Chilli Chicken, Nepali Style....
How is the new year treating you so far? It has been okay for us...hoping for better things to come....
Last 2 weeks I have been alternating between cooking too much or not cooking at all...after eating take away for 3 days in a row I decided to cook one evening last week. I was in the mood for something-- hot and spicy. But did not want to sweat over the stove for long. So decided to make chilli chicken the Nepali way.
In Oxford we used to frequent a Nepali restaurant rather innovatively called the Everest Nepalese Restaurant...their lamb momos and chilli chicken were to die for. This chilli chicken dish is very different from the Indo Chinese one or the South Indian one. I tried searching for the recipe online, found something rather complicated, so scraped my search and decided to follow my memory. I remember there was a hint of cumin, soya sauce, garlic, chillies, peppers and lime juice. So here is my version of the Nepali chilli chicken....
Boneless chicken about 500 gms, cut into bite size portions,
4 Green and red chillies finely chopped, you can de-seed them, but it is more fun to keep the seeds since they produce all the heat...
Bell peppers (whichever you have at home--green, red or yellow)
Whole garam masala--half a stick of cinnamon, 2 green cardamom pods, 2/3 cloves and 1 bay leaf (I generally crush the whole masalas slightly with a pestle, this releases the flavour)
Dark soya sauce (about 2 table spoons)
1 table spoon ginger (finely chopped)
2 pods of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium sized red onion chopped
1 tea spoon of cumin seeds
1 tea spoon of coriander powder
1 pinch of haldi
1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder (you can increase the amount if you like it hot)
Salt to taste
2 table spoons of sunflower oil
Juice of half a lime/lemon
Fresh coriander leaves
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 20 mins
This is what I did....
I marinated the chicken for an hour in soya sauce. Keep the chicken in the fridge while marinating.
After heating the oil in a large wok, added the garam masala and the cumin seeds, when they start sizzling add the onion and the garlic. Once the onion and the garlic have become brownish, add the masala powders-- haldi (please add just a pinch, so that the colour from the soya sauce stays), coriander, red chilli and fry till oil starts to bubble on the side....add the peppers, the chicken pieces with the soya sauce, the ginger and fry for 5 more minutes. Add salt and a little water, just so that the chicken pieces are submerged...let it come to a boil and let the liquid evaporate.
Before serving garnish with fresh coriander leaves and squeeze half a lime juice and your chilli chicken is ready to be served. It tastes fabulous with rice, I am sure it could be eaten with rootis as well.
What I really like about this dish is cooking spices with soya sauce. This gives the dish a different twist and the peppers add a bit of colour and crunch to the dish.
This is my latest favourite, hope you enjoy it too!