Indians seem to be completely taken up by delicious Chinese cuisine. Whether it is the noodles, fried rice or other meat based dishes, this particular food variety has earned a lot of attention and interest. It is no longer restricted to the domain of specialty restaurants and has now become a part of Indian street food. No matter which part of the country you are visiting, you’ll definitely find some variety of Chinese noodles, Fried rice and off course Chilli Chicken being served with Elan.
A very striking feature that you probably must have noticed is that, in India, the moment you think of Chinese food, one recipe that strikes immediately is the Chilli Chicken. A sumptuous dish consisting of boneless chicken in thick gravy, it has almost become a staple for Indians. This recipe has been largely evolved and adapted according to the Indian taste. A favourite amongst youngsters, this is one Chinese recipe that will always be present in any Chinese restaurant, even it is a street side one. Are you also in love with the Chilli Chicken? If yes, read on to find out the recipe for making delicious Chilli Chicken at home.
Boneless chicken – 500gms
Egg – 1 piece
Flour – 1 cup
Corn Flour – ½ cup
Baking Powder – ½ tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Chilli sauce – 2 tbsp
Dark Soya Sauce – 1 tbsp
Green chillies – 7 to 8
Capsicum – 1 medium size
Onions – 4 to 5 medium size
Vegetable Oil – ½ cup
Ajinamoto or Chinese salt – 1 tsp
1. The process for making Chilli Chicken comprises two steps. The first step consists of making the preparations for the marinade and then frying the chicken pieces. Let’s take a look at the first step. Cut the chicken into small pieces. Marinate the chicken with flour, corn flour, egg, baking powder, salt, ginger garlic paste, about a teaspoon of oil and chilli sauce. Mix well and let the marinated chicken sit for half an hour.
2. In the meanwhile, chop the green chillies and keep aside. If you are not willing to make it hot, deseed the chillies and then chop it up finely.
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan. Taking one piece at a time, carefully lower the pieces into the pan and fry the marinated chicken pieces until they turn golden brown. Keep in mind, marinated chicken cooks very quickly and you should never overcook it. Therefore, keep a watch as the chicken gets fried.
4. Once all the chicken pieces have been fried properly, take them out on an absorbing kitchen towel or a tissue paper.
5. The second step for preparing Chilli Chicken consists of making arrangements for the gravy.
6. For preparing the gravy, chop up the onions and capsicum. Heat a little bit of oil and add the onions. Let the onion cook for sometime and make sure that it turns translucent, that is, it should be approximately 75 percent cooked. Add the capsicum and fry for sometime. When it looks like the onion is almost done, add 1 and ½ cups of water.
7. For preparing the gravy, mix the dark Soya sauce into the water. Consequently, take about half a cup of water and mix in 1 tsp of corn flour in it. Let the corn flour dissolve in the water. As the water starts boiling, add the corn flour mix. You’ll see that the gravy starts coagulating. Due to the addition of corn flour, the gravy will become thick in no time.
8. As the gravy thickens, add in the fried chicken pieces. Put the chopped green chillies into the gravy and cover the pan.
9. Reduce the flame and let the Chilli Chicken cook on medium flame for about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle some ajinomoto or Chinese salt. This is a very important ingredient for Chinese recipes and it adds a very different flavour to the dish. So, don’t miss out the Chinese salt, if you wish to prepare restaurant style Chilli Chicken at home. You can also sprinkle a little bit of sugar and pepper along with the Chinese salt. But, this is absolutely optional and if you do not wish to add sugar, feel free to omit it.
10. In 5 minutes time, you’ll have a bowl full of piping hot Chilli Chicken ready to be served. Garnish with spring onions before serving.
Dry Chilli Chicken – A Variation that you can try
Although, the Chilli Chicken is generally considered to be a gravy based dish, some prefer to have dry Chilli Chicken as an appetizer or starter. In order to make the Dry Chilli Chicken, all you need to do is omit the gravy. But, how will you do it? It’s very easy and you can do it without any problems. As mentioned in the above recipe, the first part of frying chicken pieces remains the same. There is only a slight modification to the second part. Instead of adding water to the fried onions and capsicum, mix in soya sauce, chilli sauce, green chillies and the fried chicken pieces together. Toss carefully, allowing the ingredients to mix with each other. You can add a dash of corn flour mixed in water. This will bind the Chilli Chicken and make it lustrous.
However, if you have sudden guests at home and have no time to prepare the entire dish, serve them some fried chicken with tomato and chilli sauce. They will surely love it and your fried chicken recipe would be an instant hit!
Other variations of the Chilli Chicken
Despite the popularity of the Chinese Chilli Chicken, Indian kitchens have modified it in accordance with regional flavours. The Andhra Chilli Chicken is one such variety where Indian spices have been largely used. Unlike the Chinese way, this one does not believe in marinating the chicken first. Rather, it uses raw chicken and cooks it in a spicy mixture including cumin, coriander, fennel, fenugreek, cinnamon and cloves. Therefore, it can be said that Indians have also successfully contributed towards the making of an authentic Indian style Chilli Chicken.