Friday, 23 May 2014

Chilli Chicken : AFF Indian Subcontinent


Long ago, I used to frequent an Indian food stall operating outside a coffee shop. The stall was run by an Indian lady (whom I call auntie) and her dry chicken curry was my favorite dish. Her dhall curry was also fantastic and I told her how much I loved it. She was very pleased and told me that I could come over anytime and take her dhall curry for free! That was very generous of her but of course I did not take on her kind offer.


Auntie also served dry mutton curry which I also loved a lot but somehow I would always be drawn to her dry chicken curry. My standard package would be the dry chicken curry, dhall, two vegetables and a piece of spicy beancurd. Auntie charged me RM5.00 and I think her price is very reasonable. 


Then one day auntie told me that she was closing her stall on a Thursday because she was going for an operation to remove a varicose vein. I wished her well and told her that she would need lots of rest after the operation. I would have to wait for her to come back to enjoy her dry chicken curry.


The following Monday, I walked to the coffee shop to buy lunch. I was surprised to see auntie sitting at her stall with her leg bandaged. She was in no shape to run her stall but there she was. I conveyed my concern to her but she said she was fine. Tough lady, I thought. She couldn't move much and her customers had to serve themselves. 


The next day, I went back again hoping to eat more curry. Auntie wasn't there but there were two young ladies running the stall. The food was not ready yet and I got my lunch from elsewhere. The next day, I tried my luck again. The two young ladies were there but the food was different. And there were just a few dishes. I gave up. Sad to say, auntie never came back. Her spot is now taken by a young man serving western food. Auntie, wherever you are, I hope that you are well and happy. I miss your dry chicken curry and dhall. Sobbsss!!!!


So now, with auntie's yummy dry chicken curry at the back of my mind, I attempted this Chilli Chicken recipe. Though this curry is not the same as auntie's it is nevertheless very tasty. God bless you auntie for the inspiration!










Chilli Chicken Fry 
Recipe source : Banana Leaf Temptations (page 48)
(My notes and adaptations in red)

Ingredients :
- 1 chicken, cut into pieces
- 10 tbsp oil
- 2 sticks cinnamon (I used one 2.5" stick)
- 8 cardamoms
- 8 cloves
- 2 tsp aniseed
- 2 onions, sliced
- a sprig of curry leaves
-30 dried chillies, soaked in hot                   )
 water for 10 minutes                                    )
(I used 3 tbsp chilli paste)                             )   blend or
- 2 tbsp vinegar                                              )    pound
- 200g shallots (I used 200g big onions)    )
- 5 cloves garlic                                               )
- 30g ginger                                                     )
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
-50ml water (I omitted because the chicken bled water)
- enough salt

Method :
1. Heat oil. Fry the cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves until fragrant. Add in the aniseed.
2. When aniseed is slightly browned, add sliced onionsand curry leaves. Saute till onions turn transparent.
3. Add in the ground chili paste. Saute till almost dry.
4. Add in the chicken pieces, tomato paste, salt and the water. Mix well.
5. Cook covered, stirring occasionally until the dish is dry and chicken is cooked.


I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest - Indian Subcontinent hosted by Chef and Sommelier.




This post is also linked to Cook-Your-Books #12 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

44 comments:

  1. When I see the word chilli, I never thought of chili as in spicy or curry type.. I suddenly thought of the American chili, with beans and beef, haha.. You know, I can wallop a big bowl of (American) chili.. I always ask for extra chili as sides, and mix into my burger or fries..

    Ooops, out of topic, better come back first.. Eh, I also like the dry version of chicken curry.. Something like rendang.. I love office parties, one of the reason is because they will always cater mee goreng, nasi goreng, rendang, sandwiches, and boy, I love these kinda food.. Ok, of course I can have it anytime if I'd wanted, there's a canteen downstairs.. But you know, office parties, party food, sedappp...

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    1. Oh ya, never thought it might be mistaken for American Chilli! I have cooked American Chilli before but the photo was not nice, so did not post it. Somehow food at parties always taste better hee..hee...

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  2. Hi Phong Hong,
    I always love your cooks. Whenever I read your cook posts I always wanted to follow what you cook.. Haha
    Between I have cook your Indian fried fish and it was yum yum yum :D
    About your mango chutney, can I use unripe mango to cook it? I have 3 unripe mango sitting on the counter top :p
    Back to your chilli chicken fry, I love love love this too. I am going to cook this too :D :D :D join Phong Hong !
    mui

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    1. Thank you, mui mui! Oh, glad you you tried the fried fish! Yes, the mango chutney is supposed to use unripe mango. Go ahead and make because it is really yummy eaten with curry aiyoyo!!!

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  3. How nice if happen to auntie read your this post! This dish is inspired from her. Though this dish might not taste near to hers but I do admire you for cooking up all those delicious dishes. I can say you are a great cook.

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    1. Aiyo, Mel! I feel so shy hee..hee...I have been wanting to cook Indian food but lazy, lazy until now. I am glad that I attempted it. Thanks to MFF!

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  4. Gosh!!! The list of ingredients. It sure looks good though - can't possibly be otherwise with all the heart and soul...and work that go into it. I'd stick to something simpler - me, lazy bum. Hehehehehe!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. That was what put me off cooking Indian food in the place. So many ingredients! But I am glad I made effort. Worth all the sweat!

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  5. Phong Hong, I just came over from Aunty Young's blog. I saw her using your oxtail soup recipe and I told her that I don't eat beef, hehe. I still don't know what to cook for dinner, can I just "da bao" some of your chilli chicken home?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jessie, of course you can da bao the chilli chicken. I hope that it is not too hot for you!

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  6. Cooking Indian food is major business in my kitchen but here you are churning out dish after dish with so little effort. Kudos.

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    1. Thank you! It was a major effort actually. Almost didn't do it out of sheer laziness! But I pushed myself and I am glad that I did!

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  7. i like this chicken!! whenever i go for nasi outside, whether chap fan, or mamak stall, or nasi briyani, nasi daun pisang.. i guess many times if i see this type of chicken, i will order that.. errr, don't really fancy the watery gravy type of curry chicken, but this type of chili chicken with thick gravy all wrapping every single piece of chicken sure gets my attention.. and looking at your long list of ingredients, oh boy, so many different types of spices blend together, for sure it is very aromatic and flavorful!! ah.. no need other dishes, i think this alone is enough to get me chuck down two bowls of rice.. but one thing i hate is, those leaves you used to garnish, it's those "smelly veggie" on top of the steam chicken right?? hahaha!! :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SK! What? Smelly veggie? You are just like my dad. My mum says that he thinks those veggies (corriander leaves/daun ketumbar) smell like stink bugs! But for me, I love it! I used to ask for extras from the chicken rice man :) And when we eat at restaurant, my partner will automatically take those smelly veggies and put on my plate hee..hee...

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  8. What a tempting chilli chicken you have!
    can you hear from my tummy,"gu lo,gu lo........" hungrylah!
    I am sure with this yummylicious chicken i will easily finished bowl of rice.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Aunty Young! Oh, that was you kah? No wonder lah, I heard some loud rumbling sound hee..hee...hee...

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  9. Hi Phong Hong, I like this chilli chicken. Can I 'ta bao' some ? ^-^

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karen! Of course you can ta bao! Please bring your container :)

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  10. Oh how sad.... hopefully aunty is on the road to recovery. Your chilli chicken looks yummy, maybe u can open stall soon? ;D

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    1. Hi Yen! Me open stall? Hee..hee..I will offer only one meat dish and one vege and nobody will come hah...hah...

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  11. I think not only you miss that aunty, I think she will miss all customer as well...

    Nice dry curry chicken! May I have some for lunch?

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    1. Hi Jozelyn! I am sure her other customers also miss her and her curries. And please, help yourself to my chicken curry. Hope it taste good for you hee..hee...

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  12. Yummy! All the curries in this AFF event is making me drool, love this dry chicken curry too...looks so tempting!

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    1. Thank you, Jeannie! I love curries a lot!

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  13. Hi Phong Hong, this curry reminds me of the Indian Dry Chicken Curry which I like very much. With all the spices and vinegar in it, the taste has to be good. Hope this is spicy enough for my hubby who loves spicy, hot and aromatic curry.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! You can add more chilli paste to make it more hot and spicy. Mine was just nice, not too hot.

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  14. Hi Phong Hong, extra rice for me please. LOL This chicken dish look really good lah.. so inviting, so delicious until finger licking good. :))

    Have a nice week ahead,regards.
    Amelia

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    1. Hi Amelia! I will standby a big pot of rice for you :D

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  15. Aww, this post is so touching. Friendship and attachment develop over time with these stall owners, don't they? Sad when we don't find them there anymore, can definitely relate to your experience. One of our favorite pan mee stall which hubs and i use to frequent during varsity days which we continued to visit many years after is no longer there anymore. Coming back to your dish, it looks fantastic. I made something similar with pork ribs today, if we were staying close by, we could exchange ;-)

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    1. Oh yes, friendship and attachments are lovely but so sad to say goodbye! I have also lost a few favorite hawker stalls and till today miss their food :( Oh, it would be great to exchange dishes with you! I will peep over your side whenever I smell something good LOL!

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  16. I can feel the taste of the curry now... Dhal and chicken is an awesome combination and thats my fav too... Very tempting pics which made me to scroll ur page many times :)

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    1. Thank you, Priya! I love Indian cuisine a lot and I am very keen to learn how to cook like an Indian :)

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  17. Hi Phong Hong
    This dish looks utterly delicious! Two plates of rice very easily!
    And I do hope that Auntie is doing OK too. Sometimes dishes like this served at economy stalls are better than those posh-style restaurants. Your story about that chicken dish reminds me of a malay chap-fun stall managed by a makcik, that sells delish fried chicken, delicious asam pedas and crispy fried cabbage, that was my meal for lunch at least twice a week while I was working, more than 2 decades ago! I still remember it to this day!
    I love dry curry like this, with a little gravy clinging to the meat! Drooling already!

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    1. Hi Joyce! Thank you for your compliments! I will have to agree with you and I also loved to frequent the Malay nasi campur stalls. The food is excellent but there are none in my area now due to the development and construction works that are going on. Dry curry is my favorite :)

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  18. I have never eaten much Indian food, not so popular here. I keeep on promissing that I will go to a shop and buy all the necessary spices and try it someday. Well. It didn't happen so far. Maybe I need to try some original Indian food in a restaurant to feel the flavors and be able to repeat them at home

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    1. Hi Ola! It is a good idea to taste the food at a good Indian restaurant first and decide if you like the flavors. If you do, then it would be nice to give some recipes a try. I am sure you will love Indian food!

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  19. I will love to eat this dish with Nasi Lemak....sedapnya.

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    1. Hi Amy! Me too would love this spicy fish with nasi lemak yum!

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  20. Hi Phong Hong , Mouth watering post mann ! Looks so appetizing & sedaplicious! I also love to makan this with nasi lemak . Thanks for sharing this recipe , will try it out soon . And I hope the Auntie is doing fine

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    1. Hi Kit! This is perfect even for plain whtie rice. Aiyoo...tambah nasi!

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  21. Hi Phong Hong! Thanks for your contribution to AFF again!

    Your "dreamy" and yet yummy pics are waking me up at this hour! :D

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    1. Hi Alvin! Thanks for stopping by at this ungodly hour! You are a very busy man indeed :D

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  22. this chilli chicken sounds familiar, it could be in the same book that i had by chef devagi. Now you dont hv to go to indian food restaurant so much already, now sudah expert in indian cooking..hehehe

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    1. Hi Lena! The recipe I used is from Chef Devagi's book, so I think must be the same one. hah..hah...most of the time I am lazy to prepare all those ingredients. Easier to just eat at the Indian restaurant. Some more no need to wash pots and plates :)

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