Dry chilli chicken, easily the most popular Indian-Chinese chicken recipe for the meat lovers. It’s spicy (it’s called chilli chicken after all), it’s got a crunch from the flour coating over the chicken and the capsicum, and it’s really quite delicious. When TH asks what’s the one thing I’d say he’s missing being a vegetarian, my answer is usually a very confident “chilli chicken for sure”.
So yes, we all know it and love it but how do we make chilli chicken at home? If you’ve attempted to make any manchurian or Indian Chinese dishes at home, you’ve probably felt it’s not the same as what we get in the restaurants. The key reason for this is that they deep fry things without worrying about health or calories and we would probably hesitate. At least, that’s my theory. So this chilli chicken recipe is as close to how a restaurant would make it but I haven’t added any MSG which they are sure to add in chilli chicken. I also haven’t used any food colour because I really don’t think that’s necessary.
Looking for a vegetarian alternative? Check out my super easy gobi manchurian recipe.
The key in making a good chilli chicken is in the seasoning of the flour batter in which the chicken is fried. That can really make or break your dish to a large extend. I recommend experimenting a bit because it’s nearly impossible to get the exact same result even if you closely follow my recipe. Your corn flour is going to be a different brand, ground differently, the weather is not the same and you most definitely won’t be able to get the same consistency as I did for the batter. I know, sounds like a lot of bad news. But fear not, I am yet to make an inedible chilli chicken. No matter how it turns out, you can ‘fix’ it or just eat it anyway.
- 250 grams of boneless chicken pieces, cubed
- ½ cup of plain flour (maida)
- ¼ cup of cornflour or cornstarch
- 1 tsp of ginger garlic paste
- ¼ tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp of soya sauce
- ½ tsp of black pepper powder
- 1 tbsp of oil
- 1 cup of cubed onions
- ½ cup of cubed capsicum (bell pepper)
- 2-3 green chillies, slit
- 1 tsp of crushed garlic
- 1 tsp of grated ginger
- 1 tsp of tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp of vinegar or lime juice
- 2 tbsp of minced spring onions or coriander leaves for garnish
- Clean and cut the chicken pieces into bite-sized cubes
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients and keep it ready
- Mix all the ingredients for the batter and add enough water to make a thick batter (similar to bajji batter)
- Add the chicken pieces to this
- Heat oil for deep frying
- When the oil is smoking hot, add the chicken pieces thoroughly coated in the batter
- Fry on medium heat until golden brown
- Drain and set aside
- Proceed with the next batch until all the chicken is fried
- Drain and set aside
- Heat oil and add the onions, ginger, garlic, and green chillies
- Saute until the onions turn transparent and soft
- Then add the soya sauce, vinegar or lemon juice, and tomato ketchup
- Saute for 2 more minutes
- Then add the fried chicken pieces and capsicum
- Sprinkle some water and cover the pan
- Cook on very low heat for 4-5 mins or until the ingredients come together nicely
- Uncover, give everything a good mix, check for salt and add more if needed, and remove from heat
- Garnish with spring onions or coriander leaves
- Serve hot as an appetizer or side dish with fried rice or noodles
The vinegar or lemon juice is optional but I usually add some for the tang it gives
You can use capsicum in any colour
You can also follow the same recipe with small pieces of chicken with bone
The batter ingredients are very customisable. You can opt to add pepper in the final stage rather than into the batter, for example
Step by Step Pictures for Making Chilli Chicken
Mix all the ingredients for the batter
and add enough water to make a thick batter, similar to bajji batter
Add cleaned and cut chicken pieces
Stir well to combine
Heat oil for deep frying and when it’s almost smoking hot, add the chicken pieces one at a time, well coated with the batter
Fry on medium heat until golden brown. Drain and set aside
Heat oil and add the onions, ginger, garlic, and green chillies
Saute until the onions turn transparent and soft
Then add the soya sauce, vinegar or lemon juice, and tomato ketchup and saute for 2 more minutes
Now add the fried chicken pieces and capsicum.
Mix well, sprinkle some water, and cook cover for 4-5 minutes on very low heat. Stir in between if you feel the bottom of the pan is beginning to bury but do not add any more water
Once done, uncover and adjust salt. Then garnish with chopped spring onions or coriander leaves.
That’s it! Your dry chilli chicken is now ready to serve. Serve hot as an appetiser or with fried rice or noodles as a side dish with chicken.
If you make chilli chicken following my easy step by step recipe, do drop me a comment below.
For chilli chicken recipe in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Urdu, Malay etc please use the Google translate button in the sidebar