Char-grilled Octopus with John's Special Marinade - Chef Recipe by John T. Bailey
“Great snack with a cold drink on a hot day.” - John T.Bailey.
4 large garlic cloves, finely grated
10g (2 tsp) finely grated root ginger (peeled weight)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/3 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (optional)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
4 tsp lemon juice
40g (3 Tbs) plain yoghurt
2/3 tsp salt
2 chicken breasts, cut into 2cm pieces
2 Tbs cornflour (cornstarch)
Vegetable oil, as needed
25 fresh curry leaves
20g (1 1/2 Tbs) finely chopped root ginger (peeled weight)
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3–6 Indian green finger chillies, to taste, 1 finely chopped, 2–5 just pierced with a knife
Good grinding of freshly ground
Lemon wedges, to serve
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a large bowl. Taste, adjust the salt and add the chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but longer in the fridge would be better (return to room temperature before cooking).
Beat the egg and cornflour into the chicken and marinade.
In a deep, wide pan over a high heat, heat about 5cm vegetable oil. Once it is hot enough to fry with, add one-third of the chicken; it should sizzle as soon as it hits the hot oil. Cook over a high heat for 3 minutes, turning once, or until the chicken is deeply golden on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to blot off the excess oil. Repeat to cook all the chicken.
Pour the oil through a sieve into a small bowl. Return 2 1/2 tablespoons back to the pan and heat through. Add the curry leaves and cook for 20 seconds or until they are crisp. Add the ginger, garlic, green chillies and a good pinch of salt and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the chicken and black pepper and stir-fry over a high heat for another 30 seconds to bring the whole thing together.
Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
Credits: This is an edited extract from I Love India by Anjum Anand (published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $39.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: Photographer: ©Martin Poole