Friday, 19 December 2014

Asian inspired rice and chicken with date palm treacle sauce

Christmas is only 5 days away and I am not as excited as I usually am. This is the second year in a row that my parents will be out of town on Christmas. They are off on a tour of Rajasthan in a few hours actually. As I write I can hear my mother fussing over what has been packed and what not. My brother, planned to join them last minute. Now it's me and Buddy, my 3 year old golden retriever for the next 12 days. I am HOME ALONE on Christmas and no I am not really happy about it.

Yeah I know it could be a lot of fun but what's Christmas without the family around. Christmas might not have a religious connotation for us, but it had always been special in my family. We always celebrate with pomp, the tree, the carols, the stocking, Santa and the special roast and Christmas pud. We do it all. The best part is the assorted pastries from Flurys that Dad gets every year, without fail. This year too I ll put up a tree, call a few friends perhaps. But it won't be the same, would it?

However, I plan to cook a lot these few days. And I will cook myself a special meal on Christmas too. No I ll leave the roast out, doesn't make sense making a roast just for myself. May be I ll make this dish, I am sharing with you today. It is quick and easy ad delicious and looks as lively as a Christmas tree! I am also sending this as an entry for Kolkata Food Bloggers Christmas week special event Christmas Recipes.

The dish, basically oven grilled chicken on rice drizzled with a sweet and lemony sauce, more like a dressing actully, is inspired by Asian flavours. The lime and star anise make for a good combination of flavours. But what gives the dish its character is the Date Palm Treacle, Bengal's fabled Nolen Gur. You can use regular jaggery too, but the slightly smoky and distinctly sweet notes of the nolen gur gives the dish a special touch. I made it the other day for a few friends and they loved it. So did I. And I am quite sure you would too.


Boneless chicken - 500 g
Chopped red chilies (fresh) - 3-4 tbsp

For marination
Minced ginger-garlic - 1.5 tbsp
Lemon juice - 3-4 tbsp
Date palm treacle- 1.5 tbsp
Star anise powder - A large pinch
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp

For sauce
Date palm treacle - 2 tbsp
Lime juice - 1.5 tbsp
Red chili powder to taste
Salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsp

To serve
Steamed rice
Chopped red chilies and coriander leaves
Lime wedges


Marinate the chicken over night with all the ingredients listed under 'For Marination' list.

Pre heat oven at 190 degree centigrade.

Add a drizzle of date palm treacle (optional) and the chopped red chilies to the chicken. Place the chicken on a sheet of aluminium foil, at the centre. Fold in the sides to form a envelope. Now place the envelope on another sheet of aluminium and fold in the edges so you have two layers of aluminium foil encasing the chicken.

Grill the chicken in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. It should be ready and will melt in your mouth.

In a microwave-proof bowl add all the ingredients for the sauce. Microwave it for 30 seconds. Bring it out give it a quick whisk and put it back in and microwave for another 30 seconds.

Serve the chicken on a bed of plain steamed rice with a generous drizzle of the sauce and a wedge of lime. Garnigh with more red chilies and chopped fresh coriander leaves.


  1. That dish looks really delicious and inviting! Thank you for the recipe, Priyadarshini! I'm not sure what the date palm treacle is! What could be a good substitute for it?! Or could you explain more what it is?

    1. Glad you like the dish Julia and You are most welcome. Date palm jaggery or molasses or treacle is made from date palm tree, it's especially used in making winter sweets in the Eastern part of India..I tried to incorporate it in a meat dish and the result was great. However, you can use the regular jaggery. Hope I have been of help here. :)

  2. Yum this looks so good! Have to try!

    1. Thank you glad you like it! :) Let me know how it turns out yin case you try it.

  3. Indian food and cooking Recipes | Non Veg - Unshakld,We are one dedicated to bring you the the best of what is on the internet by creating a platform for you to share whatever you feel is worth your time and also think others should see it.