North Indian Chicken Caesar Salad: Celebrate Julius Caesar's Birthday July 12 or 13

by DerdriuMarriner

North Indian Chicken Caesar Salad, New Delhi's popular variant of the classic Caesar Salad, can serve to celebrate the July birthday of Julius Caesar, whose son visited India.

Caesar Salad receives its name from its creator, Italian immigrant restauranteur Cesare "Caesar" Cardini (Feb. 24, 1896-Nov. 3, 1956). Although Gaius Julius Caesar is not the namesake of Caesar Salad, ancient Rome's legendary general and statesman often has been identified erroneously as the eponym of the North American culinary creation. Nevertheless, the recipe's elegant, healthy simplicity accords with Caesar's reputation for favoring healthy, simple foods and serves as a delicious menu suggestion for celebrating his July 12/13 birthday.

Universally popular Caesar Salad finds appreciation in India, a country indirectly associated with Julius Caesar (July 12/13, 100 BCE-March 15, 44 BCE). The widely travelled Roman did not reach India, although his expected participation in the Roman Republic's planned invasion of the Parthian Empire (modern-day northeastern Iran), which was cancelled by his assassination, would have placed him in the subcontinent's northwestern neighbor. Caesarion (June 23, 47 BCE-late August 30, BCE), his son with Cleopatra VII Philopator (69 BCE-Aug. 10, 30 BCE), however, did travel to the welcoming subcontinent, according to Greek biographer Plutarch (46 BCE-ca. 122 BCE) in Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (Perrin translation [1920], vol. 9, page 321).

North Indian Chicken Caesar Salad exemplifies North Indian cuisine's accommodation of local, regional, national and international recipes within its outstanding gustatory parameters. North India's cuisine finesses international recipes for successful incorporation within the North Indian culinary context, as evinced in two rankings of best Caesar Salad places in New Delhi, India's national capital.

Nivea Sapra's 2019 list ranked the capital's 10 best Caesar Salad places. Deeksha Sarin narrowed her 2018 ranking to the seven best Caesar Salad places in India's National Capital Region (NCR). Both food writers honor Diggin in Anand Lok Shopping Centre as the best place for Caesar Salad.

Diggin Cafe in New Delhi's Anand Lok Shopping Centre ranks on two lists as the best Caesar Salad place in India's national capital.

Diggin @diggincafe, via Facebook Nov. 13, 2017
Diggin @diggincafe, via Facebook Nov. 13, 2017

Diggin Cafe's Caesar Salad delights with "copious" Parmesan cheese shavings


Food writer Deeksha Sarin's online evaluation, "7 Best Caesar Salad Places In Delhi NCR," was published, with an April 9, 2018, update, on NDTV Food, a lifestyle subsidiary of NDTV's (New Delhi Television Limited). She awarded first place to Diggin Cafe in New Delhi's Anand Lok Shopping Centre. Sarin noted the "copious" Parmesan cheese shavings that top Diggin's Caesar Salad, which, like the original Caesar Salad, is vegetarian.

Second-place Big Chill Cafe in Khan Market offers classic Caesar Salad, albeit with iceberg rather than romaine lettuce, and Chicken Caesar Salad, with iceberg lettuce and chicken bits. Sarin extolled the dressing's creaminess.

Third-place Cafe Diva in Rama Krishna Puram's Sangam Courtyard characterizes "our version of Caesar's salad" as a "homemade dressing with extra garlic (minus the anchovies)" over romaine leaves. Asparagus, chicken and bacon are available as add-ons. (Note: Cesare Cardini's original recipe does not include anchovies; the salad's Worcestershire sauce contributes the anchovy-like taste.) Sarin emphasized the "subtle garlicky flavour" that will appeal to garlic lovers.


Content strategist Nivea Sapra's "10 Places To Get The Best Caesar Salad In Delhi!," published on Dfor Delhi's website, July 4, 2019, concurred with Sarin's placement of Diggin Cafe as the best Caesar Salad provider in New Delhi. Her list gave locations and hours for each entry but offered no descriptions of the winning Caesar Salads.


Exclusively operating as a home deliverer, Gurugram's Salad Company offers generously portioned Chicken Caesar Salad as a best-selling non-vegetarian variation of internationally favorite Caesar Salad.

Salad Company @HealthyLifeWithSaladCompany, via Facebook March 30, 2017
Salad Company @HealthyLifeWithSaladCompany, via Facebook March 30, 2017


Deeksha Sarin's best Caesar Salad list considered the National Capital Region (NCR). The planning region encompasses the 11 administrative districts of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi as well as districts in the surrounding northern states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Seventh-place Salad Company's location in Haryana state's Gurugram only offers home delivery. Gurugram lies near the Delhi-Haryana border, at a distance of approximately 19 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of New Delhi.

Sarin notes Chicken Caesar Salad as Salad Company's "best seller." The salad features "generous portions of chicken."


Jill Wilcox, Canadian food writer and owner of London, Ontario's Jill's Table, has created an Indian-styled Chicken Caesar Salad that is flavored with Indian spices and that substitutes naan bites for croutons.

The Londoner @LondonerOnline, via Facebook June 18, 2019
The Londoner @LondonerOnline, via Facebook June 18, 2019

My family's North Indian Chicken Caesar Salad recipe


In her travels across India, my sister appreciated the subcontinent's frequently faithful reproduction of Cesare Cardini's classic Caesar Salad. His original recipe called for romaine lettuce, coddled eggs and garlic croutons drizzled with a Worcestershire sauce dressing.

Indian eateries also made pleasing additions to the classic vegetarian recipe. For instance, cherry tomatoes brighten the presentation by contrasting attractively with egg whiteness, crouton browness and romaine greenery.

Non-vegetarian versions of Caesar Salad abound across India. In North India, my sister particularly noted an emphasis on bacon bits, chicken bites or chicken strips.

North Indian Chicken Caesar Salad recipes do not necessarily feature Indian spices. The cooking of the chicken --- whether baked, broiled, grilled, roasted, steamed, tandooried, etc. --- might, or might not, include spices.

Her experiences with airport food on her many travels inspired Jill Wilcox, Canadian food writer and owner of Jill's Table in London, Ontario, to create a Chicken Caesar Salad recipe with a nuanced Indian-styled flavor. Her Indian Chicken Caesar Salad With Naan Croutons first appeared in The Londoner's June 17, 2017, issue and was republished in the June 18, 2019 issue. The recipe flavors grilled chicken with cumin, garam masala or curry powder, ginger and turmeric.


My family's North Indian Chicken Caesar Salad recipe reflects the colorful, tasteful version of the classic Caesar Salad that my sister encountered in North India. We add cherry tomatoes and chicken bites or strips to create our Chicken Caesar Salad from our classic Caesar Salad, which I shared in "Beware the Ides of March Meal: Caesar or Brutus Salad, Cleopatra's Dulcis Coccora, Caesar Cocktail."

Our Indian-spiced variation resembles Jill Wilcox's recipe. Cumin, garam masala and turmeric flavorfully accent the salad. A sprinkling of ginger flavors the chicken bites or strips.

Another variation involves serving classic Caesar Salad as a side dish for golden-baked chicken breasts. Diners have the option of creating their own Chicken Caesar Salad by cutting chicken chunks for topping the salad.

A favorite variation is substituting plant-based grilled chicken strips for chicken strips. This keeps Chicken Caesar Salad as vegetarian as the classic Caesar Salad recipe.


My Family's Recipe for North Indian Chicken Caesar Salad


Prep time 10 minutes -- Total time 20 minutes


Ingredients for four servings: Serves four to six, according to portion size.




1 package Valley Fresh 100% Natural White Chicken Cuts

2 eggs

2 heads of organic romaine lettuce;

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garam masala (or curry powder)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

peppercorns, freshly ground

1 lemon, for squeezing over lettuce leaves

   Or: 3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 pound Parmesan cheese for fresh grating or shredding (about 1 to 1/4 cups)

2 cups toasted, garlic-seasoned croutons

Ground ginger, for sprinkling



1. Place oil and spices (ground cumin, garam masala, or curry powder, and turmeric in a small bowl. Whisk together. Set aside.

2. Place precooked chicken strips in bowl. Set in refrigerator until serving time.

3. Coddle eggs: bring water to boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Use large serving spoon to lower eggs carefully into center of saucepan. Be sure that eggs are completely covered by water.

Boil eggs for one minute.

Remove saucepan from burner. Transfer eggs to bowl of ice for one minute of cooling. Set aside.

4. Place romaine leaves in large serving bowl. Drizzle with half of spiced oil, i.e., 1/4 cup. Gently blend spiced oil into leaves with rolling motion of salad utensils.

5. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and rest of spiced oil, i.e., 1/4 cup. Lightly toss.

6. Squeeze lemon over leaves. Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce. Lightly toss.

7. Break eggs over salad. Lightly toss.

8. Add cheese. Lightly toss.

9. Top with croutons. Lightly blend.


Refrigerate until serving time.


At serving time: Transfer salad to dinner plates. Top with chicken cuts. Lightly sprinkle ground ginger over chicken cuts.


Chicken Caesar Salad: popular non-vegetarian variation of Caesar Salad

Public Domain (CC0 1.0), via Wikimedia Commons
Public Domain (CC0 1.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Julius Caesar's birthday July 12 or July 13: celebrate with a salad that is not named after him or create an imaginative meal, for example, as envisioned by Gus Filgate


Julius Caesar was born in July in the year 100 BCE. The actual date in July is given as the 12th, the 13th or as either the 12th or the 13th.

Roman culture has appeared, across the millennia, as exhibiting excessive consumption of alcohol and food. Contrastingly, Julius Caesar was known for favoring simple food and disfavoring alcohol, as reiterated by Sarah Bond, assistant professor in Classics at the University of Iowa, in her Aug. 16, 2017, post on Forbes, "You Are What You Eat: The Politics of Eating On Campaign From Ancient Rome to Trump." Professor Bond recalled the famous quip by Marcus Porcius Cato (95 BCE-April 46 BCE), known as Cato the Younger, that his political opponent was "the only man who undertook to overthrow the state when sober," as reported by Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (ca. 69 CE-after 122 CE) in The Lives of the Twelve Caesars (Rolfe translation [1914], LIII, page 73).

The elegant simplicity of classic Caesar Salad and its non-vegetarian variation, Chicken Caesar Salad, accords with the healthy, simple eating habits that are attributed to ancient Rome's accomplished, aristocratic general and statesman. In fact, romaine, the name of the salad's signature lettuce, reflects its transmission to Europe from ancient Rome, according to food and gastronomy polymath Alan Davidson's (March 30, 1924-Dec. 2, 2003) The Oxford Companion to Food. The leafy vegetable's English name translates from its Italian name, lettuga romana.

An imaginative meal, such as food director and photographer Gus Filgate's meat and seafood platter, serves as an alternative to celebrating Julius Caesar's birthday with Caesar Salad or Chicken Caesar Salad. Filgate filmed Last Suppers with attractively displayed shrimp, mussels and a mutton chop for his vision of Julius Caesar's last meal. Ancient Romans daily accessed the Mediterranean Sea's rich abundance and variety of fish and shellfish, according to Alberto Lunetta's "Dining with Julius Caesar, a Journey Through Roman Diet and Meal Traditions," published in the Sep. 6, 2019, issue of Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella's Signature.


In Last Suppers, food filmmaker Gus Filgate envisioned a colorful platter of shrimp, mussels and a mutton chop for Julius Caesar.

HYPEBEAST @HYPEBEAST, via Twitter April 24, 2015
HYPEBEAST @HYPEBEAST, via Twitter April 24, 2015



My special thanks to talented photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet.


Sources Consulted

Allen, Gary. "Caesar’s Last Salad: The Foods of Ancient Rome." Leite's Culinaria > Writings > Food History and Science. March 15, 2000.

Available @

BBC. "Julius Caesar (100BC - 44BC)." BBC > History > Historical Figures.

Available @

Bond, Sarah. "You Are What You Eat: The Politics of Eating On Campaign From Ancient Rome to Trump." Forbes. Aug. 17, 2016.

Available @

Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press, 1999.

DforDelhi @dfordelhi. "We’re sure Brutus also approves of these 10 stellar places. Light, healthy and absolutely delicious, you guys have to try them." Facebook. June 4, 2019.

Available @

Diggin @diggincafe. "Are you all set to start your week on a refreshing note, dig into our Caesar salad today! Picture credits: The Tasting Fork #Diggin #DigginDiaries #Cafe #Delhi." Twitter. Nov. 13, 2017.

Availlable @

Fresc Co India @FrescCo_India. "Chicken Caesar salad is a wholesome meal with a refreshing combination of ingredients to satiate your taste buds!" Twitter. July 1, 2016.

Available @

Hansley, C. Keith. "The Private Fossils And Antiques Museum In An Island Villa Of Augustus." The Historian's Hut > Did You Know? Sept. 14, 2018

Available @

HYPEBEAST @HYPEBEAST. "Director Gus Filgate presents his take on what would have been Julius Caesar's last supper." Twitter. April 24, 2015.

Available @

India Today Web Desk. "Remembering Julius Ceaser, One of the Most Critical Minds Behind the Growth of the Roman Empire." India Today > News > Education Today > GK & Current Affairs > Personalities. July 13, 2017. Updated March 15, 2019.

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Kak, Subhash. "The Indian Caesar and the City." PGurus > Lifestyle > Culture. Sep. 3, 2019.

Available @

Kaufman, Noah. "A Breathtaking Look at Famous Last Meals." Food & Wine > News. Updated April 23, 2015.

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The Londoner @LondonerOnline. "Recipe: Indian Chicken Caesar salad with Naan croutons." Facebook. June 18, 2019.

Available @

Lunetta, Alberto. "Dining with Julius Caesar, a Journey Through Roman Diet and Meal Traditions." The Signature. Sept. 6, 2019.

Available @

Mandal, Dattatreya. "Director Vividly Imagines the Last Meals Consumed by Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte." Hexapolis > History. May 9, 2015.

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Martyris, Nina. "The Lavish Roman Banquet: A Calculated Display Of Debauchery And Power."  NPR > Food > The Salt. May 20, 2019.

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NDTV Food @NDTVFood. "5 Best Caesar Salad Places in Delhi NCR." Twitter. March 31, 2018.

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Plutarch. Plutarch's Lives. With an English Translation by Bernadotte Perrin. In Eleven Volumes. Vol IX: Demetrius and Antony, Pyrrhus and Caius Marius. The Loeb Classical Library. London [UK]: William Heinemann; New York [NY}: The Macmillan Co., MCMXX (1920).

Available via HathiTrust @

Salad Company @HealthyLifeWith Salad Company. "Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad." Facebook. March 30, 2017.

Available @

Sapra, Nivea. "10 Places To Get The Best Caesar Salad In Delhi!." DforDelhi. July 4, 2019.

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Sarin, Deeksha. "7 Best Caesar Salad Places In Delhi NCR." NDTV Food > Food & Drinks. Updated April 9, 2018.

Available @

Strauss, Barry. The Death of Caesar: The Story of History's Most Famous Assassination. New York NY: Simon & Schuster, March 3, 2015.

Suetonius [Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus]. The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars. Joseph Gavorse, trans. and ed. The Modern Library. New York NY: Random House, 1931.

Available via Internet Archive @

Suetonius [Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus]. The Lives Of The Caesars. With an English Translation by J.C. Rolfe. London [UK]: William Heinemann; New York [NY]: The Macmillan Co., MCMXIV (1914).

Available via Internet Archive @

Available via University of Chicago @*.html#49

TNN. "Caesar Salad Recipe." Times of India > Times Food > Recipes. Updated Oct. 1, 2016.

Available @

Wilcox, Jill. "Indian Style Caesar Salad." Londoner > Live > Food. June 18, 2019.

Available @

Valley Fresh 100% Natural White Chicken Cuts ~ Already prepared chicken cuts are perfect for Chicken Caesar Salad.

This product is highlighted as Amazon's Choice as a highly rated, well-priced product available to ship immediately. This product is eligible for AmazonSmile donation.
Valley Fresh 100% Natural White Chicken Cuts Pouch, 7 Ounce (Pack o...

Tyson Grilled Fajita Chicken Breast Strips ~ Already prepared grilled chicken breast strips are perfect for Chicken Caesar Salad.

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Tyson Grilled Fajita Chicken Breast Strips - 2 Pack (48 oz Each, 96...

Hungry Planet Plant-Based Grilled Chicken Strips ~ Plant-based grilled chicken strips keep Chicken Caesar Salad deliciously vegetarian.

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Hungry Planet Chicken Grilled Chicken Strips, Plant-Based Chicken (...

Caesar Cardini's Original Caesar Dressing:

Caesar Cardini's Original Caesar Dressing is Amazon's Choice, highlighted as a highly rated and well priced product. This product is eligible for Amazon Smile donation.
Cardini Original Caesar Dressing, Bottles, 20 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)

Alan Davidson's The Oxford Companion to Food explains that romaine lettuce arrived in Europe via Rome and that the lettuce's name in English translates from the Italian name, lettuga romana.

Romaine lettuce is Caesar Salad's signature lettuce.
The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford Companions) by Alan Davidson (...
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning
Updated: 11/13/2021, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner 11 days ago

Veronica, Thank you for the visit. It's always nice to be visited by you and to read another one of your beautiful, wise posts (I see that I have some catching up to do in regard to what you and your older brother ;-D have been doing on Wizzley). You being so insightful and observant, you'd notice about the various textures, which is a crowd-pleaser within and outside the family.

Veronica 11 days ago

This salad has a variety of textures and I love texture in food. It is important to me

DerdriuMarriner 11 days ago

katiem2, Thank you for the visit. It's nice to see you back, with of course another educationally entertaining, entertainingly educational post.
You'll like how the salad, North Indian style, turns out so much that you'll want to share it with your daughters, their friends and your friends.

katiem2 13 days ago

I do love a good Caesar Salad! And now I'm hungry. Thanks to you I can make my own. Bout to have lunch :)

DerdriuMarriner on 07/19/2021

WriterArtist, Thank you for visiting.
My sister too, she liked all the variations on North Indian Caesar salad wherever she ate them when she was in India. I'll let her know about the Delhi-Gurgaon Hotel restaurant version that impressed you so much.
It touches me that Julius Caesar's son Caesarion so loved India that he wanted to spend his life there and that it was what he regarded as a safe haven.

WriterArtist on 07/16/2021

Where-ever I have eaten Caesar's salad in all variations, I have always found them tasty. This certainly goes a long way to keep the tradition of Roman empire and its cuisine. I particularly liked the dish served in a Delhi-Gurgaon hotel's restaurant. It is interesting to see that this recipe has outlived him for so many centuries.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/15/2021

pateluday, Thank you for the visit.
Your food-related articles, in my humble opinion, always have the charm and competence of a food connoisseur.
Yes, North Indian Chicken Caesar salad may be found in all big-city restaurants, and was served in a number of the homes of her acquaintances, according to what my sister understood from her travels throughout the subcontinent.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/15/2021

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for visiting.
You're correct about subcontinental cuisine appreciating more than lettuce in a salad. My sister came back from her India travels with all sorts of recipes about additions to lettuce, which henceforth never was left alone in a bowl in our households.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/15/2021

Veronica, Please accept my best wishes also for your youngest brother and his family also.
Wow, Lake Windermere! It always makes me think of the Oscar Wilde play. Will there be a wizzley about your sketches?

pateluday on 07/15/2021

Amazing details, I wish I was a food connoiseur. Is the salad popular in all big cities in India in restaurants and homes?

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