Tandoori Popcorn Chicken with Mint Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 6

As if fried chicken could get any better. These bit-sized pieces of bliss are tender, crunchy and smoky thanks to a healthy spoonful of prepared Tandoori Powder. Tandoori Powder is available in most supermarkets and specialty spice stores. To make sure the chicken is ultra tender I recommend marinating it overnight mango juice. This step is not necessary, but you won’t regret it.


2 chicken breast(s), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups (500 mL) mango juice
2 cups (500 mL) mango nectar
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
2 tbsp (30 mL) tandoori masala powder
2 egg(s), large
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
1 cup (250 mL) plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup (60 mL) cucumber
8 mint leaves, fresh, chiffonade
4 cups (1 L) peanut oil, for frying


1 For best flavour start the day before. Combine the chicken, mango juice and 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of kosher salt in an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
2 Allow the chicken to come to room temperature for 30 minutes and discard the mango juice. Pat the chicken pieces dry between paper towels.
3 Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper. Combine the yogurt cucumber, mint and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
4 To fry, heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot or skillet until it is 350°F (175°C). If you don’t have a frying thermometer test the oil's temperature by dipping a piece of bread in the oil. If it bubbles immediately it is ready.
5 While the oil heats prep the wet and dry mixtures. In one bowl lightly beat together the eggs and the buttermilk. In the other bowl stir together the flour, cornstarch and tandoori powder.
6 Use one hand for the dry and one hand for the wet ingredients. Dip the chicken pieces into the wet mixture and then dredge in flour mixture. Shake off excess flour.
7 Fry the chicken in batches. Carefully add some of the chicken pieces to the oil and fry for 5-7 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and the outside is golden brown. Once cooked, drain the popcorn chicken on paper towel and season with a little extra salt. Continue to fry in batches.
8 Serve the chicken pieces warm with yogurt dipping sauce.