Once in a blue moon, our Achan bought us dried chilli beef from a shop called ‘Nikunjam’ while we were living in Trivandrum. It had such an undefinable taste and I have not tasted any chilli beef as good as that from any other place till date. Few things cannot be copied or replaced in life. My tastebuds always long for the same punch, crunch and flavor of the Nikunjam special dried chilli beef, everytime I order it from the restaurants around. The sad thing is, I recently heard that the cook of that shop has moved out and the taste has changed eventually with time. If I knew where that man is at present, definitely I would have kidnapped him! ?
This time, When I made my version of kong-pao chicken, which means chicken with dried chillies, I felt the same punch of the nikunjam special dried chilli beef in my tastebuds. I think, the propotions of the sauces I had added to the recipe was same as that of the Nikunjam one. If you have boneless chicken and few basic sauces in your refridgerator, you can make this chicken stir-fry in few minutes without much fuss. This goes best with fried rice or even with plain jeera rice.
Let us see what you will need.
- Boneless chicken-250 gms
- Red bell pepper- 1 cup cubed
- Garlic chopped-4 big cloves
- Chopped onion- 1 medium size
- Dried red chillies- 5 or more as per spice preference.
- Sugar- a pinch
- Salt- to taste
- Dark soy sauce- 1 tbsp
- Tomato ketchup- 1 tsp approx
- Black Pepper powder- to taste.
- Vinegar-1/2 tsp
Method to get this done:
- Keep all the ingredients ready. Though it is easy to prepare, timing is important here.
- Take a thick bottom wok and heat up in medium flame.
- Once hot, add oil. Add a pinch of sugar. Caramelise the sugar until brown and keep stirring.
- Add chopped garlic and whole dried chillies. Keep stirring until the caramalised sugar coats everywhere.
- Add vinegar, half the dark soy sauce, tomato ketchup, chopped bell pepper and onions. Keep stirring until the veggies are cooked but still crispy.
- Add the chicken pieces. Keep stirring on medium flame until the chicken gets stir-fried.
- Wok on medium-high flame, add the remaining soy sauce and stir up everything until the sauces become sticky.
- Add salt to taste, and sprinkle with pepper powder.
- Serve hot with fried rice or even plain jeera rice!
This chicken stir-fry has to be consumed immedietly after preparation. Otherwise, its texture will become soggy and you won’t get the real Kong Pao Chicken experience.
Also, you can add cashews to this recipe along with chicken. But I have not added any here.