Naga Wings

I have a deep love for naga wings. Every single time I see them on a menu, I immediately need to order them.

I don’t even know why because the spice usually has me in pain but like…it’s a fun kind of pain you know.

I feel like I haven’t seen a lot of recipe’s for naga wings online though, so I decided to make one!

The naga wings inside of a wok with coriander and spring onions sprinkled on top.

Video Tutorial

What is naga?

In case you have never heard of naga before, let me tell you what it is.

Naga is just the name of a chilli. But it’s not your regular degular kind of chilli.

It is grown in Bangladesh and parts of India, it was once known as the worlds hottest chilli.

It is no longer the hottest chilli, the Carolina Reaper is now known as the hottest, but it is still in the top 10 list….it’s spicy.

In the past few years I feel like naga foods have become quite popular in the UK, or at least where I live. I’m always seeing takeaways and restaurants do naga wings, naga burgers, naga doner etc.

I know I said that naga is one of the hottest chillies, it is. But these wings are not crazy spicy. They are tolerable, but you can make them however spicy you want.

The naga is mixed with a lot of other ingredients and you just end up with wings that are super flavourful and also a little spicy!

A close up of the naga wings inside of a wok.

What naga to use

Finding the actual naga chilli is not the easiest to find, I feel like most places don’t have it, or at least I’ve never seen it.

So for these wings, we’re using naga pickle. Which is just naga chillies that have been pickled, turned into a chilli paste and thrown into a jar.

If you have any South Asian stores near you, most of them have this. Or you could also just get it off Amazon.

There are a lot of different brands that do their own version, I used one from a brand called Mr Naga, it’s typically the one that is the easiest to find.

But any naga pickle works!

The mr naga pickle jar.

Breakdown of the process

Making these naga wings is pretty simple. Here’s a quick breakdown of the process:

  • Season the wings  – you wand to do this first, then leave them to marinate.
  • Coat the wings in the flour.
  • Fry the wings – once fried it’s best to leave them on a wire rack whiles you make the sauce. They’ll stay crispy on a wire rack.
  • Make the sauce – this is where most of the flavour is going to come from, this is also where we’re going to add the naga. Add as much naga or as little as you want, make this to your taste.
  • Now garnish with coriander and spring onion, then dig in.

The seasonings

These are the seasonings I used throughout the making of these wings. 

I don’t know exactly what seasonings are typically used in naga wings, I just used what I saw fit.

Feel free to….one, use whatever seasonings you want. And two, use whatever quantities you want. When it comes to the seasonings, you don’t to follow the measurements I used, make these wings to your taste.

  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Chilli powder
  • Ground cayenne pepper
  • Chilli flakes
  • Garam masala
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

I also used fresh ginger and garlic for the marinade. And a fresh onion and tomato for the sauce!

The wings coated in flour, on a wire rack before being fried.
The wings on a wire rack before being fried.

Corn flour or regular flour for the flour coating

I used corn flour (also known as corn starch) for the coating for these wings. 

A while ago I saw a TikTok video, and the person in the video said that using corn flour gives you much crispier wings.

So I tried it.

CRISPY. very crispy. It made a pretty big difference. So ever since I’ve always made my wings with corn flour.

Sometimes if I want a thicker flour coating, I use half regular flour and half corn flour. But for these I just used corn flour on its own.

But regular flour works too, and they’ll still taste great. So use whatever you prefer to use, or just whatever you have.

Frying the wings

When it comes to frying the wings, you want to fry them in any flavourless oil (I use vegetable oil) that is around 180c.

You don’t need a thermometer though. If you don’t have one, you can just sprinkle some of the left over flour into the oil. If this flour starts gently bubbling, the oil is ready.

If it doesn’t bubble, the oil is too cold.

If it starts aggressively bubbling, the oil is too hot. Turn the heat off and let it cool down for a few minutes.

The frying time will vary depending on the size of your wings. My wings took around 8-10 minutes to cook, but it depends on the wings.

Just keep an eye on them. If you are unsure, take one out of the oil and break into it to see if it’s cooked, before taking the rest out!

Finishing touches

Once the wings are fried, you just need to make the sauce and throw the wings into this.

The sauce is pretty easy to make, I essentially just threw a bunch of ingredients into a wok and cooked them.

Most of the flavour and spiciness is going to come from this sauce.

So…I know I keep saying this….but make it too taste. You could add more or less naga than I did, or adjust the seasonings. It totally up to you what you add into this.

Here are some other savoury recipes I think you will also like:

Naga Wings

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Ingredients

  • 1kg chicken wings, separated into drums and flats

  • For the marinade:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

  • For the flour coating:
  • 200g corn flour

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • For the sauce:
  • 1 large red onion, chopped

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1-2 tablespoons naga pickle

  • 2 tablespoons any hot sauce

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 3 tablespoons double cream

  • Some red food colouring, optional

  • Plus some chopped coriander and spring onion, optional

Directions

  • Marinating the wings:
  • In a large bowl, add the wings as well as the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and all the seasonings. Mix all this until the wings are all covered in the seasonings, then cover this and leave in your fridge for at least 1 hour, or you can leave it overnight.
  • The flour coating:
  • In a bowl, mix together the corn flour and the seasonings.
  • Dredge your marinated wings into this, making sure that every part of the wing is covered. Shake off any excess flour. Leave these on a wire rack whiles your oil heats up.
  • Frying the wings:
  • You want to deep fry these in oil that is at 180c/350f. I use vegetable oil, but any flavourless oil works.
  • The time needed to cook these depends on how small or big your wings are, I cooked mine for around 8-10 minutes, but this time might vary. Just keep an eye on them.
  • Once all fried, leave them on a wire rack.
  • Making the sauce:
  • In a pan or wok, add a little bit of oil and let this heat up. Now add your chopped onion. Cook this until your onions have softened and browned.
  • Once browned, add the tomato, the seasonings, the naga pickle, the hot sauce and the water. Give this a stir and cook until you can no longer see pieces of tomato. You want this mixture to be mostly smooth.
  • Mix in the cream, then let this cook on low heat for about a minute. At this point I also added a little bit of red food colouring but you don't need too.
  • Now just add your wings and mix until they're coated. Sprinkle some coriander and chopped spring onions over them, then enjoy!
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