Parsis love their tea. And, we like it even better with our ‘Choi-Fudna’ i.e. lemongrass and mint.
I remember Mamaiji, my maternal grandma being a total tea addict. She always had some mint and lemongrass plants growing in the backyard of her Borivali bungalow. And, as the oldest grand-daughter it used to be my duty to go pluck enough of those lovely herbs for tea-time on Saturday when the family gathered in the kitchen and she made us all massive cups of tea.
When I moved to Jer Villa – my new kitchen in Jogeshwari – I was delighted when I stepped into the backyard and saw multiple shrubs of lemongrass and mint. I could have choi-fudna ni choi every day and there would still be heaps left over!
Soon after I moved there we were packing up the kitchen after a long day of cooking and I saw a huge pile of mint and lemon-grass on the kitchen counter. The new guy I had hired had gone a bit overboard with the plucking and my fingers were itching to use them in some way so that they wouldn’t go to waste. I peered into the kitchen and the only thing in the freezer was a lonely box of chicken wings. So, I thought hey, why not try making choi-fudna chicken wings? The combo worked with tea so surely it should work with chicken, right? And, you know what, they came out amazing!
Fragrant with the aroma of the mint and lemongrass with just the right amount of stickiness and sourness from the marinade, these are surely worth a try! Ingredients at the bottom as always.
To start, grind together the mint, lemongrass, chillies, coriander, garlic, lemon, salt and honey to make a pulpy marinade. You will need to use a little water to grind it all together but don’t make it too liquidy.
Make small slits in the chicken wings and marinate them with the herbs. Let the mixture sit for 30 – 40 minutes until the flavours really set in.
In the meanwhile, make your sticky coating by whisking together the brown sugar, cane vinegar (can substitute for white vinegar if you don’t have any) and oil. Prep a baking tray by rubbing it with the butter and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Now, coat each chicken wing in the sticky coating and gently place into the baking tray.
You will probably have some marinade left-over once you’re done with all the wings. Add a further 2 tbsp honey to this mixture and whisk well. Now, pour it over the wings.
Fan bake for about 40 minutes until the wings are cooked through. I found that the marinade released some moisture whilst baking. If that happens to you, simply empty the pan juices into a stockpot and give it a quick boil to reduce the mixture. Once its reduced by half, empty in the chicken wings and give it a good mix.
Serve hot as a dinner in front of the TV or as an accompaniment to some vegetables.
To make enough for six you will need:
1 kilo chicken wings (12 full or 24 smaller pieces)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey
For the marinade:
25 gm mint
25 gm lemongrass
5 – 6 green chillies
1/2 small bunch coriander
8 – 10 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp honey
For the sticky coating:
8 tbsp brown sugar
8 tbsp E.F. Kolah Sugarcane Vinegar (or white vinegar)
4 tbsp oil