This Indo-Chinese chilli chicken recipe is the absolute best for a rainy evening snack or a hit appetizer. The flavors will explode in your mouth and make you keep reaching for more. It is great on its own or with rice or flatbread.
Indo-Chinese is nothing like the authentic Chinese cuisine so I hope Chinese food aficionados are not offended by this recipe. They are famous as street food and in local restaurants in India and as kids we loved these local versions. I still remember hoping the next bus would turn up a little late during the stopovers in trips to our hometown so Dad would buy these and others like chilli parotta while waiting. It is spicy, tangy and mildly sweet with succulent pieces of chicken coated in the thick gravy.
My husband is from the Madurai in South India which is pretty much street food heaven and these were a regular in his life. So any kind of street food made at home is always compared to what he ate at different restaurants there. Honestly, I am yet to make a dish that he fully approves of (hehe!!!). So this apparently is about 90% of the taste from his childhood favorite (yayy!!!).
It is the right mix of hot and tangy and but if you prefer a less spicier version, reduce the amount of red chilli flakes to fit your tastebuds. I believe everyone has unique taste and the trick to making a great dish is not just about following a recipe but understanding what flavors can capture your heart and adjusting the ratios accordingly. I was long stuck in the cooking by eye concept (courtesy mom and grandmom) that I almost never got a dish to taste the same every time. I have never managed to get an exact recipe of anything from them (always more of this, less of that, handful of this, little of that…). But after coming across people like my husband who are sticklers of the exact taste I got to writing up the recipes and now try to follow them. So people who love experimenting go ahead and play around with the ingredients and others who like sticking to recipes do let me know how exactly this suits your taste.
Indo-Chinese Chilli ChickenPrint This
- For frying
- Boneless chicken thighs/breasts - 1lb/ 1/2 kg (cut into 1inch cubes)
- Corn flour - 3 tbsp
- All purpose flour - 2 tbsp
- Egg - 1
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Black pepper powder- 1 tsp
- Soy sauce - 1/2 tsp
- Vegetable/ canola oil - for shallow frying
- For the stir fry
- Garlic- 1 tbsp minced
- Ginger - 1/2 tbsp minced (or one inch piece crushed so you can fish it out)
- Onions - 1 large chopped into cubes
- Green bell peppers- 1 cup chopped into 1 inch squares
- Red chilli flakes / chilli garlic paste - 1 tbsp
- Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
- Tomato ketchup- 2 tbsp
- Vinegar - 1 tbsp
- Oil (Sesame/vegetable/canola)- 2tbsp
- Green onions - 1 tbsp chopped
- Add the corn flour, all-purpose flour, egg, salt, pepper and the soy sauce in a bowl and make a batter. Add a little water if the batter is too thick.
- Add the chicken pieces to the batter and mix well to coat.
- You can fry immediately or let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Shallow-fry the chicken pieces until golden brown and set aside.
- Heat a big pan or wok on a high flame and add 2 tbsp of oil (I use some oil from the frying process).
- Add the minced ginger and garlic, fry for a minute and then add the onions.
- Saute on high heat for a smoky flavor constantly mixing to avoid burning.
- Now add the bell peppers and saute for 2-3mins (we like the peppers well-cooked and tender but if you like it crunchy move to the next step after a quick stir).
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup and red chilli flakes (or powder if you don’t have flakes).
- Mix well to combine and add in the fried chicken pieces.
- If you like it with gravy, mix 1 tbsp of corn flour in 1/2 a cup of water, add it and bring to a boil before adding the chicken.
- Stir well to coat the chicken pieces and remove from the heat.
- Add some chopped green onions to garnish and serve hot.