One of the most intriguing parts of tracking a menu phenomenon is finding the creative iterations that take the initial flavor trend in new and unexpected directions. Nashville hot chicken is still red-hot—diners are responding to both its craveable profile and its regional narrative.
Maneet Chauhan is Co-Owner/Executive Chef of Chauhan Ale & Masala House, which serves up globally influenced Indian cuisine melded with traditional Southern dishes. Her Hot Chicken Pakoras on the appetizer menu exemplify both her cookery and how modern flavor trends can bend beautifully. “People love them. The pakoras are hot, smoky, succulent and delicious. There will be a hue and cry if we remove them from the menu,” she says.
“Our Hot Chicken Pakora is an ode to Nashville’s famous hot chicken,” says Chauhan. “Pakoras are deep-fried Indian fritters coated in a chickpea batter. We soak chicken pieces in a ginger, garlic and spice-flavored buttermilk overnight. Then the chicken is dipped and fried in a flour, rice and chickpea batter, tossed in our hot spice blend and served with a ghost pepper sauce.”
The Hot Chicken Pakoras are also offered on the lunch menu, but here, they’re tucked into a po’ boy with red cabbage slaw and mint chutney.