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Burnt Masala Wings

Chef Preeti Mistry came up with the technique used in this recipe a few years ago when they were trying to replicate the unique smokiness that food gets when it’s cooked in a tandoor—just without the tandoor. Burning the spices re-creates at home the slightly bitter taste and smell you get from the 800°-plus oven. “Roasting, then grinding masala adds depth of flavor to the wings,” Mistry says. “The tamarind sauce is a nice tangy foil.”



BURNT MASALA 8 black cardamom pods

3 green cardamom pods 3 chiles de árbol 2 2" cinnamon sticks 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns 1½ tsp. whole cloves MARINADE Juice of 2 lemons Juice of 4 limes 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 4" piece ginger, finely chopped 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil 4 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 2 tsp. Morton kosher salt 4 lb. chicken wings

GLAZE AND ASSEMBLY ½ cup tamarind concentrate (such as Swad) 2 Tbsp. sugar 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 1" piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped 1 Tbsp. hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha) ½ bunch cilantro, tough stems discarded, chopped SPECIAL EQUIPMENT A spice mill or mortar and pestle


BURNT MASALA Step 1 Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Toast black and green cardamom pods, chiles de árbol, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, and cloves on a small rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until chiles are nearly black and cloves are ashy gray, 8–10 minutes.

Step 2 Transfer chiles and spices to spice mill or mortar and pestle and let cool. Finely grind (you should have about ⅓ cup); set burnt masala aside.


Step 3 Whisk lemon juice, lime juice, chiles, garlic, ginger, oil, salt, and 2 Tbsp. burnt masala in a large bowl to combine. Add wings and toss to coat in marinade. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

GLAZE AND ASSEMBLY Step 4 Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°. Whisk tamarind, sugar, and ½ cup water in a medium bowl until sugar is dissolved; set tamarind mixture aside.

Step 5 Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger and chili sauce and cook, stirring, until ginger browns slightly, about 4 minutes. Add reserved tamarind mixture, reduce heat to low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until glaze is thick and glossy, 10–15 minutes. Let cool.

Step 6 Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with double layers of foil; place a wire rack inside each. Using tongs, remove wings from marinade, letting excess drip back into bowl, and divide among racks; discard marinade.

Step 7 Roast wings until golden, 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven; turn wings over. Brush all over with glaze, return to oven and roast until wings are golden brown and cooked through and glaze is bubbling slightly, 10–15 minutes.

Step 8 Transfer wings to platter and scatter cilantro over.

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