Chiya Chai’s Hot Curry Wings
Photos: Jeff Marini

Spicy chicken wings are a Super Bowl party must, but why stop at Buffalo style when you can travel all the way to Nepal? Swadesh Shrestha of the Nepalese café Chiya Chai gives his wings an aromatic twist by seasoning them with garam masala, the versatile South Asian spice mix. “We wanted to create something sweet and spicy that has the essence of Indian, Nepalese, and Thai curries,” he says. The secret to perfection? Bake first, let rest, then fry before saucing. You’ll have a few more pots and pans to wash, but it’s worth it.

Chiya Chai’s Hot Curry Wings

Makes:2 servings
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:1 hour 15 minutes

12 Bone-in chicken wings
3 Tbsp. Olive oil, divided
¼ tsp. Black pepper
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Garam masala
1 Tbsp. Crushed red pepper
1 tsp. Minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Frank’s RedHot Original or other hot sauce
3 Tbsp. Butter, cubed
2 qt. Vegetable oil
  Celery sticks and yogurt dip, for serving


Marinating wings

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine wings in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, pepper, and salt.

Marinate for 15 minutes. Bake wings on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 25 to 30 minutes, until wings are cooked through. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes.


Buffalo sauce

Heat remaining olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garam masala, red pepper, and garlic to the heated oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until red pepper turns slightly brown, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low.

Stir in honey and hot sauce. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove saucepan from heat immediately, and pour sauce into a large ceramic or glass bowl.


Finished wings

Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan or Dutch oven until it reaches 375 degrees. Fry wings in two batches, turning once, until skin is crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Remove wings and place on paper towels to drain.

Toss wings in sauce and serve with celery and yogurt dip (plain yogurt whisked with lemon juice, salt, and turmeric to taste).