Cast Iron

Asha Gomez's Kerala Fried Chicken

March 21, 2017
6 Ratings
Photo by Evan Sung
  • Prep time 24 hours
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

From 2017 Piglet-winning My Two Souths, Asha Gomez's fried chicken takes a southern favorite and perks it up with serrano peppers, cilantro, and mint. It's a collision of her Southern Indian roots and a Southern US upbringing. —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

Reprinted with permission from My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen © 2016 by Asha Gomez with Martha Hall Foose, Running Press —The Editors

What You'll Need
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Asha Gomez's Kerala Fried Chicken
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 6 whole serrano peppers, seeded if desired
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 1 cup)
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 stems fresh curry leaves, for garnish
  1. In a blender, combine the buttermilk, garlic, peppers, cilantro, mint, and 2 tablespoons of the salt and purée until smooth. Place the chicken in a large container with lid, and pour the buttermilk marinade over the chicken. Toss the chicken in the marinade, making sure it is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 18 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. When ready to fry the chicken, fill a large cast-iron skillet with 1 inch of oil and heat gently over medium heat until the oil reaches 350°F. Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Combine the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt in a shallow dish and set aside.
  3. While the oil is heating, remove the chicken from the marinade and gently shake off the excess marinade. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, coating thoroughly.
  4. Place the chicken in the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the pieces. Cook the chicken until it is deep golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side, or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F. Drain the chicken on the cooling rack and drizzle with the melted coconut oil.
  5. Dip the curry leaves in the hot frying oil until crisp, about 10 to 15 seconds. Set on the cooling rack.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sean Dwyer
    Sean Dwyer
  • Ann Pagel
    Ann Pagel
  • Norbert Feldstrom
    Norbert Feldstrom
  • Avash Islam
    Avash Islam

8 Reviews

Lorielle October 23, 2020
I notice some seeds on the chicken. Is that cumin or fennel seed as a garnish or was it in the flour mixture? Looks delicious.

Sean D. May 25, 2019
This is one of our favorite dishes! Loads of flavor. We substitute 1/2 of the flour with potato starch for extra crunch. We also add a couple of tablespoons ginger to the marinade.
Ann P. April 15, 2019
I made this last night with Asha's Low Country Rice Waffles and Spicy Syrup. Amazing flavors. Loved every last bite.
Geno July 27, 2018
Is that cultured buttermilk ,or traditional?
Norbert F. March 8, 2018
in David Chang's series she mentions garam masala - but not here . . .
M March 20, 2018
I've never made it before though so I have nothing to base it off of, but I added it in the batch I made last night... It was really good. The fried chicken had a lot of flavor layers to it.
Avash I. April 7, 2018
She uses it as a garnish; a blend of garam masala, chili powder, and salt, that she sprinkles on top of the chicken with the coconut oil. I would say for ratios you want 1 pinch garam masala 2 pinches chili powder and 1 pinch salt.
Asaracoglu April 3, 2017
This was delicious! We grilled some, and fried some - both were fantastic!