Classic tastes from the Punjab
A speciality of Lahori, marinated chicken is steamed and then flash fried and served up with leftover piquant chargha masala and lemon.
1 kg/2¼ lb whole chicken, skinned
2 large tbsp chargha masala (below)
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp each grated ginger and crushed garlic
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ tsp red food colour (optional) salt, to taste sunflower oil, for frying handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
Chargha masala – grind together: Store in an airtight container for up to three months.
Grind together in a dry spice grinder
• 1 tsp black peppercorns
• 1 dried red chilli, crushed
• 1 tsp dry-roasted cumin seeds
• 1 tsp dry-roasted coriander seeds
• 1 tsp fennel seeds
• ½ tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
• 3–4 green cardamom pods
• 1 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
• 1 tsp ground anardana
1. Score the chicken all over with a sharp knife. Mix the yogurt, ginger, garlic, vinegar, red food colour, if using, and salt together in a large bowl until well combined.
2. Add the ground chargha masala, then add the chicken and turn until the chicken is coated. Cover with clingfilm and allow to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour, or overnight.
3. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and cook in a steamer for 40–45 minutes, or until the
juices run clear when the thickest part of the meat is pierced with a skewer.
4. Just before serving, heat about 4 tablespoons of oil in a wok and flash-fry
the steamed chicken for a few minutes until the outside is caramelised all over.
5. Sprinkle with coriander, any leftover spice blend and lemon juice then serve.