Kale, Chicken and Dried Cranberry Salad with a Spiced Tahini Dressing

It’s been a while I know. I continue to be very focused on marketing my cookbook ‘Chilli & Mint: Indian Home Cooking from a British Kitchen’  – have you got your copy yet ;o)? I’ll pop a branded tote in for free for those who order through me (whilst stocks last). If you are overseas then the best way is Book Depository which offers free shipping.

It’s on its second print run, which I am thrilled about and is now stocked in Selfridges and Harrods as of this January 2023, as well as Waterstones, Foyles, Hatchards, some Daunts stores and a number of independent bookshops and lifestyle stores. Physical copies are now being sold in bookshops in Australia and I was particular chuffed to see copies in Waterstones Amsterdam recently.

I’ve also been in India for part of February, researching more recipes that may find their way in book 2 in the future – watch this space.

For this post however, I thought I would tempt you with one of my go-to salads at the moment. I adore an interesting salad that is packed full of flavours and textures and is relatively quick to put together. This one is no exception and is perfect as a meal unto itself for lunch or supper. If you are vegetarian then obviously omit the chicken and add crispy tofu perhaps as an alternative.

You don’t even need to cook the kale. Instead it requires massaging with the dressing to soften it and break it down a little. Tahini is a staple in my house and you are always going to find a pot of chilli oil lurking in my fridge. For this recipe Lee Kum Kee’s – chi chow chilli oil – which you can find at most large grocery stores these days – works wonders with the tahini and rice wine vinegar. I urge you to pick up a pot next time you are doing the grocery shopping. The dressing was inspired by one I had seen in Nik Sharma’s fab new cookbook The Flavour Equation.

Added extra’s that would work a treat would be avocado and grated carrot. I leave it to you to get as creative as you see fit.

Kale, Chicken and Dried Cranberry Salad with a Spiced Tahini Dressing

Serves 4

2 chicken breasts, skin removed (do not throw them away)

250g kale, stalks removed and washed

small handful of dried cranberries

small handful of crispy onions 

1 tbsp white sesame seeds

3 tbsp super seeds salad topper by Good4u


Spiced Tahini Dressing

50g tahini

40ml rice wine vinegar

1-2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee’s chiu chow chilli oil

1 tbsp boiling water, to loosen

fine sea salt to taste


  1. Remove the chicken skin from the chicken breasts and place to one side. Place the breasts in a pan and cover with boiling water and simmer gently for 12-15 minutes. Remove from pan and then shred using two forks.
  2. If you have chicken skin do not throw it away. Instead, stretch it out on some baking parchment and sprinkle with a little flakey salt, black pepper, chilli flakes and olive oil. Place in a pre-heated oven – 180 degrees fan (or 200 if not using a fan) for 10-15 mins until crispy. You can then break this up and onto the salad before serving.
  3. Next make  the dressing. You want the dressing to not be too thick so add a little more boiling water if it needs loosening. Taste test to check the balance of the vinegar/tahini/chilli oil works for you and adjust accordingly.
  4. Remove any large stalks from the kale and wash throughly and then dry with kitchen paper. Then place into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Next pour 2/3 of the dressing over the kale and massage in with your clean hands.
  6. Add the shredded chicken, dried cranberries, sesame and super seeds. By all means add shredded carrots and/or avocado at this stage  if you wish to add more ingredients.
  7. Divide into bowls and top with a few more super seeds, the crispy onions and the crispy chicken skin if you have included this step.
  8. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and enjoy.

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