Whenever I make this dish, I’m reminded of a recent trip to India which ended in pain and tears. The good kind. Obviously, there we got to visit a great asian restaurant, I still dream about the food every day.
It was the night before we were due to fly back home when I decided to visit an Indo-Chinese street food cart next to my grandma’s house. I had passed this cart everyday and had been eyeing up the “goods on offer” carefully considering if I should do the deed. To clarify, doing said deed would involve purchasing a portion of their ever popular chilli chicken and hakka noodles. Sounds simple enough right? But deciding on whether or not you should get involved in an authentic street food experience in India is a dubious proposition indeed (concerns of the “aftermath” consumes much of the reason why).
Fancying myself as somewhat of an adventurous foodie, I decided to go for it. I handed over my 30 rupees and minutes later, a piping hot mountain of noodles topped with a glorious looking portion of chilli chicken headed my way. I dug in. The first mouthful…wow. In fact every mouthful tasted better than the last. I couldn’t stop. I must have been at it for at least half a minute when I suddenly halted. I looked up and found streams of tears rolling down my cheeks. Then came the immense burn on my tongue, followed by panting. In short, I was a HOT MESS. In hindsight, this should have been where this culinary escapade ended. But it didn’t and I couldn’t not have more! The burn became more painful but I ploughed on. I fought back the tears and carried on like some sort of deranged addict. The end soon came when the hyperventilating started and I started getting weird looks from, well, everyone. Quite possibly the most exhilarating eating experience of my life!
Understandably when I returned home, I was itching to recreate this dish and did so successfully but without the cry-me-a-river effect! This recipe is a slight twist on the original but is packed full of flavour which makes it oh so good! Scooped us with hot chapatis or even spicy noodles you will want to try this. Give it a go and let me know what you think!
- 400g boneless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
- 2tbsp gram flour
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
- Egg white from 1 egg
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3” ginger, finely chopped
- 2 birds eye green chillis, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 medium onion, diced into 2” chunks
- 3 stems spring onion, cut into 1” chunks
- 1 small capsicum, cut into 2” chunks
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp amchur
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Handful coriander, finely chopped
- Small handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- Place chicken in a bowl. Add the gram flour, pepper, salt, red chilli flakes and egg white. Mix well.
- Heat oil in a wide non-stick pan. Place chicken in the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes until it is white and slightly golden in colour on both sides. Remove from pan and keep aside.
- Using the same pan and oil, reduce the heat to low/medium. Now add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Now add the tomato puree and mix well.
- Add the onions and sauté for 1 minute. Now add the spring onions and capsicum and mix. Add the chicken. At this point, add salt, paprika, garam masala, amchur. Mix well. Add the fresh mint and coriander.
- Check for salt and adjust accordingly. Remove from heat.