Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chicken Manchurian

I've been working in night shifts continuously for the last couple of months. Initial days had taken my health on a toll. I would pop in Saridon after Saridon every alternate day due to lack of sleep. Mondays and Tuesdays would be kinda OK. With Wednesday's onset I would drag myself hard to reach Saturday. There were days when I had no interest to cook whatsoever but then simply HAD to. The outcome from my kitchen those days had to tolerate the tied eyebrows, wrinkled noses, disgusting looks and forced consumption for the sake of survival. Abbas, being in Bangalore, would come to Chennai on alternate weekends. His visits earned me nasty comments which were not unfair (honestly) considering the kind of fare I was presenting them with. When Ma finally declared one day that 'Seema, you have forgotten how to cook. You would soon need to hire a cook!', that hit the ego of the cook in me. Since that day, even though I was strained and drained after coming home in the morning, I would put my 100% in cooking to earn compliments as before. When my sincere efforts didn't bear fruits, I assigned myslef to Root Cause Analysis. Root Cause of the disaster was these spice powders I had recently bought which would spoil anything and everything that I cooked. When I filled my masala dabbas with new masalas, I was Sooo back in the game! Well, why am I discussing all this instead of talking about Chicken Manchurian???. That's because this is the first dish that brought me my first compliment after that phase. All thanks to Sailu for the marvellous recipe. Abbas told me after having this that it was even better than any other restaurant's version that he had ever had! The recipe is simply foolproof. I have cooked this several times after that and it has turned out great everytime Yipppeee.

1/4 kg boneless chicken, cut into fine pieces
6-7 tbsps spring onion whites
3-4 tbsps spring onion greens
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic (I used garlic paste)
1/2 tbsp chopped ginger (I used ginger paste)
2 tsps soya sauce
1 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tsps vinegar
1 tbsp corn flour + 5 tbsps chicken stock or water (I mixed Maggi's Chicken Stock podwer in water and microwaved on high for 30 secs)
1/2 tsp brown sugar (I omitted this as I didn't have at hand)
2 tbsps tomato sauce
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd (preferably Kashmiri)
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsps sesame oil (I used sunflower oil)
oil for deep frying

For marinade: (marinate chicken with below ingredients for at least 15 mts or 1 hr)
1/4 tsp pepper pwd
1 egg white
salt to taste
1 1/2 tsps ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maida/all purpose flour
2-3 tbsps corn flour
1-2 tbsps of water, if required

1 Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, make small balls of the marinated chicken and carefully drop into the hot oil. Cook on low medium flame and towards the end of the cooking process increase flame to high and deep fry to a golden brown shade. Drain with a slotted spoon and place on absorbent paper. Keep aside.

2 Heat a heavy bottomed vessel, add oil, add the chopped garlic and saute on high flame for about 30 secs. Add the chopped ginger and green chillis and saute for a few more secs. Add the spring onion whites and saute for 3 mts on high flame.

3 Reduce to medium heat and add the brown sugar, soya sauce, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce and vinegar. Combine well and cook for 2 mts. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock or water and cook for a mt. Add the deep fried chicken balls and cook for 4 mts. Adjust salt, if necessary.

4 Add the cornflour water and cook, tossing the contents, for 4-5 mts. You will find that it becomes thick due to cornflour.

5 Add the chopped spring onion greens and combine. Garnish with more spring onion greens. Serve hot as a starter/appetizer.

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