Sunday, December 1, 2013

My mama's fried chicken

My kids still have a vivid memory of their visits to their grandma's house in India in their childhood where they enjoyed her mouth watering fried chicken which she loved to serve them. And now whenever they visit me they want to eat their Nani's (grandma) special chicken. Therefore I carry her tradition. It is a simple recipe, but I believe her magic potion was love which she poured into it that made the difference and kicked it up a notch. 
Here's the recipe!


Chicken - 1 whole
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbs
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder(deghi/kashmiri mirch)- 2 tsp
Vegetable oil - 2 cups to fry
Lemon juice - from 1/2 a lemon or 1 lime.
Salt to taste.


1. Remove the skin, cut the whole chicken into 12 pieces, clean wash and drain them.

2. Rub the chicken pieces with salt and lemon/lime juice and leave aside for 15 minutes.

3. Mix together freshly ground ginger garlic paste, turmeric & red chilly powder and rub the chicken with it. 

4. Steam it on medium heat for a few minutes till it turns opaque or is half cooked. It will be a bit soupy at the bottom. Do not throw away this soup. Remove from the stove. Leave aside to cool. 

5. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan or dutch oven and on medium high fry all the chicken pieces till golden brown and crisp. Do not over fry as they would become hard like charcoal.  Drain on paper towels.     
6. Now throw in all the fried chicken pieces in the sauce, spoon in a teaspoon or two of hot oil to the sauce then toss and turn over to coat them evenly. Enjoy with rice and salad.

Maamoul fillings

Maamoul fillings:

The filling inside the mamoul is what breathes life into it. The outer soft velvety texture of the cookie combined with the crunchy, nutty, sweet and fragrant filling inside kicks it up a notch and one bite of it is enough to place you in the seventh heaven! That is why I love the fillings with nuts - either almonds or walnuts or pistachios or mixed nuts.  Pistachio mamouls are my husband's favourite and mine too.

As for the fillings with dates, I would recommend using finely chopped dates or home made date paste (made with good dates) instead of the store bought one which is mostly stale and is gritty.

One more important ingredient is the orange blossom water. It enhances the taste of the mamoul with its intoxicating fragrance. You cannot do without it. I would say you cannot call it a mamoul if there was no orange blossom water in it.

Using honey and icing sugar with the nuts gives it a crunchy texture.

You may also use different variations such as choc chips, sweetened dried coconut etc..

Nuts (Pistachios/Almonds/Walnuts/mixed nuts - 1 cup
Icing sugar - 1/4 cup
Honey - 2 tbs
Orange blossom water - 1 tbs

1. Put the nuts in a zip lock bag. Take a pestle or a hammer and pound the nuts coarsely.

2. Transfer them to a bowl. Add a major portion of the icing sugar, saving just a little to dust later.

3. Add orange blosssom water. Mix well with a fork.

4. Drizzle the honey and mix well again.

5. Dust a little more icing sugar from what you saved earlier.

6. Make small rounds of them and keep it ready for stuffing the mamouls.

7. For the dates filling, chop finely or grind the dates. Add orange blossom water, dust with a little icing sugar, mix well and use this for stuffing the maamouls. For the complete maamoul recipe click here.