Hot Chicken Pakoras

Inspired by Nashville’s iconic hot chicken, these spicy, flavor-packed pakoras are a marriage of Chef Maneet Chauhan’s Indian heritage and her current Southern home.

Hot Chicken Pakoras
 
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Ingredients
Chicken:
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 quart whole buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons garlic ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon hing (asafoetida powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
Batter:
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon hing (asafoetida powder)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons soda water
  • 1 tablespoon garlic ginger paste
  • Spiced Salt (recipe follows)
  • Habanero Hot Sauce (recipe follows)
Spiced Salt
  • 1 tablespoon chaat masala
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons ground chipotle chile pepper
Habanero Hot Sauce
  • ¼ pound habaneros, stemmed and seeded
  • ½ pound yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ¾ cup Champagne vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
Instructions
Chicken
  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, buttermilk, garlic ginger paste, salt, hing, black pepper, red pepper, chili powder, and paprika. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Fill a large Dutch oven halfway with oil, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°.
Batter
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, chili powder, hing, and salt. Whisk in soda water until a smooth milkshake consistency. Whisk in garlic ginger paste. Place remaining 1 cup all-purpose flour in a shallow dish.
  2. Working in batches, dredge chicken pieces in flour, shaking off excess. Dredge in batter. Fry until chicken is cooked and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with Spiced Salt. Serve immediately with Habanero Hot Sauce.
Spiced Salt
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Habanero Hot Sauce
  1. In the container of a blender, process together habanero, bell pepper, salt, and zest; until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
  2. Strain pepper mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids. Return strained pepper mixture to the container of a blender. Add vinegar, honey, and xanthan gum; process until smooth and thickened, about 30 seconds. Season with additional salt, if needed. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

 

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