‘Dejaj ala alfaham‘ means ‘chicken on charcoal’. Shortened as ‘Ala al faham‘ – or Al Faham, which literally means ‘on charcoal’.
Al Faham is delicious Arabic grilled chicken which has now found its way across India. Its chicken marinated with spices and barbecued in a charcoal grill or in the oven. A dish full of bold and spicy flavours.
An hour’s marination and a few minutes on the grill will deliver this tasty dish to the table, perfectly well done.
Here are two ways to create the Al Faham deliciousness at home.
Al Faham – the simpler version
Soak 1 whole chicken cut into quarters in – 1 cup vinegar, 5 cups water and 3 tbs ginger garlic paste.
Marinade – Grind to paste 3 green chillies, a handful of shallots, 1 tomato, 1 onion, 1 cup chopped cilantro, 1 cup chipped mint leaves (pudina) and 2 tbs ginger garlic paste. Add 1 tbs coriander powder, 1 tsp pepper powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tbs Kashmiri chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp fennel powder, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbs coconut oil and 1 cup thick yoghurt. Marinate for one hour.
Grill until half cooked.
Red chilli paste – To 1 tsp oil heated in a pan, add 2 tbs Kashmiri chilli paste, 2 tbs tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp pepper powder, 1 tsp red chilli flakes, 2 tbs lemon juice and salt.
Take the chicken off the fire, baste with butter. Rub on the red chilli paste.
Grill again until fully cooked.
Al Faham – using the homemade spice blend
Marinate 4 large quarters of chicken in – 1 cup yoghurt, 1 tsp crushed black pepper, 1 tbs lemon juice and 1 tbs ginger garlic paste for an hour.
Dry roast – 7 large dried red chillies, 1 tbs whole coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp black pepper corns, 5 cardamom pods, 2 cinnamon sticks, 6 cloves and 2 strands of mace. Dry roast well and then grind these into a powder. That’s the Al Faham blend.
To the mixture, add 1 large chopped tomato, 4 green chillies, 1 large onion chopped, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 cup cilantro (coriander leaves) and salt. Blend again.
Coat the chicken pieces in this spice mixture. Marinate for an hour or overnight.
Grill the chicken, basting with ghee or oil.
Al Faham is best served with large platters of fresh salad, homemade hummus and naan.
By Christ & Co.