There are many elements that come together to make this a stunning dish. To start with, though it is a Western-style recipe, the chicken is cooked the Indian way in a tandoor. Giving it my favourite flavour profile, a sweet-sour balance, is the date and tamarind reduction. And the Chilli Honey Carrots are just delicious.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



For Chicken Marination

  • 2 whole chickens, around 800 gm each
  • 200 gm thick yoghurt
  • 20 gm rosemary, chopped
  • 15 gm ginger paste
  • 15 gm garlic paste
  • 5 gm chilli flakes
  • 60 ml refined oil
  • 30 ml honey
  • Salt and pepper

For Rosemary Potatoes

  • 300 gm baby potatoes
  • 50 gm butter
  • 25 gm parsley, chopped
  • 10 gm rosemary, chopped
  • 10 gm garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For Chilli Honey Carrots

  • 250 gm carrots
  • 30 gm honey
  • 20 gm butter
  • 10 gm thyme, chopped
  • 10 gm parsley, chopped
  • 5 gm garlic, chopped
  • 5 gm chilli flakes
  • 50 ml white wine
  • Salt and pepper

For Date & Tamarind Reduction

  • 500 ml brown chicken stock
  • 150 gm onion, sliced
  • 100 gm seedless date
  • 50 gm tamarind pulp
  • 3 gm garam masala powder
  • 20 gm butter
  • 80 ml dark rum
  • 60 ml port wine
  • Salt and pepper


For Marinated Chicken

  1. Clean the chicken whole, without damaging the skin. 
  2. Cut it lengthwise in half through the back spine and breast bone, leaving the left leg and left breast together and the right leg and right breast together.
  3. With a sharp knife, score the skin and make deep cuts into the flesh beneath, to allow the marinade to penetrate down to the bone.
  4. Combine the marinade ingredients in a non-reactive mixing bowl and rub the contents onto and into the half-chickens. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least four hours before cooking.
  5. Just before cooking, pierce each half-chicken with two tandoor skewers side by side to keep the halves from rotating around a single skewer. 
  6. Cook in a hot tandoor till done and nicely charred.
  7. Alternatively, cook the halves over either a charcoal or gas grill, or even in an oven at 180°C or 350°F till well cooked and charred. 
  8. Remember to frequently baste the chicken with oil and leftover marinade to keep the meat from drying out as the skin cooks and chars. 
  9. Serve hot.

For Rosemary Potatoes

  1. Wash and scrub the potato skin to get rid of all dirt. Pat dry with a paper towel and cut in half, length-wise, leaving the skin on.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and generously rub the potato halves with the marinade. 
  3. Spread them out on a baking tray blanketed in aluminium foil and roast in a medium-hot oven, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked. 
  4. Keep agitating the tray while the potato cooks. Remove from oven and keep warm till service.

For Chilli Honey Carrots

  1. Peel the carrots and julienne into thin strips using a mandolin slicer.
  2. In a pan, sauté the garlic and chilli flakes in butter on medium heat. 
  3. As the garlic browns, add in the carrots and combine well. 
  4. Pour in the wine and cook till most of it evaporates.
  5. Then add the honey and continue cooking till the carrots are sticky and done. 
  6. Take off the stove, and toss in the thyme and chopped parsley. Combine well and serve warm.

For Date & Tamarind Jus

  1. Soak the tamarind and dates in cold water for about 10 minutes or till they become soft. 
  2. Make sure there are no seeds. Purée the soaked fruit and water in a food processor till it forms a smooth paste.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter and sauté the sliced onion till light brown in colour.
  4. Pour the port and half the dark rum into the pan and cook to reduce.
  5. Add the puréed tamarind and date mixture and cook well.
  6. Once it all starts bubbling, add the chicken stock, mix well and further reduce for some time.
  7. When you get the right sauce consistency, tip in the remaining dark rum with garam masala and season well.
  8. Reduce further for about 10 minutes, take it off the flame and strain with a fine-mesh strainer.
  9. Hold warm till service.

To Serve

  1. Place some of the baby potatoes in the centre of a plate. Add some chicken, and garnish with chilli honey carrots and some date and tamarind sauce. 
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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