Making the Weekday Special with Chilli Chicken

Aayush has decided that he likes to bite into things and chew his food rather than having it mashed and gulping it down. Finally! I almost had visions of feeding him mashed food into old age.

“Kha re, deva. Hoddu jatalo!!”.. “Eat it, my lord. Make you a big boy!” .

Amazing how he can set his tooth grinders on when he is eating a chakuli (murruku) or tukdi or even potato chips. But, a roti or rice, god forbid if he would chew through them. After a lot of explaining, showing him how dad (and all ‘big boys’) eat, trying to enforce the rule by refusing to mash his food and finally, breaking down and just praying to god for salvation, the bugger decides to eat like a grown up. So what pushes him to do it ? Not peer pressure, not shame, not wanting to be a ‘big boy’ nor any of my culinary creations. Oh no!! It was the blasted Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets. Not that I have anything against them. Rather them than the ones at MacDonalds, I say. It is the sheer perverse-ness of it that frustrates me. After going through a lot of struggle to avoid getting him on the fast food bandwagon (struggle, not only because of the sheer amount of outlets and Ads , but because we have had to avoid it, too), the one food that drives him to take that next very important step in his development comes straight out of a fast food chain. Ugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Thats kids for you. So, how does the a two year old with parents trying hard not to expose him to fast food, come across a Chick-Fil-A Chicken nugget? Ah, see , thats a whole other can of worms. Of late, there have been discontent in the family about the food that coming out my kitchen during week days. Discontent that they were just not as exciting as before. Discontent that began erupting with mild comments, mild comments that turned into mutterings when food was served, mutterings that turned into snide comments, and snide comments that finally became loud complaints. When even those didn’t have the desired effect, they decided to hit it where it really hurts! The ego. Oh yes, the hubby coming home with one of the drive-thru specials was becoming a regular feature and signs of a full blown mutiny were apparent. I was not ready to give in, though, and a full blown war was about to start, when Aayush decided, he liked fast food.

And, peace was sketched out between the waring factions (read, the parents) in the interest of the innocent people (read, the kids) whose life was blown apart by the silent war (though I am sure, Aayush doesn’t look at it that way). It was decided that something “exciting” (in terms of food!) will be made mid-week, the day hubby comes home at the same time as me, and that he would help in any way he can, begining with staying out of the kitchen and making sure the kids stay away, too. He was very happy with that suggestion. Poor guy, has no idea the tornado that is going to hit him in the form of two kids who have missed their parents the whole day. *snicker, snicker*

So, the good news is, Aayush likes chicken and that means a quick route to good proteins for him and another reason for us ( S and me) to gorge on chickens and hubby takes care of the kids for one WHOLE evening. Not a bad deal. I began the healing process with some darn good, Indo-Chinese concoction that I guess would be known as fast-food in India, but since I make it at home, is alright ;).


Cube into bite size pieces

3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast

Make a paste of the following and marinate the chicken in it for about an hour.

1 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tbsp Soya Sauce (Dark or lite, I prefer the dark)
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Cornflour

In a large frying pan, heat up

a couple tbsp of Peanut Oil

Shallow-fry the chicken cubes in the oil. If you have used a large enough pan, you will be able to do this in two rounds. Follow the usual rules. Don’t over crowd the pan, don’t try moving the chicken around for a couple minutes until a shake to the pan has it dancing in the pan. Usually, with chicken pieces this small, you know you are ready to turn them when the side on top if white with small pink center on top. Drain on paper towels when cooked through. Cool. This part you can do ahead of time. I have to warn you though that the family might think they are chicken pakoda and finish them off.

Raise the heat on the remaining oil (there should be about 2 tbsp oil, if there isn’t add more), add

2 whole dried red chillies (optional)
1/2 cup sliced Green Onions
(usually a bunch. only the white part, save the green for garnish)
1 tbsp chopped Garlic
4-5 chillies slit length-wise

Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add

2 tbsp Soya Sauce
2 tbsp Chilli-Garlic Sauce (you get these in most grocery stores)

Add salt, depending on taste. Usually, with that amount of soya sauce, its not necessary. Mix to coat all the chicken with the sauce. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Remove from flame and top with

chopped greens from the green onions
(That sounds very knowledgeable,doesn’t it?)

I served this with dal and rice. But, it works as an excellent finger-food,too.

And All was as should should be and peace reigned the kingdom again. With the mutiny squashed, the queen was joyous. The king was happy with the time he was getting with the kids and the prince and the princess were just happy with the attention. The chicken nuggets got to stay in the outlets where the bad grown ups (us) can go and pig out without the kids knowing about it. Everyone gobbled down on the ‘exciting’ home-made food, and they lived happily ever after

…………………………………………………………….until the next meal.


15 thoughts on “Making the Weekday Special with Chilli Chicken

  1. Nice reading about you and your boy, Vee:))

    Love the pics and the recipe. I love chilli chicken too.I make it without the soy sauce, Indian style.

    Enjoy your little boy and have a great weekend:)

  2. Vee, glad to see you are back. Hadn’t checked your blog couple of weeks thinking you had gone into hibernation.
    Also the wordpress blogs don’t show them as updated on my BlogRoll
    Loved your write up and the chicken

  3. It wasn’t a run of the mill recipe which can be very tedious to go through. It was very entertaining and fun to read. In nutshell, you have simplified an otherwise complicated chinese recipe.

  4. Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful recipe. I’m a horrible cook, who after recently getting married and is getting aquinted with the room called “The Kitchen”. I made the chilli chicken for a small dinner party and got rave reviews, if I do say so myself. 😀

    So Thank You!!!!!!!!

  5. Tab,
    Enjoy the reviews and know that they are just starting. I was in your place not so long ago and now feel confident enough to blog about the food I cook. And please do say so!! There is nothing wrong with a little bit of narcissism once in awhile!

  6. Hi Vee..hw r u doing? Got adjusted wt Aayush’s school..what all stories do you get to hear frm him abt school and fellow pupils?
    BTW…b4 i digress, i had the main ingredient(s/b chi-breast) in my fridge..and this recipe suited me fine..i went ahead and made it..ensured that i did the frying job when hubby was in office..or else just as u mentioned abt it getting over(my mums dialogue started drumming my ears after me & my bro finished half the things that went into a recipe..”Itle varla vey? Yean haave konale kanna ghalunu ghundache??”) u r not alone there when it comes to main ingredient getting finished off by hubby dear!
    Conclusion: This recipe was mindblowing (i reduced the chillies a lot and skipped red chilli part.) my dish was ready after hubby came,who was by then circling the kitchen like a honey bee to get a green signal to eat it off!i was amidst daal-chawal preparation and served him a plateful and then went another plateful!!
    PS:hey Vee,pls check ur gmail account pastpresentme at, hv sent u pic of malai modak which i made..also now sending pic of chi-chi!

  7. Oh so sorry..a bit of amendment there on second last line..pls chk your YAHOO account…(blush blush)mistakes happen when u r typing at the lowest intensity,so that the two lovely looking kids..yep they do look lovely till they r asleep..dont wake up!!!Thanks Vee

  8. Hi Vee,

    Your recipes are interesting besides being mouth-watering because the way you write them. I love your style. I am going to try your Chole-Baturas soon and let you know about my adventure.

    Keep writing.


  9. Wow…. I’m at work… bumped into your recipe… and my mouth cant stop watering!! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing it… am going to try this one after I am done with your Baked Chicken curry and Prawn pulao!!

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