Grilled Chicken Tikka & Wholegrain Rice Pilaf

Prep Time: 2 hr 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 4

This pilaf, full of toasted spices, peas, and raisins, is a healthy side dish to add to any meal. The yogurt in the chicken marinade will keep it moist and flavourful.


4 skinless chicken drumsticks and thigh pieces
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) ginger, peeled, minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) cilantro, fresh, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) cumin, ground
1 tsp (5 mL) coriander, ground
cloves, ground, pinch
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) turmeric, ground
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 lime
1 red onion, large
1 tomato
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) brown basmati rice
1 tbsp (15 mL) cumin seeds
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
1/4 cup (60 mL) almonds, sliced
1/4 cup (60 mL) seedless raisins


1 Place chicken in a large bowl or plastic bag.
2 In a small bowl, mix together lemon juice, plain yogurt, garlic, ginger, ½ of the cilantro, ½ teaspoon of salt and other spices. Reserve ¼ cup (60 mL) of marinade for basting. Pour remaining marinade over chicken pieces and toss to coat well. Marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator (preferably overnight).
3 Preheat barbeque grill to medium heat. Grill the chicken 15-20 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Baste with extra marinade while on the grill. Alternatively, the chicken can be cooked in the oven at 400°F (204°C). The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
4 Make the rice pilaf while the chicken is cooking. Heat the oil in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Toast the cumin seed in the hot oil until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add ½ tsp (2.5 mL) of salt, rice and water and cook rice until tender (see package directions). Five minutes before the rice is finished cooking, place peas, raisins and almond slices on top of rice and return lid to finish cooking. When complete, fluff rice with a fork to serve.
5 Place grilled chicken on a platter of salad greens and decorate with lime, tomato wedges, more fresh chopped cilantro and sliced onions for garnish. Serve with the whole grain rice pilaf.