Chicken Salad In Lettuce Cups: A Savoury And Spicy Treat For You
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Gunpowder chicken plated in lettuce cups is an Indian adaptation of two world renowned cuisines: the classic chicken lettuce wrap recipe, and the gunpowder chicken recipe from Hong Kong. However, instead of using Chinese rice wine and soy sauce, the chicken is flavoured with malgapodi powder and garnished with hung curd dressing to compliment the Indian palette. In this recipe, boneless chicken is seared in oil with malgapodi powder and other spices and then served in lettuce cups along with salad and hung curd dressing.

Malgapodi, also known as gunpowder, is a delicious spice mix of dry chilies, lentils, sesame and other spices, that can be added to lend a unique flavour to any type of non-spicy dish. The original recipe of gunpowder chicken can be traced to Hong Kong where it is cooked as a stir-fry dish made with chicken, chinese rice wine, dark soy sauce, and sugar. Over time, the dish has been adapted to global taste buds and available ingredients. In India, malgapodi chicken dish is one of the most popular adaptations of the same. 

Fusion dishes have, over time, gained enormous popularity within the Indian masses, as they allow the cook to create a unique blend of flavours never tasted before. Gunpowder chicken lettuce wraps flavoured with malgapodi powder and garnished with hung curd dressing, is one such successful example of global fusion recipes. While lettuce wraps are often labelled as an appetiser, they can be satiating enough to make a meal out of them. The preparation method for the dish might seem daunting at first, especially to beginner cooks, but despite the time-consuming process, it is one of the easiest recipes you can cook, both as starters and as a main dish. 

Here’s the recipe for Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups.


For malgapodi chicken:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1-inch ginger (finely chopped)
  • 5-6 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 500 gms boneless chicken (cut into cubes)
  • Salt (as required)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp Malgapodi powder
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

For the filling:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup French beans (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup celery stem (finely chopped)
  • Salt (as required)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder

Dressing for hung curd:

  • ½ cup hung curd
  • 1 tbsp fresh cream
  • ¼ cup onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup garlic paste (finely chopped)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt (as required)

For malgapodi powder:

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼  cup chana dal
  • ½ cup urad dal
  • 20 red chillies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida

For the lettuce cups:

  • Lettuce Leaves


For malgapodi powder: 

  • Dry-roast each of the ingredients for a minute, then allow them to cool. 
  • Add salt and asafoetida and grind to a powder.

For malgapodi chicken: 

  • Pour 1 tbsp oil into the frying pan, and saute the finely chopped ginger and garlic for a minute. 
  • Next, add the chicken cubes, and sear them on a high flame. 
  • Once the chicken changes colour, add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and malgapodi powder.
  • Then, mix all the ingredients on a high flame for 4 to 5 mins.
  • Once the chicken dish is cooked, drizzle lemon juice on top and give it a final stir. 
  • Move the chicken cubes to a bowl.

For the lettuce cups salad:

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, and add ½ tbsp of garlic paste which should be sauted for a few seconds. 
  • Add a cup of corn kernels, chopped carrots, french beans, and cook it for 2-3 mins on a slightly high flame. 
  • Next, add ¼ cup of finely chopped celery stem.

Sprinkle some salt, pepper powder, and cook the vegetables until the corn is done, and the carrots and beans are crisp. 

Move the vegetables to a bowl.

For hung curd: 

Take ½ cup of hung curd, and add 1 tbsp of fresh cream, ¼ cup of finely chopped onion, ¼ cup of finely chopped red bell pepper, ¼ tbsp of garlic paste, ¼ tbsp pepper powder, and salt as required. 

Whisk all the ingredients together, and move it to a bowl. 

To assemble the dish:

Take the vegetable mix and place it on each lettuce wrap. 

Next, put some hung curd dressing on top, followed by spicy hot chicken cubes.