Food

Sarosh's Chicken Jalfrezi Pita Pockets with Quick-Pickled Onions

A spicy tomato base makes this savoury sandwich — that uses rotisserie chicken — a delight absolutely any time.

A spicy tomato base makes this savoury sandwich — that uses rotisserie chicken — a delight absolutely any time

(All photography by Gabriel Cabrera)

This has been a favourite in our home since I was in elementary school. When we’d return from a trip late at night, my mother had a way of transforming leftover chicken — from a curry or a roast chicken — into a spicy, tomato-based pita pocket. She called it her ‘quick chicken Jalfrezi’. For those who prefer a version with no carbohydrates or gluten, you can substitute pita bread with romaine lettuce leaves.

Sarosh's Chicken Jalfrezi Pita Pockets with Quick-Pickled Onions

*You can use fresh tomatoes when they are in season, and feel free to substituted with canned chopped tomatoes when they are not.

Ingredients

Quick-Pickled Red Onions:

  • 1 cup thin half-moon slices red onion
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Chicken Jalfrezi:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder, or more, to taste
  • ½ tsp smoked hot paprika
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt, or more, to taste
  • 2 cups finely chopped tomatoes*
  • 4 cups shredded roasted or rotisserie chicken
  • 2 tbsp julienned ginger
  • 1 large red bell pepper, stem, ribs and seeds removed, sliced thinly

To assemble:

  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, julienned
  • 4 pita breads (6-inch), cut in half
  • 8 Bibb lettuce leaves

Equipment needed:

  • A 16-oz heatproof jar

Preparation

Prepare the quick-pickled onions:

Place the onions in a heatproof glass jar. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a gentle boil, and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions. When cool, seal with a lid and transfer to the refrigerator. The onions will be pickled within 30 minutes, but the taste improves after 24 hours in the refrigerator. 

Prepare the chicken:

Place a large, heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is glistening, add the onions and sauté until golden, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes, until golden. Add turmeric, chili powder, paprika, salt, and tomatoes and cook until a thick sauce begins to form, about 7-10 minutes. Add the chicken, ginger and red pepper and toss together. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the red pepper is tender, but still crisp. Taste for salt, and add more, if needed. Allow to cool.

To serve:

To the cooled chicken Jalfrezi, add the mint and toss well. Line each pita pocket with a lettuce leaf. Spoon the chicken Jalfrezi into the pita halves, dividing evenly. Add slices of pickled onions to each pita half.

Yield: Makes 4 servings


Shayma Owaise Saadat is a food writer and chef. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow her culinary journey at www.shaymasaadat.com or on Instagram at @SpiceSpoon.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now