I’ve been craving for chicken chilli and jhol momo (dumplings in hot tomato soup) for a while now.
Being a new parent, hubby and I are still struggling to manage time as our life revolves around our world (baby) and his routine.
Last weekend we finally managed to go out for a quick dinner. We went to this Nepali cafe. We ordered jhol momo, chicken chilli and chowmein.
The food was great especially jhol momo but I didn’t like chicken chilli as much. It was too sweet and lacked the balance of flavours. I was little dissappointed so I thought I will make it myself at home.
Last night when I opened my fridge to prepare dinner, I thought I will make chicken chilli and satisfy my cravings. I didn’t have capsicum (bell peppers) but I substituted it with mushroom and spring onions.
It turned out very well. It was saucy, fiery and tasted exactly like the ones you get in restaurants in Kathmandu.
Chicken chilli is much loved appetizer in Nepal. Nepali cuisine is heavily influenced from its neighboring countries China and India. It is basically a fusion cuisine of both and probably best of both. While the daily meal of rice, lentils, vegetable and meat is mostly based on curries and spices but more subtle than indian curries. The snacks and the appetizers are mostly inspired by Chinese and sichuan cuisines. The stir frys, chowmin, spring rolls and momos are just a few dishes that are not only the favourites but part of of Nepalese cuisine which has it’s unique nepali style flavours. The use of sichuan pepper in newari food shows the similarity with sichuan cuisine. I’ve been to few sichuan restaurants here in Oz and the flavours reminds me of newari food.
You can find chicken chilli in every menu in the restaurant. It’s my regular order along with momo and chowmin. This dish is also served as an appetizer in Nepalese parties.
Here is my version on chicken chilli recipe.
1 kilo of Chicken Thigh Fillets
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon chilli powder (or as per your taste)
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoon corn starch powder
1 large egg
Half of lemon juice
Salt as per taste
Oil to deep fry
2 onion cut in quartered
2 medium sized quartered tomatoes
3 mushroom quartered
2 sprigs of spring onion cut in an angle
Dash of soy sauce
4 fresh chillies
2 tablespoon ketchup
(Original recipe uses 1 capsicum instead of mushroom)
Cut chicken into cubes and mix all the marinde ingredients into chicken. Leave chicken overnight or at least one hour for flavours to infuse.
Heat oil for deep frying. When oil is hot, fry chicken in batches until golden brown. Remove chicken off the pan and set aside.
In a pan, heat 3 tablespoon of oil and add onion, mushroom. Sauté it for 2-3 minutes then add tomatoes and fresh chillies . Add pinch of salt, splash of soy sauce and 2 tablespoon of ketchup ( I used Heinz fiery ketchup. It’s quite hot).
Add fried chicken and stir well. Add 3 tablespoon of water to make it moist and saucy. Stir fry for 2 more minutes. Add spring onion.
Serve with a bowl of steamed rice or on it’s own as a great appetizer.