Griddled Chicken Escalopes with Cardamom Pilaff and Tomato Cardamom Sauce

For a fragrantly spicy meal, try Tony Tobin's recipe for chicken served with basmati rice and tomato sauce
By Tony Tobin
Griddled Chicken Escalopes with Cardamom Pilaff and Tomato Cardamom Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 10 mins resting
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 large chicken breast fillets, each sliced across to create 4 escalopes
  • vegetable oil, for brushing
  • black pepper

For the cardamom pilaff:

  • 250 g basmati rice
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods, seeds extracted and ground
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 tsp salt

For the tomato cardamom sauce:

  • 6 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 40 g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2 red chillies, chopped
  • 4 cardamom pods, seeds extracted
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • black pepper


1. First cook the tomato cardamom sauce. Heat 15g of butter in a saucepan, add the tomatoes and fry gently until softened. Pass the fried tomatoes through a fine sieve.

2. Heat the remaining 25g butter in a frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies and fry gently, stirring often, until softened.

3. Add the cardamom seeds and garam masala. Add the sieved tomato and stock.

4. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

5. Meanwhile, cook the pilaff. Rinse the basmati thoroughly in cold water to rinse out excess starch then cover with cold water and set aside to soak for 10 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Heat the butter in a medium, heavy-based, ovenproof saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry, stirring often, until they begin to brown.

7. Add the nigella seeds, cardamom seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cloves. Drain the rice and add. Pour in the water, add the salt. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan tightly.

8. Transfer the covered rice to the oven and bake it for 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

9. Ten minutes before the rice has completed cooking, brush the chicken escalopes with oil.

10. Preheat a griddle pan and griddle the chicken pieces until cooked through and browned on both sides. Season the griddled chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper.

11. Serve the chicken escalopes on a bed of pilaff rice with the tomato sauce spooned around.

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