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Recipe: BBQ Gujarati Chicken in a Coconut Sauce Chef Nila Ross-Patel's Recipe

The story behind the recipe

As the Indian Cookery Tutor from the former Exeter Cookery School, it was through a series of coincidences that Nila started to expand her skills and courses by transferring traditional Indian food onto the BBQ. Heart Smoke and Soal Ltd is a gorgeous rural, outdoor living showroom in Holsworthy, Devon. For demonstration purposes, it was important that anyone watching could obtain the ingredients locally. It was for this reason that the Gujarati Style Spicy Curry Paste from Waitrose was chosen. However, you could use the same concept with another sauce. Coincidentally, Nila's parents are from Gujarat and her mum taught her how to cook.

After experimenting, she really enjoyed combining the same sauce twice which has led to the gentle smoky flavour of cooking chicken over charcoal combined with the aromatic tasty spicy coconut sauce. A real mix indeed.

Nila is now a member of the UK BBQ School team, at Cullompton teaching BBQ Indian cookery classes. Owned and run by Marcus and Lisa Bawdon, it is in a stunning setting - other tutors include Sue Stoneman. For details of Nila's course contents please look at the UK BBQ School website. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Ingredients (Makes 4 Hearty Portions)

  • 1 kilo chicken boneless thighs - I used free range, corn fed chicken thigh fillets from Waitrose (equivalent to two packs approximately 500gms)

  • 2 jars Waitrose Cooks' Ingredients Gujarati Style Spicy Curry Paste. Alternatively you can also use the Rogan Josh curry paste from Waitrose.

  • 80 - 100 gm prepared weight diced onion

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 6 gm prepared weight finely grated ginger

  • 2 finely chopped or crushed cloves garlic

  • 400ml can coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree

  • chilli powder - optional

  • level teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped coriander

  • juice of one lemon

  • hot water.

You will need either wooden or metal skewers


For the sauce:

  1. Dice the chicken thighs into even pieces - I got six pieces out of each thigh. Make sure the pieces are of roughly even size and will fit on the skewer!

  2. Pour one jar of the Gujarati sauce over the chicken. Mix in well and leave in the fridge for at least an hour. You can marinade overnight if you wish.

  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan with a lid, heat the oil.

  4. Add the onion and gently fry until soft and golden.

  5. Add the ginger and garlic and fry gently stirring all the time for 2 minutes. If it starts to stick add a little more oil.

  6. Now, add the contents of the second jar along with 100ml hot water. Mix well and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Put the lid on the pan.

  7. Add the whole can of coconut milk along with the tomato puree, mix well and leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Keep the lid on the pan but check after 5 minutes. Add little hot water if necessary to prevent burning.

To BBQ and assemble the Gujarati coconut chicken:

  • Put the marinaded chicken onto the skewers.

  • Cook on the BBQ ensuring the internal temperature reaches 75 degrees Celsius. When cooked add to the warm coconut sauce.

  • Add the juice of one lemon then mix through.

  • Taste for seasoning. Add chilli powder if desired.

  • Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and garam masala.

  • Enjoy!

Recipe launched at the Heart Smoke and Soal Ltd showroom on 6th August 2021.

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