Bangkok’s street food deeply inspired this recipe. You can see it in the satay and the quintessentially Southeast Asian ingredients like lemongrass. When I made it at Indigo, my restaurant in Colaba, Mumbai, I gave it a touch of South Asia by cooking the chicken in the tandoor, which I love doing.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time


    Plus three hours to marinate chicken


For Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 chicken legs, boneless
  • 50 gm ginger
  • 40 gm basil
  • 40 gm garlic
  • 40 ml lemon juice
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass
  • Salt and pepper

For Zucchini Satay

  • 200 gm zucchini
  • 40 gm peanut butter
  • 40 gm butter
  • 40 gm honey
  • 20 gm garlic
  • 20 gm coriander, chopped
  • 5 gm red chilli flakes
  • 40 ml white wine
  • 15 ml sesame oil

For Tomato Pilaf

  • 200 gm basmati rice, boiled
  • 80 gm onion, chopped
  • 80 gm Madras onions or shallots
  • 50 gm butter
  • 40 gm coriander, chopped
  • 40 gm basil
  • 20 gm garlic, chopped
  • 20 gm Pommery (grainy) mustard
  • 80 ml white wine
  • 80 ml white wine vinegar
  • 20 ml honey
  • 6 tomatoes, blanched and cut into cubes
  • 20 Kalamata olives, deseeded

For Lemon Coriander Dressing

  • 80 gm fresh coriander
  • 40 gm coriander seeds
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 200 ml port wine
  • 80 ml lemon juice
  • 4 green chillis
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Zest of four lemons used to make juice 


For Chicken

  1. Blend lemongrass and ginger in a mixer and make a coarse paste. Add a little water if required.
  2. Spoon the paste into several layers of muslin cloth and wrap tightly. Squeeze out and reserve the ginger and lemongrass juice. 
  3. Make a thick paste of basil, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon juice along with the reserved lemongrass and ginger juice. 
  4. Marinate the chicken breasts and legs in this paste for at least three hours in the refrigerator.

For Basmati Pilaf

  1. Cook basmati rice in boiling water. Strain and reserve. 
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan (large enough to hold the rice), add onion and garlic, and sauté till onion turns translucent. 
  3. Toss in mustard, shallots, black olives and blanched tomatoes. Cook for three to four minutes.
  4. Pour in the white wine, vinegar and honey and reduce till the contents of the pan become thick and paste-like. 
  5. To this sauce, add the cooked rice, some fresh coriander and basil leaves. Mix well.

For Zucchini Satay

  1. Using a mandolin, cut the zucchini into thin ribbons and set aside. 
  2. Melt butter in a pan, add chopped garlic and sauté till it just starts to brown. 
  3. Drop in the peanut butter and chilli flakes and mix well. 
  4. Pour in the white wine and some water to make a thick sauce. 
  5. Finish with a little honey and sesame oil. Check the sweet-sour balance and seasoning. 
  6. Add in the zucchini straws and combine well. Reserve till ready to plate.

For Lemon Coriander Dressing

  1. Mix the red wine and port and reduce them in a non-reactive saucepan until half the volume remains. 
  2. Toast the coriander seeds in another pan, crush them and reserve. 
  3. Heat oil in yet another pan, add crushed garlic, green chillies and fresh coriander, and cook for a bit. Remove from the flame when the coriander leaves start turning dark green. 
  4. Toss in the toasted coriander seeds, port and red wine reduction and lemon zest. 
  5. Blend everything and finish with lemon juice, checking for balance. 
  6. Reserve the lemon coriander dressing.

To Serve

  1. Grill the marinated chicken for approximately four to five minutes on either side. 
  2. Drop a serving-spoonful of the basmati pilaf in the centre of a plate and place the chicken on it.  
  3. Add the zucchini satay to the plate, and drizzle the lemon coriander dressing around. Garnish with fresh coriander sprigs and oven-roasted, lemon slices.
Rahul Akerkar

Rahul Akerkar

Rahul Akerkar, the chef-founder of Qualia in Mumbai, was Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for June. He started his culinary journey 35 years ago in the US, returning to India in 1989. Since then, he has been busy changing the way we eat. Known for setting industry trends with his creative, ingredient-driven cuisine, and warm attentive hospitality, Rahul’s award-winning restaurants secured his position as one of India’s first successful, chef-restaurateurs. In his career, he has won many accolades – he was featured in Asiaweek’s Survey of “Kitchen Gods” in 2001 and was 28 on San Pellegrino’s List of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013. More recently, he won Chef of The Year at the Times Food Awards 2016, Mumbai. He has been guest chef in several kitchens around the world, authored numerous articles, and frequently consults to the food and hospitality industry.

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