Deep-fried masala chicken with coriander and basil dip


For the spiced coating

  • 200 g plain flour
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1-1½ tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 heaped tsp ground chilli
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 heaped tsp chaat masala, (see Cook’s Tips)
  • 1½ tsp salt

For the chicken

  • 250 g chicken breast fillets
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground chillies
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • oil, for deep-frying

For the coriander and basil dip

  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander, with stalks
  • 15-20 leaves Thai sweet basil
  • 15-20 leaves purple basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 cm piece ginger, scraped and coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 bird’s eye chillies, or to taste
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1-2 tsp sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 100 ml vegetable oil, optional (see Cook’s Tips)
  • 2-3 tbsp Greek yogurt

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1. For the spiced coating: put all the ingredients in a food processor and process to a fine, smooth paste. Transfer to a small tray and spread the paste out to dry. (Once fully dried, this can be kept in a jar in the fridge for several weeks.)
2. For the chicken: slice the chicken fillet horizontally then cut it into very thin strips. Put the chicken in a non-reactive bowl.
3. Combine the turmeric, ground chilli, garlic, green chilli and egg in a small bowl, then pour the mixture over the chicken. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge.
4. For the coriander and basil dip: blend all of the ingredients, except the yogurt, in a blender or food processor until smooth and fine. Add salt to taste, then stir in the yogurt and set aside.
5. Heat the oil in a wok, deep-fryer or a deep frying pan. Put some of the spiced coating in a bowl and, one by one, coat the chicken pieces in it.
6. Working in small batches, drop the coated chicken into the hot oil and, as soon as it is well coloured, remove and drain on kitchen paper.
7. Serve the fried chicken with the coriander and basil dip.


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