Indian Spiced Chicken with Coconut Rice and Tamarind Sauce

I was out of town last week visiting my mom, but I am home now and back to cooking. After traveling I wanted to eat something healthy but flavorful, and this dish was perfect. The bone in chicken breasts are marinated in a yogurt spice marinade, then baked in the oven along with peppers, zucchini and carrots, then served over coconut rice with a tamarind glaze.

You can either marinate the chicken the day before (best) or same day if you don’t have time to do 24 hours. The yogurt marinade tenderizes the chicken and helps form a tasty crust when the chicken cooks. I roasted my veggies on the same sheet I cooked the chicken on.

The coconut rice is super easy. I used basmati rice and just replaced most of the water with light coconut milk and added some cumin, salt and peas. I made a tamarind sauce by combining tamarind paste with sugar, cumin and a pinch of salt. You can buy tamarind paste on amazon (see my favorite item links page). It is a very tart and fruity paste and when mixed with sugar and spices and it makes a sweet/tart and deeply flavorful sauce that really makes this dish interesting.

Indian Spiced Chicken with Coconut Rice and Tamarind Sauce

Indian spiced bone in chicken breast roasted with veggies and served over coconut rice with a tamarind sauce
Prep Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course
Servings 4 servings


For the chicken:

  • 4 bone in chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 2 packets of true lemon or juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • veggies to roast with chicken – I used pepper, carrot and zucchini but any that you can roast will work optional
  • chopped parsley for topping optional

For the rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 `15 oz can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas

For the tamarind sauce:

  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • pinch of salt


For the chicken:

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients and cover the chicken. If your chicken has skin on, lift the skin gently and rub marinade under the skin too. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours up to overnight.
  • When ready to roast, set the oven to 400 and line a sheet pan with foil. Drizzle the pan with a little oil. Add the chicken pieces on one side and your cut up vegetables on the other side. Drizzle the veggies with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and toss. Bake for 40-60 minutes depending on how cold your chicken is, until an instant read thermometer inserted close to the bone reads at least 165.
  • If your veggies are getting too cooked, remove them before the chicken and place in a bowl, then rewarm them when ready to serve.

For the rice:

  • Add oil to a pot with a tight fitting lid. Heat over medium heat and add the rice, seasonings and peas and stir and cook for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to as low as possible and cook for 20 minutes. Allow rice to stand for 5 minutes before removing the lid.

For the sauce:

  • Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Microwave about 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until the sugar is dissolved then allow to cool.

To serve:

  • Spread some rice on the plate, top with chicken and vegetables and drizzle over the tamarind sauce. The sauce is quite strong so just use a small drizzle to start. You can add more as you eat if desired.
Keyword Chicken, Lunch, Main Dish

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