Mango chilli chicken

This fragrant chicken dish from the Red Hot Chilli Cookbook combines the sweetness of mango with traditional Indian spices
Mango chilli chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus 2 hrs marinading
  • Effort: medium


For the chicken

  • 1 tsp mixed peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 200 g fresh mango, diced
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 small habanero chilli, or another very hot chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil, if required
  • 4 large, skinless chicken breasts

For the caramelised lime, mint and yogurt dip

  • 1 tsp groundnut oil
  • 1 lime, quartered, plus extra lime zest to garnish
  • 300 g plain yogurt
  • few fresh mint leaves

For the green chilli bhajis

  • 500 ml sunflower oil
  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4 tbsp nigella seeds
  • 4 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 4 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100 g green chillies, finely chopped
  • 60 g plain yogurt
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 250 g gram flour
  • 250 g cornflour
  • 3 tbsp hot curry powder

Tips and Suggestions

This marinade will also work very well with salmon fillets or pork cutlets and can be cooked in the same way, adjusting your cooking time appropriately for your chosen ingredients.

The recommended chillies for this recipe are Fatali, Scotch Bonnet or Datil, or any Habanero variety.


1. For the chicken: Toast the spices in a hot, dry frying pan over medium heat until the seeds start to pop. Grind them, together with the salt, using a pestle and mortar. Put the ground spices, mango, vinegar, sugar, chilli, garlic and coriander into a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. If required, loosen the marinade with the olive oil.

2. Lightly score the chicken breasts with a sharp knife, place them into a deep bowl and cover with the marinade. Use your hands to rub the marinade into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or it can be done first thing in the morning and left to marinate until the evening.

3. For the caramelised lime, mint and yoghurt dip: Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the lime quarters and fry each cut side until the surface begins to develop a strong colour to speed this up, press the lime into the pan to force out more of the juice and aid caramelisation.

4. Mix the yogurt and a pinch of black pepper in a small bowl. Squeeze the juice from the caramelised limes into the bowl. Roughly tear half the mint leaves and add to the bowl. Stir, then garnish with the rest of the lime leaves and a little lime zest. Set aside.

5. For the green chilli bhajis: Put the sunflower oil in a large saucepan. Heat until it reaches 190°C if you dont have a cooking thermometer, the oil is ready when a 2.5cm cube of white bread dropped into it browns in less than 60 seconds.

6. Meanwhile, toast all the seeds and cloves in a hot, dry frying pan over medium heat until the seeds start to pop. Grind them using a pestle and mortar. Put the ground spices along with all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix. Gradually add the water, until the final mixture is firm but will drop from a spoon.

7. Place 3 tablespoonfuls of the bhaji mix in the hot oil and fry for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the bhajis from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Cook the remaining bhajis in batches and keep the already cooked bhajis warm until needed.

8. For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Place the chicken and its marinade in a deep casserole dish, cover with foil and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and return the chicken to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

9. Serve on a bed of pilaf rice with the green chilli bhajis and caramelised lime, mint and yogurt dip.

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