Tamarind Chicken Salad with Pineapple, Bhel Puri and Cashews with Tamarind Pineapple Dressing

Gorgeous greens with pineapple make a healthy meal.

Gorgeous greens with pineapple make a healthy meal.

Angie at Fiesta Friday is kicking off the new year with a healthy recipe challenge, and I am ready! She has challenged us to come up with healthy recipes that include leafy greens and pineapple. Well leafy greens are not that difficult, but pineapple is a bit more tricky. So, after some ruminating, the ideas have really begun to flow and I am getting very excited!


I generally don’t have much time to create my own recipes (as much as I would like to), but since my brain is sizzling with so many ideas, I am going to do so for this challenge. Here is my first recipe, which is just brimming with health and flavour. You can use any sort of leafy greens for the salad which pops with flavour because of the cilantro and mint. The tamarind lends a sour, tangy flavour which is really complimented by the sweetness of pineapple and raisins. The Bhel Puri topping brings an exotic spicy, crunch to every forkful.

A couple of notes: Tamarind is sold in many forms. I use commercial tamarind puree which has some sugar added.  If you use tamarind paste, which is very thick and sticky, you will need to dilute it and add some sugar or honey.

Bhel Puri, which is a very popular Indian snack comes in many varieties as well. Some have corn flakes or  puffed rice, some have nuts and raisins, and many often come with pre-packaged hot sauces for an extra kick.  Many of the mixes are very spicy, so sprinkle the bhel puri sparingly, according to your spice tolerance. You can buy the Bhel Puri mix in all Indian markets.

I will be sharing this post at Take Two Tapas for the Saucy Saturdays link-up.

Bhel Puri is a crunchy, spicy Indian snack.

Bhel Puri is a crunchy, spicy Indian snack.

Tamarind Chicken Salad with Pineapple, Bhel Puri and Cashews with Tamarind Pineapple Dressing


2 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil


2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons honey

3 tablespoons tamarind puree *

3 tablespoons pineapple juice

¼ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper


4 cups mixed salad greens

¼ cup cilantro leaves

¼ cup mint leaves, roughly chopped

½ cup fresh pineapple pieces

¼ cup roasted cashews

¼ cup golden raisins

¼ – ½ cup Bhel Puri mix

 Salad Dressing

4 tablespoons tamarind puree *

3 tablespoons pineapple juice

2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

¾ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Makes ½ cup


Thinly slice the chicken breasts and place in a bowl with the marinade ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan. Drain the chicken from the marinade and place in the frying pan with the oil. Discard the marinade. Sauté the chicken over medium heat until it is cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow the chicken to cool.

Toss the salad greens with the cilantro leaves, chopped mint, cashews, and raisins. Divide among 4 plates. Top each salad with the chicken slices and pineapple pieces, and sprinkle with the Bhel Puri mixture. Drizzle each plate with some of the salad dressing.  Pass more Bhel Puri and dressing.

Salad Dressing:

Place the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Allow it to stand at room temperature for an hour or so to let the flavours mingle.

*See the notes above regarding tamarind puree and Bhel Puri.

Here's to your health!

Here’s to your health!


30 Responses to “Tamarind Chicken Salad with Pineapple, Bhel Puri and Cashews with Tamarind Pineapple Dressing”

  1. Les

    Making me pretty hungry here… 11:45 a.m. laying on a lounge—in front of massive waves, just after a major tropical storm.
    Koh Samui

    • chefjulianna

      Oh Les, don’t rub it in, OK? You have waves, I have a kitchen full of pineapple and leafy greens! We are on equal footing, right? 😉
      Send pics! 😀

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Suzanne! My brain is just rocking with all of the possibilities for pineapple and leafy greens. Angie has created a monster in my mind! Have a great week! 😀

  2. Maggie

    Wow. Gorgeous presentation and I love how you use the pineapple in so many different ways. Well done! This sounds lovely and makes me want to see if I can find tamarind puree

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks so much, Maggie. I got my puree in a little store that sells some Indian products, but I think I have even seen this at Walmart. There are quite a few brands. Good luck! 😀

  3. Angie | Fiesta Friday

    Excellent! I LOVE it! I bought bhel puri actually, but omg, it’s so hot! I’ll have to find a substitute. That tamarind dressing sounds incredible! You’ve really created something extraordinary here, Julianna. I hope you know that? Bravo 👏 👏

  4. chefjulianna

    Thanks so much, Angie. I will take that as a compliment! I sampled a number of types of bhel puri. I found one that was called “sweet and spicy”. It was a bit less spicy. Or the other route, is the mix that has the little packages of hot sauce in the bag with the bhel puri. I found that it is less spicy, because the sauce adds the spice. It is worth sampling a few different kinds. Good luck, and thanks again for organizing this fun event! I am obsessed with leafy greens and pineapple right now!! 😀

  5. petra08

    Delicious! What a brilliant recipe, I love the sound of the flavors going! 🙂

      • petra08

        Oh hmm mine is not quite as healthy, I might have failed the challenge! Oh well will post it tomorrow, at last 🙂 x

  6. Monika

    This salad sounds and looks really interesting, this is a prize worthy recipe, I have the feeling Angie at Fiesta Friday will agree with me:)

  7. Jhuls

    Chef Julianna, this salad sounds lovely. Anything with pineapple, I would gladly eat. 😀 Such a great recipe for the FF challenge.

  8. Sandhya

    Love this creative way of using Bhel puri- I always have a bag of it in my pantry. The tamarind dressing sounds super delicious! Such a pretty and yummy salad!
    I have to make this soon….as I am drooling here looking at your fabulous photos!


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