Taj Mahal Salad

October  4, 2022
4 Ratings
Photo by Karen Mordechai
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This recipe came from a friend back in the 1980's when curried chicken salad was popular and "trendy". I remember teaching both my mother and grandmother how to make it and we ate it all summer long.

Recently, I watched Ina Garten update her version with mango chutney and decided to re-vamp mine. I make my own mango chutney every summer and the recipe is on this site under "Mama's Mango Chutney". I'm down to one jar before I need to buy mangoes for a new batch of chutney.

Despite the corny name, this is great to take on picnics. I cook my rice in homemade chicken stock and poach the chicken in water and Meyer lemon juice. One cup of raw rice yields four cups of cooked rice. - Lizthechef —Lizthechef

Test Kitchen Notes

Lizthechef's chicken salad is packed with flavor and really lives up to its name. The spices and chutney provide a nice background flavor, with bursts of crunch and sweet from the celery and grapes. The scallion and lemon add a layer of brightness. I used brown basmati rice, and cooked 1 cup which yielded slightly more than 2 cups of rice. I ended up with approximately equal portions of rice and chicken, it was a good balance. To account for using less rice, I scaled back on the other ingredients by about 1/3. A half cup mayo was all I felt it needed and so I'd recommend starting with less mayo than the recipe calls for and adding more to taste. We ate some of the salad on top of salad greens with the cashews sprinkled on top, and some between split and toasted focaccia bread with the cashews mixed in. Either way is great -- this chicken salad definitely deserves a place in your next picnic basket! - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups cooked brown or white basmati rice, cooled
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil-based mayo
  • zest and juice of one Meyer lemon or any organic lemon
  • 3 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup mango chutney
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, cut into halves
  • 4 scallions, chopped, white and light green portions
  • 1/2 cup whole cashews, toasted
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  1. In a small skillet, toast the cashews and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice with mayo, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  3. Shred the chicken into pieces and add to rice mixture.
  4. Stir in the curry, cumin and chutney. Mix well. Add the celery, grapes and scallions.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill salad for at least 4 hours. Check seasoning. Chop cashews.
  6. Serve salad on top of fresh greens. Top each portion with some chopped cashews.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • pauljoseph
  • wssmom
  • Sagegreen
  • Burnt Offerings
    Burnt Offerings

14 Reviews

TheWimpyVegetarian June 19, 2011
This looks like a perfect salad whether on a picnic or not! Love it! And welcome back home - glad to see you and your recipes back.
Lizthechef June 19, 2011
Thanks, CS!!
pauljoseph June 19, 2011
Excellent recipe I would like to share this Taj Mahal (must see places before you die) picture I took recently
Lizthechef June 19, 2011
Lovely photo - thank you!
wssmom June 17, 2011
I love rice salad! This one reaches new heights!
Lizthechef June 17, 2011
Thanks - I hope you try it and enjoy!
Sagegreen June 17, 2011
Lovely! This is a great idea for a picnic!
Lizthechef June 17, 2011
Thanks - but I am hooked on your violet cocktail! Maybe we can pull a picnic together between us!
Burnt O. June 17, 2011
Your timing is uncanny. Today is the 380th anniversary of the death of Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to her 14th child, which prompted her husband, the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to build the Taj Mahal as a symbol of eternal love in her honor.
Lizthechef June 17, 2011
I had no idea - what an amazing coincidence!
dymnyno June 17, 2011
Liz, Beautiful photo. Chicken curry salad is still one of my favorite salads or sandwiches.
Lizthechef June 17, 2011
Thanks, Mare, it was my first blog post...
MyCommunalTable June 17, 2011
Yummy. It sounds perfect for a picnic. I actually wish I had some right now. Cool, tangy, and the crunch from the lettece and nuts. Gosh, I am really making myself hungery. I have to quit reading your recipes.
Lizthechef June 17, 2011
Oh, never do that ;)