Gratinated pine nut-basil chicken with saffron mayo

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This delicious chicken canapé from Vineet Bhatia is simple to prepare and combines some wonderful flavours including ginger, saffron, cardamom and basil. Make the dip earlier in the day and keep it in the fridge. The Indian spice mix, chaat masala, is easy to buy online or from Indian specialist shops.

First published in 2015





Marinade recipe

Masala cheese recipe

Saffron and cardamom dip recipe


  • Fine sieve


Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and rub it on the chicken slices. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes
Mix together all the ingredients for the masala cheese and then chill
To make the dip, very briefly dry roast the saffron in a small frying pan over a very low heat, then soak it in 2 tablespoons of hot water for 30 minutes
Mix together the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise, then stir in the saffron water. Add the lemon juice, fennel seeds, cardamom, sugar and salt, mix well and pass through a very fine sieve. Store in the fridge
Sear the chicken pieces on a chargrill pan until they are almost cooked. Arrange on a baking tray, sprinkle the cheese mix on top and flash under a hot grill for 1 minute, or place in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 for 3 minutes, until browned and bubbling
To serve, pile the chicken on to plates and serve with the dip on the side
First published in 2015

While Vineet Bhatia has borrowed from European traditions to plate up his food, the manner and matter of his dishes are unmistakably those of India, handled with immense sophistication and personal panache.

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