Recipe loosely adapted from Kothiyavunu (Original recipe from The Arabian Nights Cookbook by Habeeb Salloum)
- Chicken leg quarters (with or without skin) – 4
2. Ginger-garlic paste – 2.5 tbsp (Grind 1 inch ginger and 6 – 8 large cloves of garlic to a fine paste)
Lemon juice – 2.5 tbsp
Thick yoghurt – 2 tbsp
Salt – As required
3. Onion – 2 tbsp, chopped
Tomato – 1 small, chopped
Green chilies – 3, chopped
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped (optional)
Whole spices – cardamom – 5, cloves – 6, cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch, fennel seeds -1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder /regular chilly powder – 1.5 tbsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 3 tbsp
Salt – To taste
1. Make 3 – 4 deep slits on the fleshy part of the chicken so that the marinade can penetrate inside the flesh. Combine chicken pieces with ingredients numbered 2. Remember to rub the marinade inside the slits. Set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Grind all the ingredients numbered 3 to a fine paste. Transfer to a large bowl. Taste check for salt. Apply it all over the chicken pieces (discard any extra marinade or save it for later). Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hrs or overnight. Take it out 1 hr before baking.
3. Grill the chicken pieces until done OR Preheat oven to its maximum setting. The maximum temperature that I can set in my oven is 500 F so I baked them at that temperature. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly grease / spray the foil with oil. Arrange the chicken pieces on the foil. Brush the chicken with oil or pour/spray little oil on them ( this step is optional). Place the baking tray in the center rack of the oven. Bake it for about 15 minutes. Take out the tray carefully using your oven mitts. Turn them over and brush/pour/spray a little oil on the chicken pieces. Return the tray to the oven. Bake for another 10 – 12 minutes. Be careful not to burn the chicken pieces. Broil for the last 3 – 4 minutes. Take it out. Brush with little melted butter.
Optional step – Transfer the baked chicken pieces to a large bowl. Place a small steel bowl inside. Heat a piece of charcoal on direct flame until it is nicely hot, this will take a few minutes. Once the charcoal is hot, place it inside the small bowl and pour a tsp of oil/ghee on top. Immediately cover with lid and set aside for at least 5 minutes. It gives a nice smoky flavor to the chicken. Serve with pita bread / naan, salad and mayonnaise/salata hara.