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For Padma, chaatpati is a wonderful thing that she calls Indian umami. "This dark and gooey sludge became my first mother sauce of sorts, because it instantly woke up any bland or boring ingredient and made it finger-sucking good," Padma says.

Padma Lakshmi
Source: Better Homes and Gardens


Credit: John Kernick

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat charcoal or gas grill to medium heat. Lightly season chicken with canola oil, 2 tsp. kosher salt, and black pepper. Using a paring knife, make two slits in the meatiest part of each piece, which will help it to better absorb the sauce.

  • In a 2-qt. saucepan bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add the dates, tamarind concentrate, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and 2 tsp. kosher salt; gently boil over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon and mashing dates to create a thick pulpy mixture. Begin checking consistency at 30 minutes. (The finished chutney should look like a loose jam or thick barbecue sauce, and it will cook 30 to 50 minutes total.)

  • Meanwhile, grill chicken on rack of covered grill over indirect heat 35 to 45 minutes or until 175°F for wings, legs, and thighs, or 50 to 60 minutes or until 170°F for breasts. Brush with chutney; move chicken over direct heat and grill 1 to 2 minutes more or until chicken is lightly charred, turning frequently.

  • Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Serve topped with fresh curry leaves, if desired. Pass the remaining chutney.


Look for fresh curry leaves at Asian markets or online.

Nutrition Facts

502 calories; fat 32g; cholesterol 153mg; saturated fat 9g; carbohydrates 13g; mono fat 14g; poly fat 7g; insoluble fiber 1g; sugars 10g; protein 39g; vitamin a 291.7IU; vitamin c 3.4mg; thiamin 0.1mg; riboflavin 0.2mg; niacin equivalents 11.4mg; vitamin b6 0.6mg; folate 10.2mcg; vitamin b12 0.4mcg; sodium 730mg; potassium 407mg; calcium 32mg; iron 2.1mg.