Some people hardly eat anything at all. You know the kind that carefully scrapes the cream off pastries before they take a nibble. On the rare occasion that they can be coaxed into eating a puri, they blanket the fried bread in tissue paper and wring them tightly to remove excess oil. You wouldn't take them to a buffet meal because they don't eat your money's worth of food and this compels you to down twice your usual quota, in the pretext of making up for the grave injustice they have done to the chef's efforts. They even claim that ice creams give them a headache!
My mother, my very own mother, is one of those people who eat to live and not vice versa. So much is the difference between our food habits that I sometimes think there may be some merit to my brother's claim that I was picked off some grubby street when I was a baby. She is as far removed from gluttony as Salman is from his shirt. But is it, I mean, is my mom's eating habits (and not Salman's shirt or the lack of it) something I need to appreciate or sympathize with. I can't decide. Yes, she remains slimmer than I have ever been my entire life. But the absence of a deeply ingrained need to appreciate the divinity of a piece of chocolate cake bathed in silky, smooth chocolate ganache and served with soft, fluffy whipped cream is a handicap. Isn't it?
In spite of my mother's handicap, she does maintain a big, fat diary of recipes jotted down from here and there, mostly from cooking shows on tv. She has tried some of them, marked the successful attempts with a star and crossed out a few that were disappointing. The chili chicken recipe that I am sharing with you today is a recipe marked with two stars, an accolade that has not been awarded to any other recipe in the diary. This is a wonderful starter for the party season and if you plan to make it, I suggest you make a lot of it. Because I spied even my mom helping herself to seconds!
On another note, this is my 100th post. On my century, I raise my spatula to all of you who visited my space and encouraged me through these 100 posts (though I definitely was no master blaster). Thank you so much and do keep coming back here! You can also follow me on Pinterest or Facebook.
500 grams boneless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
To taste, salt
2 cups + 1 cup thin long onion slices
4 green chilies cut into rounds
1" piece ginger + 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 tomatoes, chopped finely
1/4th of a green capsicum, cubed
1 tablespoon soya sauce + 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon pepper powder
A handful to chopped coriander leaves
Sunflower oil, as required
Marinate the chicken with chili powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
In a pan, heat a cup of oil (or as required to deep fry) to medium high. Deep fry 2 cups of onion slices till they are brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside. Add the marianated chicken pieces to the same oil, cover and fry over low heat till they are cooked. Keep fried chicken aside. Strain oil leaving behind a couple of tablespoons in the pan.
Sauté 1 cup of onions slices along with green chilies, ginger, garlic and curry leaves in the remaining oil till the onions have softened well. Add tomatoes and continue sautéing till oil has separated from the mixture. Mix in fried onions, chicken, capsicum, coriander leaves, soya sauce and tomato sauce and let cook together for a few minutes. Finish off with sugar and pepper powder.
Serve as a starter or as a side dish.
Note: Adjust spice level according to taste.