While using a store bought masala powder is the easiest thing to do if you are trying to make this appetiser for a bunch of guests who drop in on short notice, you can try the method of grinding your own masala and marinating the chicken a day in advance and refrigerating it. It will take your load off this extra task on the day of your party and you can focus on other things.
I keep improvising on the masala by adding a bit of this & a dash of that and the result is always satisfying. Do give it a shot when you are planning the menu of your next party!
- 1 kg chicken lollipops (approx 32-34 pieces)
- oil for deep frying (about 1 litre
- strips of aluminium foil to wrap the base of the lollipops
For the marinade
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala powder
- 1/3 cup (30gms) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1/3 cup (30gms) all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- juice of 1 small lime (optional - use this if you are not using sour curds)
- 1/2 tsp amchur (dried mango powder - optional)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
To be ground to paste
- 10 bedgi chillies *see notes
- 10 kashmiri chillies * see notes
- a 3 inch piece ginger
- 10 -12 flakes garlic without skin
- 2/3 cup cup thick, sour yogurt (curds)
- salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
For garnishing (optional)
- 2 sprigs coriander or mint leaves, chopped
- lime rings or wedges
- onion rings
- a sprinkling of chaat masala powder
- Marinating the chicken
- Wash the chicken lollipops and allow to drain completely on a colander. If you find traces of water, pat them dry with a kitchen tissue. Keep aside
- Grind the ingredients mentioned under 'To be ground to paste' - use a little water only if required as the curds is sufficient to help grind the dry ingredients. Transfer the paste into a wide deep bowl, add the remaining ingredients mentioned under 'For the marinade' and mix well. Check the taste & adjust salt & lime juice as required.
- Add the chicken lollipops and marinate the pieces well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Ideally keep the chicken marinated for 8-12 hours before frying.Frying the lollipops
- Heat oil in a deep heavy bottomed kadhai or wok. The flame needs to be on a medium high as a full flame will burn the lollipops on the outside and leave the insides uncooked. The oil is ready for frying when you drop a small piece of marinated meat and it comes up to the surface within 2-3 seconds. The oil should not to be too hot or else the outsides will brown too fast leaving the chicken uncooked.
- Carefully drop 5-6 lollipops (or as many as your kadhai can comfortably accomodate) into the hot oil and fry for about 3-4 minutes until the colour deepens to a dull red/maroon. After a couple of batches of frying reduce the flame slightly if you feel that the outside is browning too fast.
- Remove carefully with a slotted spoon, drain the pieces of excess oil by slanting the spoon against the sides of the kadhai. Transfer the lollipops onto an absorbent kitchen tissue.
- Repeat the process to fry the remaining pieces.
- Plating & serving
- Wrap strips of aluminium foil around each lollipop bone and place on a serving plate.
- Decorate the plate with onion rings and/or lime wedges or rounds.
- Garnish with chopped coriander/mint leaves.
- Serve hot with tomato sauce or a Mint & Yogurt Dip (Recipe to follow)
The nutritional values are only indicative.