1 Oct 2012

Soft Shell Tacos with Chicken and Charred Tomato Filling

For those of you who are wondering what happened to the Tacos recipe I had promised in September’s #YourChoice, here it is! This post is coming in a bit late, but with my Kerala trip and some busy times, I didn’t get around to making this dish till last weekend. There were many suggestions, of course, on #YourChoice. However, since I had never attempted Mexican flavours, I thought I’d give Darshana’s suggestion a go :)

I went to couple of gourmet shops to hunt for readymade taco (pronounced ‘tah-co’) shells – one of them said it was out of stock; the other had a packet in stock, which was exorbitantly priced and didn’t look very appealing anyway. So I decided to try making the taco shells from scratch and instead of ‘googling’ it, I sent out a request on Twitter – my new best friend! And voila! Mexican Chef @jdxicana and fellow foodie @shivzi responded with some helpful tips and a recipe for making the taco shells.

I’ve adapted their inputs to come up with this recipe – Soft  Shell Tacos with Chicken and Charred Tomato Filling. This is not a traditional recipe; I have tried to make it a bit healthful by not using (deep fried) hard taco shells and there is no sour cream used as well. So here goes...

This recipe makes 6 medium-sized tacos.

You’ll need:
For the taco shells
  • 100gm Maize Flour
  • 150ml hot Water (approximately)
  • A pinch of Salt
  • Some all purpose flour for dusting

 For the filling
  • 100gm boneless Chicken Breast
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli / 1 small jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 medium Onion, thinly sliced
  • 50g grated Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Some Cilantro to garnish
  • 1tbsp Chilli Sauce
How to:
  • First, make the filling. This can be made in advance. Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks and season with salt and pepper.
  • Put a pan on a high flame. Add oil and heat until very hot. Add the chopped garlic and chilli/jalapeno.
  • Give a quick stir and then add the chicken pieces. Cook till done; about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  • Heat a skillet until very hot. Place the tomatoes. Turn them with tongs so that they get charred on all the sides. 
  • Cool them for a bit. Then cut in half and squeeze to remove the seeds and the core. Chop them up and set aside.
  • Now fry the onions till soft. Add the chicken, charred tomatoes, lemon juice, chilli sauce, salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two and check the seasonings.
  • To make the taco shells, combine the maize flour, salt and water (bit by bit). Mix with your fingers and gently knead to get soft but dry dough.
  • Cover and allow to rest and cool down. Divide the dough into equal-sized balls.
  • Dust a rolling surface with some flour and roll out into discs, about 6 to 8 inches in diameter (you can make them as large or as small as you wish!). Dust off excess flour.
  • Put a pan on medium heat and roast the tacos on either side, till done.
  • To assemble, heat up the chicken-tomato mixture (if made in advance). Divide amongst the taco shells; garnish with grated cheese and cilantro. Serve immediately.
  • If you’re making the taco shells in advance, keep them covered. Warm them up and then add the filling. 
  • Vegetarians can replace the chicken with grilled mushrooms and/or re-fried beans. 


  1. Wow, that actually sounds better than the cardboard kind I usually get at the store. The taco inside sounds fantastic, too!