Bombay Grilled Wings

By Published On: 29 Jan '23Last Updated: 14 Apr '24

These Bombay Grilled Wings are waistline friendly and are one of our absolute family favourites. Every bite is infused with sweet, spicy and savoury flavours. Yum!

A simple and delicious Chicken Wings recipe that everyone should know. There are recipes for frying the chicken wings and recipes for putting them on coals. These Bombay Grilled Wings is a recipe that does not need frying as it is a healthier option on the traditional fried wings. Really! these wings are the king of finger foods with their juicy flesh and drool-worthy Asian Indian fusion sauce!

Bombay Grilled Wings did not exist for me until I came to Australia. Decades ago, we were invited to our newly found friends’ house for lunch one afternoon and they served chicken wings as an appetizer. With Asian flavours of soy, ginger and garlic singing on my palate, these wings were finger-licking good. The taste lingered on, till one day I ventured into my local supermarket to buy wings (which I had never done before). They were very cheap and available in plenty. I bought a kilo of them and returned home.

I have recreated the original recipe several several times in the years that followed that first visit to our friends’ house. Made several different versions with Asian and Indian flavours. We love them in all forms and flavours. We have served them at house parties and all occasions, taken them for picnics, packed them for house parties. They transport well and can be eaten cold in warm weather.

Apart from being an appetizer, these wings are so good that I often serve them as a main meal with hot steamed rice and dhal on the side. You don’t even need the dhal by the way!! Pile them up on top of your steaming rice and get messy!!

I told you we love them every which way!!

With these Bombay Grilled Wings, every party is a winner and every dinner is a feast!

This is a decadent spin on the original version and is a favourite in my house during all seasons. These wings are also particularly popular during house parties because they can be marinated ahead and grilled while the guests are mingling with each other. Perfect for every occasion I say!

The formula for making these Bombay Grilled Wings is simple. Make your sweet, spicy and perfectly seasoned marinade first, dunk your wings in the marinade, marinate for a couple of hours or overnight, if time permits. You must bring the chicken to room temperature (approx. 45min. – 60 mins.). Then all that is left is to bake the wings and you are ready to get messy!!

And with these oven baked perfectly grilled wings, your next party will be a guaranteed hit. Guests who have eaten these wings at my house, have always ended up asking for the recipe!

So, here we go!

the chicken marinade

This is a spicy, sweet and a well balanced Indian/Asian marinade. It requires a few basic ingredients typical of an Indian and an Asian pantry, which I have little doubt many of you hold as pantry staples. If you skip on some ingredients, you may not achieve a balanced dish. It is recommended that you gather the ingredients before you decide to make these wings.

  • Fresh garlic and ginger – freshly peeled and chopped garlic/ginger gives the best and most vibrant flavour for these wings. You may crush the garlic/ginger, if you are in a hurry but I love to bite the little bits of garlic/ginger from the syrupy sauce on top of my wings!
    • Alternative – use minced garlic/ginger from a jar, only if you must. The flavour profile changes as garlic from a jar is pasteurized and does not have the natural taste you get from freshly crushed/chopped garlic.
  • Birds Eye or Bullet chillies – Also known as Thai Chilli, these are medium hot peppers that pack a powerful punch into the wings. As they are mildly spicy, you can still taste all the flavours of the marinade in the grilled wings. If you like the flavour but don’t like the spiciness, remove the seeds before slicing. If you don’t like the chilli kick, just leave them out. Find at your local supermarket or Asian green grocers.
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – Added primarily for its rich red colour and mild heat, as there is no other artificial food colouring added to this dish. The colour of the final dish will be different if you skip the chilli powder. Available at some large Coles and Woolworths supermarkets in their Indian shelf. I buy a brand called ‘Pattu‘ at Ravi’s House of Spices in West Ryde. Other brands labelled Kashmiri chilli powder are also equally good.
  • Chinese Five Spice – a multitasking Chinese spice powder made from a combination of star anise, Sichuan peppercorn, fennel, clove and cinnamon. This complex flavour blends in perfectly with Kashmiri chilli powder, resulting in a full flavoured marinade, that goes well with wings. Find at your local supermarket in the Spice Section or in Asian supermarkets labelled ‘Chinese Five Spice’ or simply ‘Five Spice’. My favourite brand is ‘MasterFoods‘ that comes in a 30g bottle.
    • What does it taste like? The powder is pungent, fragrant, slightly sweet and hot.
    • How much should I use? When you experiment, start with a pinch; a little goes a long way. Taste the marinade and add as per your taste! I add 1 tsp. (2g) for 1.5kg of wings.
  • Soy sauce – Added for umami and soy flavour without increasing the liquid to make the marinade. I use ‘Lee Kum Kee‘ Premium Soy Sauce or sometimes ‘Kikkoman‘ Soy Sauce. Do not use sauce labelled Dark Soy Sauce – Too strong and will make the marinade much darker.
  • Honey – Unlike many chicken wings recipes, there is no added sugar to the marinade. Honey acts as a natural substitute for sugar. Its a key ingredient that caramelises during grilling and thickens the sauce, making juices syrupy. Brush the syrupy pan juices to the wings before serving.
  • Sweet Chilli Sauce – Like soy sauce, this is a versatile pantry staple. It is served as a condiment with spring rolls or dim sums. As an ingredient in this marinade, it adds a sweet, savoury, slightly spicy and tangy taste. I like to use ‘Trident‘ Sweet Chilli Sauce, but if you have a favourite brand, feel free to use it.
  • Rice Wine vinegar – This vinegar gives light acidity to the marinade without the fruity tones. It also balances the sweetness of honey and sweet chilli sauce.
  • Sesame oil – Gives a beautiful nutty taste and this aroma complements these Asian inspired wings.

grilling guide

Ok I have been making these Chicken Wings for many years and for sure they come in different sizes. There are different breeds of chickens, and all of them are bred for specific purposes. If you happen to buy smaller wings, it is probably because the wings are from a smaller breed of chickens. On the other hand, if you happen to buy larger wings, they might have been from a larger chicken.

Smaller wings look visually smaller. The wingette and drumettes are both smaller. The larger wings are visibly larger whereby their wingette and drumettes are both larger in size.

I have trialled this recipe several times with both small and occasionally with larger wings. The cooking time varies depending on the size of the wings and drumettes. To put it simply, the smaller wings and drumettes require lesser time than the larger ones.

Things to remember as a guide:

  • If the wings are small, bake for 7 minutes on one side at 220°C. Remove from oven, flip the wings and baste with juices. Bake for a further 7 minutes. Switch to the grill setting and raise temperature to 250°C. Grill the wings are 5 minutes to finish off. The formula for small wings is 7 + 7 + 5 = 19 minutes. Aim to cook them for 20 minutes the most as you want to wings to be succulent and tender.
  • If the wings are larger, bake for 10 minutes on one side at 220°C. Remove from oven, flip the wings and baste with juices. Return to oven and bake for a further 5-6 minutes. Switch to the grill setting and raise temperature to 250°C and grill for a further 5-6 minutes. The formula for larger wings is 10 + 6 + 6 = 22 minutes.
  • If you are unsure about the timings in your home oven, use the iPhone clock and set the timer (7 + 7 + 5 for small wings) and (10 + 6 + 6 for larger wings) Or
  • If you have a Google Nest, then you can simply ask Google to time the grilling depending the size of the wings “Hey Google can you set the timer for 7 minutes?”
  • Once the 7 minutes are up, remove the wings from the oven, flip them over and place them back in the oven. Then ask Google “Hey Google can you set the timer for 7 minutes?”
  • Once the 7 minutes are up, switch the oven to the grill setting. Again, ask Google “Hey Google can you set the timer for 5 minutes?”. By using either your iPhone clock or Google Nest, you can be assured that the wings will be succulent as they are timed to the minute!

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Bombay Grilled Wings start off by making a special marinade that is made up of Chinese Five Spice, Kashmiri chilli powder, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, honey, Birds Eye Chillies (optional), sweet chilli sauce, rice wine vinegar, olive/vegetable oil, sesame oil and salt. The trimmed chicken wings are added to this marinade and left to marinate for at least two hours. You may leave overnight, if time permits.

You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. This is the summary of the process to go along with the process photos.

Trim chicken of excess skin and fat. Keep the skin on the wings and drumettes. Set aside

Place all your marinade ingredients in a deep glass bowl enough to hold the wings

Combine well. Season, if required

The marinade ingredients

The marinade

Add the wings and combine till the wings are coated evenly with the marinade

Cover with cling wrap and marinate for 2 hours minimum or overnight if time permits

Turn wings occasionally in marinade

Add wings

Marinated wings

Bring the chicken to room temperature (45 min. – 55 mins.)

Preheat oven to 220°C

Line the base of a large baking tray with foil or baking paper. Spray with cooking spray

Arrange chicken in one layer. Add the marinade on top

Spray generously with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes

Remove wings from oven. Flip over

Baste with tray juices

Return to oven and bake for a further 5-6 minutes.

Increase temperature to 250°C. Switch to grill setting

Grill for a further 6 minutes or until caramelised

Remove and rest for 10 minutes

Transfer to a serving platter.

Spoon or brush the syrupy juices from the tray on to the chicken

Tell me, when you see these freshly grilled wings, do you feel you are ready to get messy! This is our most favourite flavour option which no one will be able to keep their hands off! Don’t leave them only to your imagination. Follow the recipe and method closely, and while they give you sticky fingers, you still won’t be able to keep your hands off them!

Serve garnished with white and black sesame seeds with hot steamed rice as a main meal

other serving suggestions

  • Serve them in individual bowls if you are hosting your family and friends.
  • Serve them as finger food for sharing for your next soiree.
  • Serve them at a casual grazing-platter style gathering.
  • Serve them as a pub-style dinner at home with homemade French fries.
  • Serve them with hot steamed rice and Coconut Dhal for that special Indian dinner.

If you like these slightly different but delicious Asian inspired wings, you might also like Grilled Sichuan Chicken Wings which are very similar but with a little numbing effect of the Sichuan Peppercorns!

Equally delicious are a homestyle version of savoury Mumbai Pub Style Chicken Chops using chicken breast or thigh fillets.

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback. Please be sure to rate the recipe and/or leave a comment below. If you want to see more recipe inspirations, you can follow me on Instagram @lavina_mendonsa.

Bombay Grilled Wings

Bombay Grilled Wings

Catherine Lavina Mendonsa
Full of spicy, sweet, and savoury flavours, these Asian inspired Bombay Grilled Wings are one of our absolute family favourites.  Every bite is infused with big flavour, all thanks to the bold marinade made of ginger, garlic, honey, sesame oil and a winning combo of warm, aromatic fusion of spices.  What’s best is these wings are waistline friendly as they are not deep fried!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Marination and resting time 3 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 3 minutes
Course Appetizer, Grazing platter, Main Course, Shared Platter
Cuisine Fusion, Indian Chinese
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 kg chicken wings with skin each wing separated at the joint into 2 pieces
  • tbsp. garlic cloves finely chopped 40g
  • tbsp. ginger finely chopped 35g
  • 2-3 fresh Birds Eye or Bullet chillies cut into 1 cm rounds or to taste optional
  • tsp. Kashmiri chilli powder or to taste 10g
  • 1 tsp. Chinese Five Spice 2g
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce 40mL
  • 4 tbsp. honey 80mL
  • 4 tbsp. good quality sweet chilli sauce 65mL
  • 3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar 20mL (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil 3mL
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
  • tsp. salt or to taste 16g
  • Oil to spray

For the garnish

  • 2 tbsp. white sesame seeds roasted (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds roasted (optional)
  • 2 Birds Eye Chillies sliced into ½ cm rounds optional
  • 1 spring onion stem sliced at an angle optional

Instructions
 

  • Trim excess fat from the chicken wings and cut them at the joint into two pieces. Set aside.
  • For the marinade, combine garlic, ginger, chillies, chilli powder, Chinese Five Spice, soy sauce, honey, sweet chilli sauce, rice wine vinegar (if using), sesame oil, olive oil, and salt in a deep glass bowl. Season to taste, if required.
  • Add the wings and mix well till the wings are well coated with the marinade. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum, tossing the wings occasionally in marinade. You can marinate overnight, if time permits.
  • Remove chicken from the fridge and bring to room temperature (approx. 45 mins. - 55 mins.).
  • Preheat oven to 220°C. Line the base of a large baking tray with 2 layers of aluminium foil or baking paper and spray with cooking spray. Arrange chicken wings in one layer skin side up. Drizzle all remaining marinade over the top. Spray the chicken generously with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes on one side (if wings are small size, see NOTES 1 below)
  • Remove wings from the oven. Flip them over and baste wings with tray juices and bake for a further 5-6 minutes (if wings are small size, see NOTES 2 below)
  • Increase temperature to 250°C and switch to grill setting. Grill for a further 5-7 minutes or until caramelised. Remove and rest for 10 minutes (if wings are small size, see NOTES 3 below)
  • Transfer to a serving platter. Spoon or brush the syrupy juices from the tray on to the chicken.
  • Serve immediately garnished with toasted white and black sesame seeds, chillies and spring onion. These are a fabulous finger food for sharing as a starter or at a casual grazing-platter style gathering. They also make a great meal served with steamed rice and a fresh salad or stir-fried vegetables. They are also delicious served with Coconut Dhal.

Notes

  1. If the wings are small in size, then bake for 7 minutes on one side.
  2. If the wings are small in size, then flip and bake for 7 minutes on the other side.
  3. If the wings are small in size, then grill only for 5 minutes on the grill setting.
  4. If your tray juices are very runny in Step 7, remove the wings on to the serving platter and return the tray to the oven. The juices will thicken in just a few minutes! Brush the syrupy juices to the wings!
  5. The cooked wings can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.