Originating in the Gulf but equally popular in Kerala, this grilled chicken is a crowd-pleaser when served on a bed of saffron rice.
If you’re a fan of some variation of chicken roasted in a charcoal grill, we don’t blame you! As an Indian, one of our pride and joys is to sink our teeth (quite literally) into a well-made, juicy tandoori chicken. In fact, the corner-stone of a great party is to have chicken tikka in some way or form to go with drinks. A few miles away in the Gulf, the Arabic AlFaham chicken, a “cousin” to the tandoori variation found here, is highly celebrated.
The slight variation in recipe comes from the Arabic spice mix called bezar, similar to India’s garam masala, that is used in the marinade, before the meat is grilled on coals or in a tandoor. Usually eaten during Ramadan as part of communal meals meant for sharing, the grilled chicken is served with a mellow, sunshine-coloured saffron rice. Closer to home, various restaurants in Kerala have come up with their own version of the AlFaham chicken. Here’s how you can make your own spice mix at home to use on top of the chicken and recreate this iconic dish at home:
Ingredients [For the Arabic spice mix]:
Ingredients [For the chicken]: