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!
Preparation Time: 15 mins | Marinating Time: 4- 12 hrs | Deep Frying Time: 3-4 mins per batch
- 1kg (approx 32-34 pieces) chicken lollipops
- 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 (haldi)
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala powder
- 1/3rd cup/30gm cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1/3rd cup/30gm maida (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
- 10 bedgi chillies *see notes
- 10 kashmiri chillies * see notes
- a 3 inch piece ginger
- 10 -12 cloves garlic (Indian) without skin
- 2/3rd cup thick sour curds (yogurt)
- salt to taste (about 2 tsp)
- 2 sprigs coriander or mint leaves chopped
- lime rings or wedges
- onion rings
- a sprinkling of chaat masala powder
1. 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
2. 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.
3. 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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Repeat the process to fry the remaining pieces.
Plating & serving
2. Decorate the plate with onion rings and/or lime wedges or rounds.
3. Garnish with chopped coriander/mint leaves.
4. Serve hot with tomato sauce or a Mint & Yogurt Dip (Recipe to follow)
The chillies (10 bedgi & 10 kashmiri) may seem a lot, but for the above mentioned quantity of chicken lollipops it is moderately spicy. The combination of flour (maida) and cornstarch (cornflour) balances out the spice, however use your discretion and increase or decrease the quantity of chillies. Note that the Bedgi variety are for the spice and flavour and the Kashmiri chillies are low on spice but lend a beautiful colour – this eliminates the need to use any food colouring. You can use any variety of chillies that are spicy along with the Kashmiri variety.