Eastern India is home to a whole community of Chinese people who migrated there years ago. As is always the case, there was an exchange of ideas, values, traditions and... food! In my personal opinion (and that of thousands of other Indians) there is no Chinese food like Indian Chinese food! You know why? Indian style Chinese cooking takes popular Chinese dishes and adds simple Indian ingredients to it. The result? Magic!! Try it...
- 500 gms/ 1 lb (approx) boneless chicken fillet (I usually use thigh fillets)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
- 3-4 dry red chillies
- 2 large onions (white or brown)/ 4-5 spring onions
- 2 tbsp finely minced fresh garlic
- 2 tbsps tomato ketchup
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 large green bell peppers, cut into 2" squares (seeds and stem discarded)
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Salt to taste
- Cut the chicken fillet into 2" cubes and put into a large mixing bowl
- Add the cornflour, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and the egg to the chicken and mix well till a smooth liquid marinade is formed. Keep aside for 15-20 minutes to marinate.
- Cut the onions or spring onions into 1" cubes. In the case of spring onions, cut the green, leafy stems into 1" pieces too.
- Put a wok or deep pan on the stove on high heat. Add 2 tbsps of cooking oil to it. When hot, add the dry red chillies and cubed onions to it and fry till the onions are translucent.
Now add the garlic and fry for a minute.
- Add the soy sauce and tomato ketchup. Stir often and fry for another minute. Take off from stove and keep aside.
- Put another wok of deep pan onto the stove and heat on high. Add the remaining cooking oil to it. When hot, fry a little of the marinated chicken at a time till it is golden. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and put straight into the pan with the onion-garlic-sauce mix. Fry all the remaining chicken like this and add to the pan with the 'sauce'.
- Once all the chicken is done, return the 'sauce' with the fried chicken to high heat and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add 2 cups of water and cook till chicken is tender and done - this will not take more than 5-7 minutes.
- Now add the green bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
- After adding the bell pepper and while it is cooking, put 1 tbsp of cornflour in a cup, add 5-6 tbsps of cool water to it and mix well till a smooth liquid is formed. Add this liquid to the pan with the Chilli Chicken and stir well. The gravy will thicken fairly quickly. As soon as this happens, remove the pan from the heat.
- Serve Indian Style Chlli Chicken with plan boiled rice.