Baby Dear has a low tolerance to spicy food. Well, almost all spicy food except maybe, Biryani. And Chicken Curry. And kebabs. And definitely, Chilli Chicken. Okay, let me rephrase that – Baby Dear won’t tolerate spicy food except if it’s something that he likes. And I mean, really, really likes. Then his low tolerance just gets thrown out the window, and countless glasses of cold water take its place instead! I’m starting to get a feeling that this kid will always be one to bend the rules to suit his needs.
Hubby Dear and I are strong advocates of always feeding Baby Dear the same things (or at least, a part of it) that we eat. So it obviously is no surprise that the little guy has been exposed to a variety of cuisines and eating habits ever since he got his two front teeth. I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it is to travel with him and not have to worry about finding kid-friendly meals that would appeal to his palate. Because believe it or not, he’ll eat just about anything – as long as it’s tasty. Yup, I think we hit the jackpot with this one!
Both me and Hubby Dear have always been die-hard fans of Indo-Chinese, or desi-style Hakka cuisine. Chilli Chicken, Chilli Paneer, Gobi Manchurian, Hakka Chowmein… you name it, and we love it! So much so, that 7 times out of 10, our Friday night dinners would always begin with a call to the local Hakka take-out joint right by our house. So it was only a matter of time that Baby Dear would start requesting his favourites to order to.
While crisp Spring Rolls and a bowl of flavourful Fried Rice is always his first pick, the kid just can never refuse a platter of Chilli Chicken. I mean, who can blame him? Tender pieces of chicken tossed in with crisp fried onions and peppers, all coated in a lip-smacking sauce – what’s NOT to love? But as the name states, the recipe does start with throwing in a handful of fresh chopped chillies into a hot wok; and as much as I love watching my baby enjoy the same meals as we do – I hate it when the spice level restricts him from enjoying it to its fullest. So what else is a mom to do than step into the kitchen, heat up her trusty wok and create magic?
This Chilli Chicken recipe is fairly simple, and a breeze to whip up on a busy weeknight when you need a pick-me-up and want to avoid take-out.
It’s also a much healthier version than those you get at restaurants – no deep frying of the chicken, and most importantly, NO MSG! So what are you waiting for? Get to it and watch your family lick their plates clean! I know mine will.
CHILLI CHICKEN (DRY)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tbsp light cooking oil
- 500 gms boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 2 medium onions cubed
- 1 medium green bell pepper cubed
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste (add in extra pepper for that zing)
- a handful of chopped green onions for garnish
- Mix in the turmeric and chilli powder with the chicken pieces to coat well. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large non-stick wok and stir-fry the chicken till slightly browned along the edges. Remove from the wok and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the wok and add in ginger and garlic. Fry for a few seconds till fragrant before adding in the diced onions and peppers. Stir-fry on high heat, tossing continuously for a minute, and then add in the white pepper and both the sauces.
- Season with salt and pepper, add in the pre-cooked chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes till everything is mixed well.
- Garnish with chopped green onions and serve warm with plain rice of a side of Fried Rice.
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