Dishoom's Chilli Chicken Recipe

We’re simply thrilled to share the (extra-special, not-even-in the-book) recipe for Chef Naved's Chilli Chicken, inspired by an Indo-Chinese favourite from Bombay’s Leopold Cafe. We’ve been inundated with requests for an at-home recipe for this much-loved café staple and Chef was only too happy to oblige. We sincerely hope you enjoy it.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

500g skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the marinade

20ml malt vinegar

20ml dark soy sauce

5g white pepper

A pinch of salt

A pinch of ajinomoto (MSG) (optional)

15g coriander stalks, finely chopped

1 small free range egg

85g cornflour

40g strong flour

For the sauce

3 tbsp vegetable oil

250g red onions, finely chopped

60g ginger, grated

60g garlic, chopped

35g green chillies, very finely chopped

35ml rice vinegar

60ml dark soy sauce

A pinch of ajinomoto (MSG) (optional)

1 tsp sugar

To serve

Spring onions, finely chopped

Lime wedges

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, seasonings, coriander stalks and egg. Add the chicken pieces and toss in the mixture until evenly coated. Add the cornflour and strong flour, and mix thoroughly. Place the bowl in the fridge to marinade for at least 6 hours (ideally overnight).
  2. For the sauce, Take a large, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the chopped garlic and fry until golden brown, stirring almost constantly. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the oil behind. Add the onions and the ginger to the pan and fry, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the soy sauce and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients and the fried garlic. Cook everything together for around 10 minutes until the oil separates , then spoon off any excess oil and turn down the heat to keep the sauce warm.
  3. Heat the oil to 160°C in a deep-fryer or other suitable deep, heavy-based pan. Carefully lower the chicken pieces into the hot oil and deep-fry for 3–4 minutes until crispy, golden and cooked.
  4. Lift the chicken pieces out of the oil and drain well. Add them to the sauce and toss to coat thoroughly. Serve garnished with chopped spring onions and  lime wedges for squeezing.

For other Dishoom recipes, please see Dishoom: from Bombay with love, our cookery book and highly subjective guide to Bombay.

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