If you haven’t been to many Indo-Chinese restaurants, you probably don’t know the concept of a Desi Chilli Chicken. The one that you get as “touchings” or “chakna” while watching a match with your friends. Or the one that you promptly order at a restaurant that is probably called “China Town” or “Golden Dragon”. If you know the concept, you’d know there would be cubes of chicken coated in a flavor-pack of soy-chilli-oyster sauces, onions and capsicums that have undergone the perfect sear for the perfect bite, and a semi-dry gravy that transports you back to drinking sessions with friends or middle-class family outings with either greasy fried rice or crisp porottas on the side.
Enough with the nostalgia now. Let’s get down to business. This Chilli Chicken recipe is my mom’s. I have tweaked it just a bit and I personally vouch for it. It is pretty easy, it is loaded on flavors, it is the perfect party starter and it is an even better touchings/chakna/appetizer. Most importantly, if you could relate to the first paragraph, it is memories in a bowl.
For the marinade:
Chicken breast – 500 grams, cut to pieces
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 Tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 Tbsp
Pepper powder – 1 Tsp
Salt – 1 Tsp
Soy sauce – 1 Tbsp
Chilli sauce – 1 Tbsp
Tomato ketchup – 1 Tbsp
Corn flour – 2 Tbsp
All-purpose flour – 1 Tbsp
Egg – 1
Lemon – 1, juiced
For the gravy:
Oil – 1 Tbsp
Onion – 1, cut to 4
Yellow capsicum – ½, cut to medium pieces
Green capsicum – ½, cut to medium pieces
Orange/Red capsicum – ½, cut to medium pieces
Ginger garlic paste – 1 Tsp
Green chillies – 2, chopped
Soy sauce – 2 Tbsp
Chilli sauce – 1 Tbsp
Oyster sauce – 1 Tbsp
Ketchup – 1 Tbsp
Corn flour – 1 Tbsp
Garnish – spring onions chopped.
Wash and drain the cut chicken cubes. Mix all the ingredients in the marinade list. Apply the marinade on the chicken and let it rest in the fridge overnight.
Wok fry the chicken in sunflower oil in two batches. Drain & keep aside.
Clear out the wok, wipe it down. Now in 1 tbsp oil, fry the ginger garlic paste and green chillies until they wilt a bit. Add the onions on high heat until they are slightly transparent. Now add all the capsicum and sauté on high flame.
Reduce the flame once they look seared through. Add the sauces – soy, chilli, ketchup and oyster. Stir through.
Mix the corn flour in 1 cup of water. Mix well with a spoon and pour it into the wok. Add the fried chicken pieces into the wok and mix well.
Sauté the chicken until the gravy is coated on the pieces and a beautiful orange-red glaze is formed on the chicken. Chop spring onions and garnish on top.
Serve with hot, flaky Kerala porotta or Chinese fried rice/noodles. Or simply serve as is.
That’s it. Desi Chilli Chicken in all its Indo-Chinese grandeur, flavors & nostalgia-packed deliciousness. Please tag me and let me know if you make this and what you think about it! I’d absolutely love to know, but more importantly, my mom would be super thrilled to know!
A walking epitome of food-lust, permanently craving for chicken, cheese & chocolates of all and every form. A marketing and content writing professional living in Dubai with my husband, who has learnt to be the perfect side-kick in food explorations around the world. If you find me raiding the fridge at ungodly hours, I'm just inspiring my tummy.
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