Chili chicken is another one of those dishes that no one knows the origin of, but it is such a rage in India. Many innocent, naïve children grow up crazy about Chicken Lollypop, Chili Chicken and Chicken Manchurian unaware for a long time that these dishes are not exactly part of authentic Chinese cuisine – myself included. I remember looking forward to those occasional eat outs at the little roadside “Chinese” food stand called Salty (for some strange reason). It was a one man show, with the Chinese looking man cooking up a variety of mouth-watering Chinese dishes in his huge wok – tossing and flipping on dangerously high heat, concocting sauces and noodles that we had never tasted before. Salty is where I fell in love with Chinese food, and the Chinese looking man made his little fortune!
It was many years later that I came to know that the man is Burmese not Chinese, and the food he made is definitely not Chinese! More like Indo-Chinese as it used many Chinese ingredients. That didn’t diminish my love for this variety… Thankfully Dubai has many Indian restaurants that serve up this skewed line of cuisine. And often I make many of the dishes at home. One of the all-time favorite Indo-Chinese food for many people is Chilli Chicken.
Well this is the real deal! I shared my story in one of my earlier posts about how I ordered for Chili Chicken and instead got Chicken Chili (local chef special)! Food faux pas!!!
I used to watch my older brother make this…waiting impatiently to start eating. It is amazing how some dishes, even after years, evoke so many emotions – or tummy growls!
Boneless chicken works best for this recipe, but you can also use small pieces of chicken with bone if you prefer. Marinate with Soya Sauce, ginger-garlic paste, cornflour and little salt.
For the gravy you need, a few simple ingredients – garlic, green chilies, spring onions, some more soy sauce and some more cornflour –dissolved in cold water. Saute garlic and green chilies in little oil.
½ kg Chicken with/without bones- cut into small pieces
2 tsp Soya sauce
1½ tsp Ginger-garlic paste
2 tsp Cornflour
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
For the gravy
2tblsp Oil – preferably sesame oil, or any vegetable oil
7-8 Garlic pods – chopped
8-9 Green chilli- depending on how spicy the chillies are
2-3 stems Spring onions – finely chopped
2tsp Soy Sauce
1tsp Cornflour – dissolved in cold water to runny paste
- Marinate the chicken with ingredients listed under marinade. Be cautious with the salt as soya sauce is already high in salt content. Or you can use the low sodium soya sauce. Let the marinated chicken rest for atleast half an hour.
- In a deep bottom pan or kadai heat enough oil for deep frying the chicken. Fry the marinated chicken until cooked and brown. Keep aside on a kitchen towel.
- In a pan heat 2 tbsps of oil and sauté the garlic first followed by the green chilies. Sauté for around 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining soya sauce and pour around 1-1½ cups of water. Let it boil and then add the fried chicken pieces.
- Mix well and finally add the cornflour dissolved in cold water. Stir well and cook till it comes to a boil. Finally sprinkle the chopped spring onions and mix well.
Serve hot with fried rice or noodles.