Mini Pita Pockets
Prep time: 15 mins + 1-2 hrs marination time | Grilling time: 15 mins | Serves 3-4
- 12-15 mini pita/Arabic breads
- labneh/hung curd/cream cheese/mayonnaise or any flavoured dairy spread of your choice
- 2-3 spring onions or shallots, finely chopped
- 2-3 lettuce leaves, cleaned and finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, deseeded and thinly sliced (I skipped this)
- 4-5 (or to taste) pickled jalapeño peppers, chopped
For the chicken:
- 500 grams boneless chicken
- 3 tablespoons thick yogurt (curds)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon plain red chilli powder
- 1 small green chilli deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons sunflower or mustard oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
- salt to taste
1. Wash and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Drain/pat dry the excess moisture and place into a bowl
2. Add the rest of the ingredients mentioned under ‘For the chicken’ to the bowl and mix well to coat all the chicken pieces well with the marinade. Let it rest under refrigeration for 1-2 hours (if you are in a hurry, 30 mins will do)
3. When the chicken has marinated well, grill it till golden (see notes for tips on grilling the chicken in an oven and air fryer). Lightly shred the chicken when it has cooled a bit.
4. Slit the pita breads half way taking care not to divide them into two parts. Fill the pockets with half a teaspoon of labneh or dairy spread of your choice and then add some shredded lettuce
5. Proceed to fill the pockets with chopped onions, coriander, shredded chicken and finally top with some pickled jalapeño peppers.
6. Serve immediately (especially if you have used the dairy spread). If you intend to serve after sometime it is preferable not to use onions as they could turn smelly.
Notes For Grilling Chicken
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C on ‘Bake’ mode for 15 mins. Thread the chicken pieces on wooden skewers that have been soaked for at least 20 mins (so that they don’t catch fire) or you can use metal skewers. Place the skewered chicken placed over an oven safe baking dish or roasting tin and bake first for 6-7 mins. Then change the oven setting to ‘Grill’ mode and continue grilling for another 5-6 mins or till it turns golden and black marks appear (time may vary according to the tenderness of the chicken). Do not over grill as the chicken may turn dry and chewy.
Air Fryer Method:
Preheat air fryer to 200 C for 6 minutes. Place the marinated chicken cubes directly on the metal mesh in the basket provided. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then remove the basket and shake it well so that the pieces flip. Continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes or till done. Do not over grill.
The use of a dairy spread is optional but adds to the taste. If you want this snack to be really nice and light (to be eaten during summer) then use fresh labneh or hung curd. This tastes awesome!