Achu’s Crazy Hot Southern Style Fried Chicken

Peanut oil, for frying (Canola or vegetable oil is fine too if you don’t have peanut oil)
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp hot sauce
1 egg beaten
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry
1.5 tbsp ground cayenne
1/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

If you are making Sandwich with fried chicken:
Iceberg lettuce
Mayonnaise -or- Sriracha Mayo
4 Kaiser rolls or good sandwich buns
(Optional) Pickles and chips

Season the chicken with salt, and keep it aside.

Arrange things for coating chicken:
Dry mixture: In a shallow bowl or Aluminum foil, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and Salt (as needed, to taste); buttermilk, hot sauce, egg, and a pinch of salt in another shallow bowl. Mix it until well combined.
Wet mixture: In another shallow bowl, mix buttermilk, hot sauce, beaten egg, and a pinch of salt.

Bread the chicken thighs:
Now, coat chicken with dry mixture by dipping all sides of the chicken in it, then dunk in the buttermilk mixture, then back into the dry and transfer to a plate.

Add oil to cast-iron skillet. Oil should be atleast 3/4 – 1 inch for better deep frying experience. Set to medium-high heat that is needed for deep frying. You can drop a small piece of flour mixture into the pan with oil. It should instantly sizzle but not burn. When the oil is hot and checked as explained above, add the breaded chicken thighs. If there isn’t enough space for all of them, do this in batches.)  Fry for about 4 1/2 minutes on one side. And about 4 mts on the other side after flipping chicken.

While they are frying, combine the cayenne, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper in a heatproof bowl.

When you’re done frying the chicken, add about 1/2 cup hot frying oil to the bowl with the spices and whisk until smooth.  Dunk the fried chicken in the spiced oil. (If it gets too thick at any point, just thin out with a little more hot oil.)

If you are doing sandwiches, arrange sandwiches with bun/rolls, lettuce, mayo/chipotle mayo.   Optional: Pickles, sliced Onion, Tomato slices. Serve with Chips or Sweet Potato Fries.

Note: Kids decided to cook dinner on Fridays during COVID lockdown. So, Achu prepared this hot chicken yesterday, and Sanju did the Sweet Potato Fries to go with it. It was yummy. Not the healthiest…but can have this once in a while… 🙂

Sanju’s Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe here:

Priti’s Tandoori Style Chicken with thick gravy.

This is a very tasty variation of Tandoori chicken with thick gravy. Goes very well with Porotta, Pulav, Ghee Rice, Naan etc.

Cleaned Chicken Leg Quarters – 10     (Cut each leg quarter into two (thigh and leg), and make narrow long cuts on the meat for the flavor/masala to go in)

Drain all water from chicken and remove any excess water with a paper towel.

Prepare Marinade

Rajah Tandoori Masala – 3 tablespoon
Roopak Mughals chicken masala – 1 Tspn
Chilli powder – 1tspn
Kashmiri chili – 1.5 Tspn
Plain Greek yogurt  – 3.5 cups
Lemon juice squeezed –  from 1 whole lemon
Salt – to taste
Paste from -> Ginger (2 inch piece), garlic (12 cloves), whole black pepper (15), and small green chili (5)
Oil – 8 Tspn  (I used olive. Any oil like Canola/vegetable oil is fine)
Red color – a pinch (very little, optional for appearance)
Garam Masala – 1 tspn
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Marinate chicken with the marinade above, and mix it well (1-2 minutes) by hand. Cover well, and Refrigerate overnight.


Preheat Oven to 350 F. Temperatures here is for my oven. Adjust it, if needed, depending on your oven conditions.

Take chicken with marinade from the refrigerator and add 1/2 tsp meat tenderizer, and mix well, and keep it outside at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Take a flat baking dish (at least 1 inch deep). Lay chicken pieces on it (one layer), with some gap between the pieces. Using a big spoon pour the marinade in between chicken pieces. (I had to use two 9 X 11 dishes for 10 leg quarters).

Cover with Aluminium foil, and make some small cuts on the foil for breathing.
Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes.
After 30minutes, Change temperature to 425F.

Open oven, Turn chicken over, then cover again,  Bake again at 425 for 30 minutes.
Open oven, Turn chicken over again, then bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 425.

Optional: You can make Red onion slices and garnish and broil at High for 5 minutes. Carefully watch this step, as this can burn everything depending on your Oven. Stop immediately and open oven if you see signs of burning.

Priti’s Chick-Fil-A Style Spicy Chicken patty


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast.     (Wash and pat it dry. Slice horizontally to make the piece thinner. I usually cut the breast narrow end out, like a triangle and save for another dish. That way I can get 8 nice round/square-ish patty cut. Pound chicken gently with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until about 1/2 inch thick all around.)

Kaiser rolls for burger – 8



Make a marinade by mixing ingredients below :
1/2 cup pickle juice (sour dill is my favorite. Buy a pickle bottle, and use the juice)
1/2 tsp sugar
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon celery salt (sometimes I made without this, as I didn’t have them, and it was ok)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Marinate chicken in the above marinade and keep in the fridge for at least an hour or two.

Drain excess marinade from the chicken, and keep aside.

For coating:
Make a mixture for coating patties with all purpose flour,  garlic powder,  celery salt, oregano,  red chili powder-1 tsp, and salt.
Keep another plate with buttermilk for coating. (you can also use yogurt with little water mixed)

Dip the chicken patties in the flour mixture, and coat it evenly.
Then dip in buttermilk, and then dip again in the flour mixture.

Heat the oil in a skillet (1/2 inch deep)
Fry each cutlet for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.
Blot on paper and serve on toasted kaiser rolls. I add pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and sriracha mayo sauce to the sandwich.
(You can also freeze the patties, and reheat in a skillet for later use.)

Priti’s Awesome Kali Chicken

Ingredients for marinating chicken

1. Whole cut up chicken (1 chicken) cleaned, washed and drained (you can also wash with vinegar, before washing with water, to make it smell better)
2. Yogurt – Half Cup
3. Make a paste with Garlic (10 cloves), Green chili (3-4), black pepper (10-15), Black Jeera (1/2 tsp)
(You can make this paste and store in fridge for couple of days)
4. Ground black pepper – 1 tsp
5. Ground White pepper – 1 tsp
6. Red whole pepper – 2 or 3
7. Oil – 1 tsp (Olive, Canola, Vegetable oil etc is fine)
8. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
9. Salt – as needed

Marinate washed and drained Chicken with ingredients above and leave it for an hour. (Sometimes I don’t get this much time, and I just do 15 mts, and still tastes good)

Heat some ghee (about 2 tbsp) in a pan and shallow fry the chicken. You can mix and turn in between for it to cook evenly. Take it out when it starts to brown. I usually see this as the chicken getting almost cooked, and getting firm.. so that it will stay nice and tasty when added to the gravy.

Ingredients for Gravy

Fennel Seeds – 20
Bay leaves – 4 one inch pieces
Cinnamon stick – 4-5 one inch sticks
Chopped yellow onion – 2 cups
Chopped tomatoes – 1 big tomato
Red chili powder – 1 tsp (reduce if you think it is getting more spicy)
Honey – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Heat a pan with little oil. Put fennel seeds, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks let it be fry.
Then sauté chopped onions till it is slightly brown
Add chopped tomatoes and saute/fry again until it forms a nice sautéed mixture.
Add some salt for this mixture only.
Add red chili powder, Coriander powder and sauté for some more time.
Add prepared chicken to it, and mix well and cook on medium heat until chicken is tender.
Make a nut paste with milk (I used an equal mix of almond (10), walnut(10) and pistachio(10). You can just use cashews if that is easier).
Add the nut paste to chicken.
Stir 2-3 minutes for it to mix well.
Add water for gravy for the consistency you like. I like it little thick like butter chicken etc.
Garnish with 1 tsp honey & gram masala.

Goes well with Ghee rice, Pulav, Chapathi, Nan etc.

Priti’s Yummy Chilli Chicken


  • Chicken tenderloin – 3 pounds
  • Veggies for the Sauce:
    • Celery Chopped – 2-3 Sticks
    • Green  and Red Pepper chopped – 1 cup
    • Chopped Jalapeno – 2-3
  • Sauce
    • Tomato sauce (canned is OK too) – .5 cup
    • vinegar -1tspn
    • Maggi masala chili sauce – 2tbspn,
    • Ketchup – 2tbspn
    • Miracle Manchurian Mix from Indian Store – 1 tbspn
    • MSG – 2-3 pinches
    • Red chilli pwdr – to your taste
    • Chicken Broth – just enough to make the sauce to your desired consistency.
Note: Some ingredients are listed in the directions, and not in the ingredients list above. Also, add spices/chilli for your desired taste.  MSG is optional, but helps with the taste. This dish can also be made with Cauliflower or fish(tilapia).


Wash chicken and get all the water out with a paper towel.  Use a meat mallet and tenderize chicken, and cut into small pieces. Keep aside.

Marinate chicken for 0.5 – 3hrs or overnight in a ziploc bag with: ginger-garlic paste, green chili sauce (or green chili), soy sauce, korean hot sauce, red chili powder, Kashmiri Chili (for color), black pepper, Corn flour (3 tbsp), wheat flour (1 tbsp), Korean pancake mix (1 tbsp – Optional), MSG, Vinegar – 1tsp, and Salt.

Fry the marinated chicken in Canola/Vegetable Oil, and keep it aside. You can freeze this for later use as well.

Saute 1 med sized onion chopped fine in canola or vegetable oil till it is light brown.  Add 2 tbsp of Chopped Ginger/Garlic, and saute for a minute. Add  1 cup of Chopped green onion and saute again for a minute. Add all veggies listed above for sauce. Saute it for couple of minutes until the veggies softens. Add all ingredients listed in the sauce section above and let it boil for few minutes to get it all blend well. Mix 1 tspn of corn starch with water, and add to the sauce (helps to thicken sauce).  Add Fried chicken to the sauce and blend it well for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish with sesame oil and cilantro (Optional).

Enjoy with rice, fried rice, chapati or nan…..

Naadan Chicken Curry (With Eastern chicken curry masala)

Chicken – 2 pounds
* Chicken with bones -or- whole chicken cut into small pieces will give the best taste.
* You can also use boneless chicken thighs. But remove all fat, skin etc if there is any.
* Chicken breast/tenderloin is easy, but wont give the best results.
But if you want to go with breast, tenderloin will give slightly better result than chicken breast
Chopped Ginger – 1 inch piece
Chopped Garlic – 7 large cloves
Curry Leaves – 15
Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tspn
(I make mine with Fennel seeds, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves. Ratio: 2 tsp fennel seeds; 1 inch stick of cinnamon, 2 cardamoms, 5 cloves. You can make bigger quantity and store in air-tight container for months for later use)
Tomato – 1 (I use Roma tomatoes)
Onion (Yellow or Red) – 3 medium sized (size of cricket ball)
Green Chillies – 4 (change if you like it less/more spicy. I use Thai Hot green chilly)
Coriander powder – 3 tspn
Easter Chicken Curry Masala – 3 tspn
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tspn
Oil – 4 tspn

Clean and cut chicken into small pieces and keep aside.
Cut onions into thin 1 inch pieces. (You can use the `Slice1` method explained here: )
Slice Green chilly lengthwise into half.

– Heat a pan/vessel with 4 teaspoons of oil (Medium heat). When it is hot add chopped ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Saute for a minute or less.
– Add onions to it before ginger/garlic become brown. Now add turmeric and salt. You can add salt for the whole curry considering chicken you will be adding later. Saute this in medium heat until it softens and becomes golden brown. This will take about 10-15 minutes. You can keep it covered after 5 minutes for 5 minutes to make the softening process easier. But open the lid and saute in between so that it wont get burnt. Also saute it without covering for last 5 minutes (more/less depending on how fast/slow it gets sauteed).
– Once onion is well done, and softens, reduces in size, add eastern chicken curry powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder. Saute this well (approx. 5-6 mts. Add bit more oil if it is so dry).
– Add chicken pieces, mix it well. Let it stay open for 5 minutes. Mix in between so that bottom wont get burned. Now add water to it and mix well. I usually keep a cup of water near and add little by little mixing in between. that will help me to stop when I see desired consistency. More water will come out of chicken when it is cooked. So, add water considering that too. After it starts boiling, keep it covered in low-medium heat. Let it get cooked for about 15 minutes. Mix it in between to avoid sticking to bottom of the vessel.
– Check a chicken piece with curry for salt, spiciness etc. If desired add some more of salt, eastern chicken masala etc
– Add tomatoes with salt for that (chopped into 1 cm pieces), and some more curry leaves and cook it covered for another 5 minutes or so.

Variations (sometime I do these variations):
v1) Add 1 cup of chopped methi leaves along with tomatoes, and cook until methi leaves blends in (5-10 mts)
v2) If I want a thick gravy, I wont add water, and work with water that comes out of chicken
v3) You can also make it dry by keeping it longer on stove and letting all water evaporates.

Yummy Kerala Style Biriyani (My mom’s recipe)

BiriyaniIngredients for Rice:
Basmati rice – 2 cups (Soak rice in water for atleast an hour)
Cinnamon – 4 one inch pieces
Cloves – 6 nos
Cardamom – 4 nos
Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp
Water – 3 cups
Ghee & Salt


Ingredients for marinating  chicken:-
Chicken – 3 lbs  (Cut the chicken into big pieces – 2 inches piece. Don’t need to cut chicken If you are using Chicken leg pieces. Just make some slits on the piece, so that masala will go in.
Chilly powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – A little
Black pepper – 1 tsp
Garlic-ginger-Green chilly-Cilantro-Mint Leaves paste – 3 tbsp  (you can make more, so that you can use rest for biriyani gravy too)
Masala powder – 1-2 tsp  (I make masala powder  from Fennel seeds-Cinnamon-Cardamom-Cloves- star Anise-Bay leaves)

Ingredients for Chicken gravy:-
Onion(big) – 3 nos (Sliced, Red onions preferred)
Chilly powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 3 tbsp
Masala powder – 2 tsp (same from above)
Garlic-ginger-Green chilly-Cilantro-Mint Leaves paste – 2 tbsp
Mint leaves(Pudhina) – 2 stems
Coriander leaves – 2 stems
Roma Tomato – 2-3 (quartered – one tomato in 4 pieces)
Oil- As required
Yogurt – 1/4 cup

Ingredients for Garnishing:
Ghee – As required for frying (I take like 1/2 inch high ghee on a small pan for frying this)
Thinly sliced Onions (red onions preferred) – from 1/2 – 1 onion
Cashews – 20 nos
Raisins – 20-30 nos
Mint leaves(Pudhina) – 3 stems
Coriander leaves – 3 stems

Fry the above garnish items one after other in the order listed above, and keep them aside separately. Onion should be added when ghee is very hot and make sure it doesn’t get burnt. Don’t overcrowd while frying onion. If you have more, do separate batches of frying. After frying onions, you can lower heat to medium. Raisins are done frying when they expand to form balls. Cashew just need to be slightly brown outside.

Note: If you want to reduce amount of ghee used, don’t do this step. Instead use cashews, raisins and leaves for garnishing, without frying in ghee.

Ingredients for Aroma and color:
Rose essence – 1 tsp
Yellow color powder – a pinch
Mix  Rose essence and  color powder, and keep it aside.

Preparation for pan frying Chicken and then making Biriyani Gravy:

1)Mix together all the ingredients for marinating the chicken.
2)Marinate the chicken with the above paste for approximately an hour.(You can do/prep this previous night and refrigerate it)
3) Pan Fry this chicken in oil. Don’t fry the chicken pieces for long time. Otherwise, it will become very dry and hard. Just want the outside to be sealed and fried, inside may not be cooked well. But this will get more cooking time when we make gravy with chicken.  The purpose of doing this is to make the pieces little stronger so that it won’t split into small pieces while making curry.

1) Heat little oil or ghee or both together in a pan or a kadai (for cooking chicken with gravy).
2)Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for sometime. Before that starts browning, add onions and cut green chillies and and saute` well.
3)When it is sauted well and turns slightly brown, add chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder,  black pepper, masala powder and salt and saute again until it makes a nice soft mixture. (About 15mts)
4)Add fried chicken pieces to it. Mix gently without breaking chicken pieces. Cover and  cook in medium heat. So, all mixes well. This will take sometime (like 30mts or so in low medium heat, so that chicken and onion mix can blend well and create a thick biriyani gravy. All water should be gone, and result in a roasted style. It will loosen up when we add curd and tomato later.  You can save the time by cooking rice while this gravy is going on, as you don’t have much to do other than mixing and making sure chicken and gravy is not getting burnt or sticking to the bottom of the vessel.
9) When it is almost dry and roasted, Add yogurt and mix it well. Taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
10)Add tomatoes, cover and cook. Make sure Tomato layers at the bottom, so that it cooks fast, and gets a roasted feel. You don’t have to blend tomato into the gravy much. It is nice to have pieces of roasted tomato to eat in biriyani. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add Cilantro and Mint leaves to this and mix in.
12) Mix in between. The gravy should be like a  roasted paste. It should not be too dry or watery.  Check salt and add more, if needed.

Preparation for Cooking Rice:

1)Soak rice in water and keep for an hour. Drain water from rice and keep it aside.
2)Heat 2 – 3 tbsp of ghee in a thick bottom vessel (for cooking rice).
3)Add 3 – 4 pieces of Fennel Seeds, cinnamon, Star Anise, cloves and cardamom and stir for a while. (Optional: nutmeg Pieces).
4) When spices gets roasted and a nice aroma comes, Add water. For 1 cup of rice, add 1.5 cups of water. Add Salt to the water for your taste, and allow it to boil.
5)Add the drained rice into it. Mix well, and cover and allow it to be cooked in medium high heat. Keep a close eye, when water starts disappearing, open lid, mix well, cover again, and turn heat to low.  Keep it covered and cook some more time (may be 5-8mts), so that water will disappear from bottom of the vessel too. Turn off the stove, and Don’t open the lid. Leave it covered for 20-30 mts. (it continues to cook while it stays  closed and warm)

For Baking Biriyani:-

For Oven Style:-
1)Take a big shallow oven safe dish. You can use Aluminum foil  trays too instead of flat dish. I usually use 9X13 inch thick baking dish (Glass, Ceramic etc). They are close to two inches high.
2)Coat it with ghee.
3)Put the chicken with gravy as a layer followed by a layer of  the rice. Usually for 2 inch dish you can have only one layer of chicken and rice.
4)Sprinkle few drops of Rose essence and color mix on top of the rice with a spoon carefully. Too much of this will give a very strong smell. So, be careful and drop only few spoons. You can use the same spoon to spread these drops across so the colors spreads bit more.
5)Sprinkle 1 tbsp of ghee on top of it, and spread it. Sprinkle the fried Mint and Cilantro. Sprinkle the fried cashews and raisins on top of it. Press the top layer down with a flat spoon so that the content is packed without much air inside. Cover tightly with an oven safe lid or aluminum foil.
Optional: You can add few slices of pineapple, and boiled eggs on top of the rice, before baking, if you like it.
6)Bake this in the centre of the oven at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes. If you are making more quantity, you can put that in multiple shallow dishes and bake in the oven at the same time.

For Stove top Style:-
Use a big wide vessel coated with ghee or butter to make biriyani. Make layer of chicken,  rice, color/essence, mix, ghee and garnish as described in the above step. You can make repeat the layer if needed. Press the top layer down with a flat spoon so that the content is packed without much air inside. Cover it with a lid and heat the filled vessel on a low flame for approximately 20 – 25 mins. Check the bottom of the vessel in between with a spoon or something to make sure it is not getting burnt. If it is getting burnt, reduce the heat.

For Serving:

Take portions vertically from the baked biriyani so that a serving plate will have both rice and chicken with masala. Accompaniments listed below:

– Biriyani goes well with with lime pickle, Yogurt raita or Sarlas (Vinegar and Red Onion Salad) and pappadam. Raita can be made with Red onions, tomato, green chillies(optional), curd and salt.  Sarlas – I make by mixing thin slices of red onion with, green chillies chopped, white vine vinegar to cover onions, and salt. Leave it mixed for atleast 20-30mts. Can be refrigerated too. I prefer Sarlas over raita for Biriyani. May be Mallu taste buds 🙂
– Use the same quantity of Mutton instead of chicken to make Mutton Biriyani with the same recipe.