hope you give this simple recipe a try. Give yourself a break on making a dinner with eight side dishes and embrace the uncomplicated with tandoori chicken tostadas. Don’t forget that you are beautifully complex but your meals don’t necessarily have to be. No compromise on flavor! Allow yourself the freedom to check in with your soul and see if the deeper hungers are being fed so you can be a happier and healthier you. Cheers, Taste Buds.

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Tandoori & Yogurt Chicken Tostadas

Yield: 8- 10
Author: Jess Chamberlain
prep time: cook time: total time:


  • 3.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 2 cups full fat Greek yogurt, plain
  • 4 tbsp tandoori paste (I like Neera's Spicy Grilling Paste)
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil (I use olive or coconut)
  • 10 corn tostada shells
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers, sliced thin
  • Tamarind paste for drizzling on top of the tostada
  • 1 lime cut into wedges to squeeze on top
  • 1 red onion, cut into small slivers and quick-pickled (see side not below)


How to cook Tandoori & Yogurt Chicken Tostadas

  1. Dry the chicken thighs thoroughly and coat with 2 tbsp of the tandoori paste.  Place oil in a heated pan, skillet, or dutch oven (medium high heat). Let the oil get hot and then place in the chicken thighs, not over crowding so you get a good sear on the chicken.  You want to brown the outside of the thighs really well, so don't turn it too quickly.  Once the chicken thighs have a good sear all around, add the chicken broth, bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low so it can simmer for a good 40 minutes. ***If you want to simplify this even more, forget about cooking your own chicken thighs in broth and just pickup some rotisserie chickens and remove the meat. Also delicious***
  2. Meanwhile, take the other 2 tbsp of tandoori paste and mix well with the Greek yogurt.  Once the chicken is done cooking, strain the broth (and of course save this for another meal) and let it rest for 10 minutes before turning it in the yogurt and tandoori mixture. 
  3. Assemble the tostada by placing about a 1/2 a cup (or more for the hungry ones) at the center of the tostada.  I like to top mine with cilantro, quick-pickled onions, thinly sliced Serrano peppers, a squeeze of lime, and a drizzle of tamarind sauce. You could also add avocado, queso fresco, grilled jalapeños, or fajita vegetables to the top with pico de Gallo.  Top any way you like! 
Quick-Pickled Red Onion
  1. 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  2. 1 cup filtered water
  3. 1/4 cup sugar or simple syrup
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 red onion, thinly sliced 
  6. Slice the onions, place them in a mason jar or canning jar, whisk the other ingredients together and pour over the onions. You can make this one hour ahead or a few days and let it sit in the fridge. The longer it sits, the tangier the onions get.  I usually double the batch and just have it in the fridge on hand to throw on top of breakfast tacos. 
Created using The Recipes Generator
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