Kerala Fried Chicken

067/18: Kerala Fried Chicken

067/18 – Kerala Fried Chicken:

A few years back we had a great time in Kerala whilst travelling around India so a recipe for Kerala Fried Chicken caught my attention. I don’t remember eating this dish whilst we were out there but I remember the rest of the food being fantastic so I wanted to give it a try.

The Kit:

The Vortex (Fuel Dome) – you can get one from Pro Smoke for £27.99. I did a write up on what it is and how it works in a previous post:

BBQ24/17: Vortex Chicken Wings


Fresh Curry Leaves aren’t easy to get hold of, I got mine from Amazon for £4.85 – they were nice and green when they arrive. 

The Charcoal:

I was looking for a high heat and a nice but mild smelling charcoal – had to be Sweet Chestnut from Oxford Charcoal. I filled up the chimney starter, put a couple of flamers underneath, lit them and left it to heat up.

Kerala Fried Chicken

The Meat:

2 packs of Chicken Wings from Gartmorn Farm – £2 per pack which is an absolute bargain for chicken of this quality. No need to trim the wing tips on these, already gone before they arrive.

The Prep:

The chicken needs to sit in the marinade for 24 hours so I did the prep the day before. In a blender went buttermilk, garlic, chillies, coriander, mint and salt. The mix was blitzed then poured over the chicken wings in a bowl which was covered and left in the fridge.

The next day it was time to have a look at the chicken:

Kerala Fried Chicken

Plain flour was put into a bowl with baking powder, we had run out of baking powder so made some by mixing bicarb of soda and cream of tartar. 

With the charcoal lit through it was poured into the vortex which was in the centre of the Weber Kettle. Nice to fire up my Weber again.  Kerala Fried Chicken

Time to Cook:

With the grill in place the chicken was pulled out the bowl, excess marinade shaken off then each wing was dipped into the flour mix and placed on the grill. Once they were all on a chunk of cherry was placed in the centre to smoke the meat. I went for cherry as I didn’t want to overpower the spice mix from the marinade.

Kerala Fried Chicken

Every 15 minutes I spun the lid 90 degrees, the theory with this is it pulls the heat out the top vents so rotating the lid should evenly cook and colour the wings. Half an hour in:

Kerala Fried Chicken

The chicken was taking on some good colour. Starting to look quite crispy.

Kerala Fried Chicken

After an hour, the crispy, golden chicken looked awesome!

Kerala Fried Chicken

Now, something a little different. You have to shallow fry curry leaves and with a nice round bottomed wok in the kitchen I thought to stick it on top of the vortex:

Kerala Fried Chicken

I left it a few minutes then added the curry leaves, must remember to be a bit careful next time as the oil was crazy hot!

Kerala Fried Chicken

After about 15 seconds the leaves were ready.

Kerala Fried Chicken

Time to Plate Up:

3 wings on a plate topped with the curry leaves.

Kerala Fried Chicken

My wife made a salad to go with the wings:

This salad was a bit of a last minute “let’s use up the leftovers in the fridge” kind of side dish as the dirty fries I had planned (similar to these Bulgogi Fries) seemed inappropriate on the hottest day of the year so far in Scotland!

I shredded a bulb of fennel, half a little gem lettuce, half a pack of rocket (go easy if you have super peppery stuff), half a cucumber (seeds removed if you can be bothered, I couldn’t), a handful of dill, a teaspoon of sugar, the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of coconut vinegar (or use white wine vinegar) – it tasted ok like this but the rocket was a bit overpowering. I decided it needed something to cool it down, to be more of a slaw than a salad, so I opened up the fridge again to see what I could find and was delighted to see a bowl of the leftover double cream/buttermilk from yesterday’s (Yucatan Chicken) so used half of that, I’d guess around 100-150ml – just till you get your desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning and you’re good to go with your simple fennel slaw (if I’d thought, I would have added some shredded apple to this too to perk it up).

Kerala Fried Chicken

Time to Eat:

Wings with the curry leaves and a bit of salad on the side.

Kerala Fried Chicken


I have cooked chicken wings on the vortex a few times now but this was definitely my favourite as they were so crispy! It was like proper fried chicken but with a nice hint of spice from the marinade. Recommended.

Cook Difficulty: 2/5 
Cook Duration: Short: 2/5
Cook Equipment: Weber Kettle
Cook Method: Vortex
Charcoal: Oxford Charcoal Sweet Chestnut
Smoking Wood: Smokewood Shack Cherry Chunk
Cook temperature: Hot!
Cook time: 1 hour
Internal temperature: N/A
Notes: 1: No major changes, watch the flour as it clumps a bit as you get towards the end.


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4 thoughts on “067/18: Kerala Fried Chicken

    1. Hi Frank, I think it should work in the KJ. Not sure you could achieve the same without the fuel dome in the KJ though, it’s good at creating the “beam” of heat you need. Almost like an air fryer.

  1. They look great. I must dig the vortex out again. Might try it with thighs though as I prefer something more meaty.

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