I enjoy an old-fashioned piece of fried chicken every now and then, but my tastebuds sometimes want that extra spice. This dish meets that expectation and more. Humble chicken tenders are transformed into extraordinary when coated and shallow fried with a spicy thick batter made with chick pea (besan) flour, rice flour, and a simple list of seasonings. I like to serve this dish with a few fried green peppers. Today’s picture features shishito peppers, which are an asian pepper.

If you are familiar with Indian food, you will notice that this is a very near adaptation of chicken pakoras. Chicken pakoras are popular as appetizers in a lot of Indian restaurants, and are served with a sprinkling of chaat masala over them. This version promises to disappear from the plate as quickly.

One interesting way to eating this fried chicken would be to make a sandwich out of it, with a green mayonnaise made by whizzing mayo, cilantro leaves, a bit of jalapeño and lime. Use a bold bread, preferably something like a ciabatta or sourdough and cut thick slices. Add a few fried shishito peppers in the sandwich to spike it up. I think you will have to account for seconds when you make this dish.

Serves 2 (very hungry people)

1 lb chicken tenders
3/4 cup chick pea flour
2 tbsps rice flour
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala pwder
salt to taste
10 curry leaves, chiffonade
2 tbsps chopped cilantro leaves
vegetable oil for shallow frying

Combine all ingredients except chicken and oil in a shallow dish. Add enough water to make a very thick batter, thicker than a pancake batter. Drop the chicken tenders into the batter, cover and let marinate in the fridge for about 4 hrs. 

Heat vegetable oil in a shallow cast iron pan. Fry the chicken tenders on each side until golden. Serve hot with fried green peppers.