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Traditional Chinese Chilli Chicken...just the way my Dad made it......


When the Chinese came to settle in Calcutta, they brought along with them their one most important gift for the Indian people, their awesome cuisine. With the traditional Cantonese styles being subdued over the years, a new style of Chinese food began emerging and making its presence felt in most Chinese restaurants of Calcutta. Indo Chinese cooking increased in popularity with the pungent flavors of Sichuan cuisine being modified to a spicier version thus suiting the Indian palate for spicy food.

The most famous Chili Chicken was a popular result of this modified style of Chinese food and became a rage all over India to the extent that no restaurant menu is complete without the favorite Chilly chicken. Throughout India one will find this dish cooked in so many different ways, however my favorite style of Chili Chicken was the way my dad cooked it. It is this style that I would love to share with all who enjoy Chinese food.

Chili Chicken was never really meant to be a boneless affair that is so common now. The real essence and flavor of chicken comes from the bones, thus Chilly Chicken is best cooked with the bone.

The Ingredients.
  • 750 gms to 1kg chicken. A smaller size is preferable
  • Shredded green pepper or capsicum
  • Dark soya sauce (approx 3 table spoons)
  • White soya sauce ¾ tablespoon
  • Coarsely chopped green chilly
  • A dash of sugar
  • Chopped garlic
  • Garlic paste
  • Ginger paste
  • A bit of salt
  • A tablespoon of corn flour mixed with water


Cut the chicken into several chunks, then marinate with ginger and garlic paste and a bit of dark soya sauce. Leave the marination for about 15 minutes.

Heat a wok with oil enough for deep frying the chicken. When the oil is hot enough slip in the chicken pieces and deep fry. Make sure the flame isn’t too high because you need to fry it over a flame that’s not too high neither low, u don’t want it to simmer. When the chicken turns brown and slightly crispy you can remove it into a dish.

Remove the oil from the wok leaving just enough for cooking. Throw in the chopped garlic, shredded capsicum and green chilly. Just a reminder that in case you like the flavor of onions then you could add shredded onions as well.

Cook for a while, then add the chicken, all this should be done over a considerably high flame but mind you again, not too high to burn the damn thing. Stir and move the chicken and ingredients around well. Be sure to hold the wok with one hand lifting occasionally to ensure that every part is cooked, remember the art of cooking Chinese food is to move things around fast in a wok so that they cook evenly. 

Add the dark soya sauce, sugar, and white soya sauce. Chilly chicken isn’t meant to be a gravy dish so what we attempt here is something not too dry but semi dry, so add a bit of soup stock just a little so that it won’t be completely dry, then add the corn flour for thickening, stir fry some more till you get the idea that the dish is fairly cooked and then you’re done. Happy eating...

To get some really good recipes on home style cooking try 

My Grandmothers Recipes on Facebook.


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