Kricket's Keralan fried chicken

Luxury London

17 December 2020

“This dish came about almost by accident, and has proved to be arguably the most popular dish on our menu. When we first opened Kricket inside a shipping container in Brixton in 2015, I learnt quickly that there was to be no room for a tandoor, only a fryer. So I adapted a basic tandoori marinade, made use of our small gas fryer and Kricket’s very own fried chicken was born. It is likely to remain on the menu for some time to come!” Will Bowlby, head chef and co-founder of London restaurant Kricket

17 December 2020 | Luxury London


Serves 4

• 400 g boneless, skinless, free-range chicken thighs, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
• 1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying
• 100g plain flour
• 100g cornflour
• 1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
• 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
• a generous pinch of chaat masala per portion
• 80g fresh curry leaves, lightly fried, to serve
• 200g Curry Leaf Mayonnaise, to serve

For the spicy marinade
• 300 g Greek yoghurt
• 100ml buttermilk
• 1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
• 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
• 3 green chillies, finely chopped
• 1 bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped

For the pickled mooli
• 200g pickles peeled and thinly sliced
• 200ml Pickling Liquor (see below)


• To make the spicy marinade, mix the yoghurt, buttermilk, chilli powder, turmeric, green chillies and coriander together in a bowl. Turn the chicken thighs in the marinade so it is coated, cover and leave in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
• To make the pickled mooli, steep the sliced mooli in the pickling liquor for 1–2 hours at room temperature, then keep in the refrigerator until needed.
• Pour the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan (skillet) or kadai, and heat until it is about 180°C (350°F). The oil is hot enough when a cube of bread sizzles when dropped into it. While the oil heats up, combine the flour, cornflour, chilli powder and turmeric in a shallow bowl.
• Lift the chicken out of the marinade and coat in the flour-mix, shaking off any excess. Deep-fry in the oil for about 5 minutes until the outside is golden brown. To ensure the chicken is cooked through, test the middle of the biggest piece of chicken with a probe thermometer; it should be over 75ºC (167ºF)
• Remove the chicken from the fryer and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle generously with chaat masala. Serve with the pickled mooli, fried curry leaves and the curry leaf mayonnaise.

Pickling Liquor

Makes 1 litre

• 500ml white wine vinegar
• 500g caster sugar
• 2 star anise
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 4 cloves
• 2 fresh Indian bay leaves


• Put all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and stir occasionally until all the sugar dissolves.
• Remove from the heat and set aside to cool before decanting into a sterilised jar. Store in the fridge until required

Curry Leaf Mayonnaise

Makes 1 litre

For the curry leaf oil
• 2.5 litres vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
• 160 of fresh curry leaves
• 2½ dried Kashmiri red chillies
• 2½ teaspoons ground turmeric

For the Curry leaf mayonnaise
• 4 large free-range egg yolks
• a splash of lemon juice
• 1 litre curry leaf oil
• 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
• a handful of fresh curry leaves
• 5 dried Kashmiri red chillies
• 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
• caster sugar, to taste
• sea salt, to taste


• To make the curry leaf oil, pour the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or kadai, and heat until it is about 180°C (350°F). The oil is hot enough when a cube of bread sizzles when dropped into it. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, chillies and ground turmeric, then remove from the heat and leave to cool and infuse.
• To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender. With the motor running, gradually pour in the curry leaf oil and blitz together until the mixture thickens and emulsifies.
• Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, chillies and turmeric, then season to taste with sugar, salt and a little more lemon juice if you like. The mayonnaise should be shiny and just hold its shape.
• Store in a sterilised jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.