Asian Style Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings (Paleo friendly)

Super Bowl was this past weekend and game night is synonymous with lots of food. This year we hosted the party for our neighborhood friends at our home. Folks signed up to bring different kinds of appetizers and dips.  We had a good balance of junk food with healthful foods – grilled vegetables and salads made for a less greasy overall meal! And I decided to make Chicken wings. Since I am on a Paleo diet these had to be strictly paleo with only natural ingredients with no artificial anything!

So I decided to bake the chicken wings asian style!  I added kashmiri chilli powder for the heat and used honey for the sweetness.  Sesame oil and coconut aminos (soy sauce for non paleo) provided the distinct asian flavors and ginger, garlic provided additional flavors that made these chicken wings unforgettable!

My son called these ‘wickedly insane’ ! I think that translates to ‘fantastic’ in high schooler lingo 🙂 These babies are double baked to give them the extra crispiness and the extra sauce on top makes these simply ‘to die for’!

I am not a big sports fan. Game night is exciting to me only for the company of friends and for the food! However last weekend’s game was pretty exciting …at least the last quarter. And I personally thought it had a good message for everyone in all walks of life. And the message is ‘ Do not give up, ever.  Keep positive till the very end and you can indeed turn things around magically if you believe enough in yourself!’

5.0 from 1 reviews
Asian Style Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings (Paleo friendly)
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40-42 pieces
Delicious, sticky chicken wings marinated in a chill vinegar lemon marinade and double baked to get perfectly crisp on the outside and smothered in a sticky sauce made with honey, soy sauce, red chilli and ginger-garlic.
  • Chicken wings around 4 lbs or about 40-42 pieces
for the Marinade:
  • Juice of two lemons abt ½ cup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp chinese five spice ( optional)
  • 2½ tsp sea salt( 2 tsp if regular salt)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
for the Sauce:
  • ¾ cup coconut aminos (substitute soy sauce for non paleo)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  1. Pat dry the chicken wings using paper towels to remove any excess water.
  2. Mix all ingredients listed under marinade together in a bowl.
  3. Marinate the chicken wings in the marinade for at least 1 hour.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 425 deg F (210 deg C)
  5. Line 2 large trays with Al foil and brush lightly with olive oil.
  6. Place the chicken wings on the tray spread separate from each other.
  7. Bake at 425 deg F for between 20-25 minutes (or until the chicken pieces are cooked). Make sure you don't overcook at this point - the wings should just appear cooked but not turn crispy. remove wings from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 deg F (180 deg C)
  8. In a small cooking pot, add all sauce ingredients and cook for about 10-12 minutes until you get a thick sauce. Turn heat off. Keep sauce aside.
  9. Reserve some sauce for dipping and dip each chicken wing into the remaining sauce to coat it completely and again bake them at 350 deg F (180 deg C) for about 10-12 mins until crispy on the outside. Flip the wings once mid-way i.e. at after about 5-6 minutes. (It would be best to arrange the wings over a grilling mesh at this point with a pan under to catch the drippings - see picture below)
  10. Serve warm drizzling the extra sauce over top.


Step wise pictures:

Marinate wings in the chills lemon vinegar marinade for 30-60 minutes.

Cook honey soy chill sesame sauce

Cook marinated wings at 425 deg F for 20-25 minutes on a baking tray

Dip baked wings in honey sauce and place on mesh/grill and over tray and bake again at 350 Deg F  for 10-12 minutes flipping them half-way through.

Malvani Chicken Curry(Chicken curry with roasted coconut masala)

dsc_0230Born and raised in Mumbai by parents who were natives of Kerala, we grew up greatly influenced by both Keralan and Maharashtrian cultures. Our next door neighbor hailed from the Malvan region of Maharashtra which is also a coastal region just like Kerala. As a result there are lots of similarities in Kerala and Malvani cuisines like seafood specialties and the liberal use of coconut!

Our neighbor aunty used to make this lip smacking Malvani Chicken curry along with a doughnut shaped bread called as Kombdi vade.  Kombdi vadas are made with a mix of rice and different lentils and deep fried like puris. Oh the combination of this chicken curry with kombdi vadas are probably one of the most delicious culinary experience I have had.My mouth starts watering just thinking of the combination!  Whenever aunty made these, she would send over some to share with our family. And how we loved it!  We kids liked this chicken dish so much that we begged our mom to learn this recipe from our neighbor aunty and she gladly obliged by giving a cooking demo in her kitchen one time.  I was in college those days and had already developed an interest in cooking and so I took very good notes!  In the early years after my marriage after moving to the US, I made this curry a couple times. But after that somehow the craziness of work and kids made me forget this curry dish.

Anyways last year when my good friend Vaishali visited us and made Misal Paav for us, I was again reminded of this curry!  And ever since then I have been meaning to make this curry. I was hoping to make this with the kombdi vadas too. However, now that I am doing a Paleo diet, where grains are not allowed, I decided to pass the vadas for now. But I was still craving for the curry and so decided to just make the chicken curry. And I cheated by having the curry with some basmati rice :).  Was heavenly! So worth the little bit of extra effort of roasting the coconut and making the ground masala paste.

The way I remember distinctive tastes of different curries is by remembering the unique combination of spices used. For this curry, it is cumin and garlic that stands out along with star anise and dagad phool.  Dagad Phool whose literal translation means ‘rock flower’ is a spice that is a lichen and has an earthy , musk like smell.  Here’s a picture to those who are not familiar with this spice. Its botanical name is paramecia prelate and this is one of the ingredients of the Maharashtrian Goda masala.

Dagad Phool (Black Stone flower)

There is no coriander (seeds or powder) used in this curry. Also dried coconut or Khopra is used traditionally in this curry however I used fresh coconut which is fine too.


Malvani Chicken Curry(Chicken curry with roasted coconut masala)

  • Servings: Makes about 4-6 servings with rice
  • Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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2 lbs whole chicken (1kg ) cut into bite size pieces

1 tsp salt

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

For the ground masala:

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut or khopra(or fresh frozen grated coconut that has been thawed)
  • 2 medium onion, sliced long
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 4 garlic pods
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup warm water

For dry grinding:

  • 2 star anise
  • 1-2 dagad phool
  • 4 about 1 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 8-10 whole black peppercorns

2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp garam masala powder

1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)

1 tsp salt (or as needed)

2 cups water


Clean the chicken and pat dry with towels. Add the salt, chill powder and turmeric and rub the mixture well into the chicken pieces. Let marinate for 15-30 minutes.

In a non stick frying pan, add the sliced onions and fry them on medium heat stirring frequently until they turn reddish brown.( about 3-4 minutes). Take them out of the pan and transfer to a blender. Next add the fresh coconut (or khopra) and roast that stirring frequently until they start turning brown (about 6-7 minutes). Towards the end add the cumin and garlic pods. Stir for 1 more minute and transfer this coconut mixture also to the blender. Add the water and grind to a fine paste.

Dry grind the whole spices using a spice grinder. Keep aside.

Heat a wide bottomed cooking pot. Add the 2 tbsp oil. When hot, add the chicken pieces in batches and lightly fry them (no need to cook fully) just to get a nice sear on the outside. Transfer to a plate.

To the same oil in the pot, add the chopped onions and the ginger and garlic. Lightly fry them until the onions are golden brown. Now add the ground masala to this and add the dry spice blend (ground earlier) along with salt, red chili powder and garam masala. Keep stirring the masala continuously for 4-5 minutes until the oil starts separating out (This is an important step)

Finally add the lightly fried chicken pieces back into the pot.  Add the 2 cups water. Check for seasoning and add salt or more red chili powder as needed.

Turn heat to low and Cover the pot and cook for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid any sticking of chicken pieces to the bottom.

Serve chicken curry hot with plain white rice or chapatis!


Cajun Spiced Chicken (Spicy Chicken Fry)

Cajun ChickenThis is what memorable summers are made of ! Ok, so about a week ago, my blogger friend Chef Ronit who blogs at ‘Tasty Eats’ posted a recipe for spicy Crispy Chicken Wings which looked so good that I instantly knew I wanted to replicate her recipe. The most intriguing part of her recipe to me was the mix of spices which was very different from the usual spices I use for Indian style grilled chicken/tandoori chicken.

However that weekend I couldn’t find any chicken wings at our grocers and so I had to use chicken drumsticks instead, which in hindsight, was not a very bad option since you get more meat here vs the wings 🙂  The next problem was I did not have the ‘blackened spice mix’ that Ronit used. But she had given details of what constituted that spice mix and so I used her guidance and my imagination a bit to come up with a ‘similar’ but at the same time somewhat different spice marinade.

Spicy Chicken FryI also followed Ronit’s method for roasting the chicken but since I used drumsticks I needed to cook them for a tad longer.  And the result was just phenomenal!  Wonderfully spiced chicken that the family loved!  The entire tray of a dozen drumsticks was devoured by the 4 of us in just a few minutes!. We had an absolutely gorgeous meal outdoors with this chicken and the steamed tapioca that I posted last week.  Thank you Chef Ronit! 🙂 And Happy Summer and Happy Grilling to all of you!

Linking to Throwback Thursday this week.

Linking to Fiesta Friday too.

Cajun Spiced Chicken (Spicy Chicken Fry)

  • Servings: Serves 4-6
  • Time: about 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Adapted from this  Spicy Chicken Wings recipe from Tasty Eats


12 Chicken drumsticks, thawed and with skin on
For marinade:

1/4 of a red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
10 peppercorns
2 tsp red chilli pow
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 tbsp regular salt
1 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp light olive oil

extra oil for baking


Take all marinade ingredients in a food processor bowl and grind to a fine paste. If paste is too thick, add a tablespoon of water.

Blot dry the chicken pieces using paper towels. Make small slits on each chicken drumstick for the marinade to get into the inner meat. Then coat each chicken piece with the spice marinade using your hands.  Keep aside for between 15 minutes to 1 hour(If weather is too warm, then keep marinated chicken in the refrigerator)

Pre-heat oven to 425 deg F (about 220 C).  Take a large tray and line with Al foil. Brush the foil liberally with oil.  Place the chicken pieces on the tray – make sure they don’t stick to each other.  Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes flipping them every 20 minutes or so and brushing with oil on top every time you turn them.

The chicken pieces are done when the tops look crispy brown. Take them out of the oven and cover tray with Al foil until serving so that the steam keeps them moist on the inside.

Spicy Chicken Fry

Chicken Dum Biryani with brown rice

If you have ever had ‘Biryani’ before, then just the mention of the word is likely to tingle your tastebuds and evoke the memory of the wonderful aromas that is so characteristic of a good biryani. And if you are not served it shortly after, you will surely start experiencing cravings:) I have posted a detailed recipe for Chicken Biryani before. Biryani is indeed a labor of love. But over the years I have created several short cut versions too including the Handi Biryani.

Healthy Chicken BiryaniThis one that I have today for you is a ‘Dum’ version, which I have been recently trying out a lot. The ‘Dum’ version, which was unique to the ‘Awadh’ region of India and was introduced to India by the Nawabs (Persian influence) utilizes a ‘slow cooking’ technique where both the meat and the rice (half-cooked before) are cooked together in the same pot. “Dum” literally means “taking in air” in Hindi. This cooking method allows for the meat, coated with fresh spices and herbs, to slow cook in its own juices, retaining moisture resulting in a succulent, juicy meat.Dum cooking uses a round, heavy-bottomed pot, a handi, in which food is tightly sealed and cooked over a slow fire. It is also an easier recipe since it uses fewer spices and ingredients than other biryani recipes.

Easy Dum BiryaniDum Biryani is indeed very tasty and traditionally long grain fragrant basmati rice is used. Today I tried to make a healthier version using brown rice. I also eliminated any butter or ghee since I am on a  dairy free diet. Traditionally onions are fried for this biryani but I baked them instead using less oil. To make up for the lack of ghee or butter, I added ground almonds to give it richness of flavor. The biryani came through pretty good and the aromas were enticing as usual. To add to the aromatic flavors, I also used floral extracts of rose and kewra  and so even without the fragrant basmati, the biryani was nothing short of ‘extraordinaire’! And oh, I almost forgot, the rose petals in the pictures are from my gorgeous roses in our garden 🙂

Bringing this fragrant and healthy, wholesome biryani to Throwback Thursday and Fiesta Friday this week. Your co-hosts this week at Fiesta Friday are Quinn @ dadwhats4dinner and Elaine @ Foodbod.

Chicken Dum Biryani with brown rice

  • Servings: makes about 4-5 servings
  • Time: about 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • About 1 1/2 pounds of Chicken pieces (preferably thigh and leg portion) cleaned
  • About 2 tbsp freshly ground biryani masala (see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 med onions thinly sliced
  • 10-12 almonds soaked in hot water
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint , chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 small potato, cut into cubes (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 drops of rose extract and 2 drops of kewra extract mixed with 1 tbsp of water
    Sliced almonds, cashews for garnish
  • extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on top

For the ground biryani masala:

  • 4 cloves
  • 4-6 whole black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 4 whole green cardamom pods
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 1 two inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 mace


  1. Place the sliced onions in a tray at 450 deg F (or 220 deg C) for about 10-12 minutes till golden brown. (You can also deep fry the onions) Keep aside.
  2. In a spice grinder, add all the ‘biryani masala’ ingredients and blend till you get a fine powder. Keep aside.
  3. In a medium size cooking pot, place the brown rice and add the water and salt and place on heat. As the water starts boiling, turn heat to low and cover and cook the rice for about 20 minutes or until all water has evaporated. It would be half-cooked. Keep the rice aside uncovered.
  4. Take a large heavy bottomed cooking pot with a tight fitting lid and place the chicken pieces in it. Add the ground biryani masala and the rest of the spices – chill powder, turmeric,coriander and the salt. Add the chopped cilantro and mint.
  5. In a food processor, add 3/4 of the baked onions (or fried onions) reserving the rest for while serving. Add the soaked almonds along with about 1/4 th cup of the water to grind into a smooth paste.
  6. Add this also to the chicken and mix everything well using your hands coating the chicken pieces well with the spices and the fresh herbs and the onion almond mixture.  Add the potatoes (if adding) and 1 cup of water to this and mix well.
  7. Place this pot with the chicken on the stove.  Add all the previously half-cooked brown rice on the top of the chicken.  Add the reserved onions on top.  Sprinkle the rose and kewra extract mixed water on the top of the rice. Cover the pot with a lid and put the heat on low.  (You can seal the sides of the lid with Al foil to prevent any steam from escaping). Cook on low heat for about 25-30 minutes or until the chicken pieces in the bottom are all cooked. Remove from heat.
  8. To serve, dig in with a large serving spoon to get the rice and the chicken pieces below together. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and cashew nuts and fresh cilantro.

Notes: You can also cook this biryani in the oven. Place the chicken and rice in an oven proof pot or Al pan and bake covered at 350 deg F (180 deg C) for about 40-45 minutes.

brown rice biryani




Curried Rice Noodles (Chicken and vegetable curry noodles)

Curried Rice NoodlesThis dish is a fine example of a ‘spur of the moment’ dish – A lazy sunday morning where breakfast happens late and then more laziness till about 1 PM. What do people want to eat for lunch? No response. Two heads poring over the iPad doing God knows what. Then when hunger pangs do come, mom has to rustle up something quick since people are really going to ‘die of hunger’ ! sigh! Normally I would just make a pasta – maybe add some shrimp like the shrimp linguini I posted a while ago. Or a pasta with vegetables. But now I am on a gluten free diet. Also dairy free. Also tomato free. Yup. So the pasta option goes out the window since I am certainly not in the mood to cook two different dishes. Hence rice noodles to the rescue!

Chicken and Vegetable Curry Rice noodlesI quickly got the chicken out from the freezer and defrosted a couple thigh pieces. I was not in the mood for adding soy and chill sauces as I usually do. Or make the sweet and spicy noodles like I made a few weeks ago. Maybe because I was in the mood for eating chicken curry at night. Yes did I tell you my husband makes a mean chicken curry? So anyways, that’s the direction I was going. I quickly marinated the chicken pieces in some curry spices and then made this delicious curry noodles also adding some vegetables into the mix to get a complete meal together in about 40 minutes!

Btw, rice noodles come in a variety of different types and brands. I love ‘Mai Fun’ noodles which are really thin rice noodles like vermicelli and I get them from Whole Foods.

Linking this post to Throwback Thursday this week.

Also linking to Fiesta Friday where the co-hosts this week are Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons

Curried Rice Noodles (Chicken and vegetable curry noodles)

  • Servings: makes about 2-3 servings
  • Time: about 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • Rice Noodles  4 oz ( half of an 8 oz pk -I break the noodles up for easy handling)
  • 1/2 lb of chicken (preferably boneless thigh pieces)

For marinade:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 onion, long thin slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup carrots thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell peppers
  • salt and pepper as needed


Boil the rice noodles for 5 mins in boiling water (Do follow instructions per package too as cooking times may vary)Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again using a colander with a  fine sieve. Keep aside.

Cut the chicken into small bite size pieces removing any excess fat. In a medium size bowl, add all marinade spices and the chicken pieces. Mix to coat the chicken pieces well with the spices. Keep aside for about 15 minutes.

Heat a wok or a flat bottomed wok style pan and add the 1 tbsp oil. Now add the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry on medium to high heat to half-cook the chicken – about 5 minutes. Now add the 3/4 cup of water and cover and cook for about 10 minutes on low heat.   You should have cooked chicken with some curry sauce. Turn heat off and transfer the chicken with the curry sauce onto a separate bowl.

Now place the wok/pan back on heat and add the additional oil.  Add the garlic and onion and stir for about 2 minutes. Then add all the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked(take care not to overcook).

Next add the rice noodles to the pan followed by the chicken and the curry sauce and toss everything well together to mix. Add additional salt and pepper/chilli flakes per taste. Serve hot!

Rice noodles with curried chicken