This Chicken Manchurian is so easy and it’s totally to die for. Finger licking good, even if I say so myself. 😉
Imagine yourself in an indo-chinese restaurant. The restaurant is dimly lit and there’s a light clinking of cutlery against plates. The decor is done in deep red, white and gold. There are red lanterns hanging across the ceiling and the walls are adorned with intricate paintings of fire breathing magnificent dragons. It’s Chinese culture in all its glory. Except there aren’t any chopsticks on the table. And the food barely resembles the authentic Chinese cuisine. The table is laden with chicken Chowmein, egg fried rice, Szechuan chicken, Kung-Pao chicken and of course the most popular dish Chicken Manchurian, which in fact isn’t Chinese at all. Welcome to the world of Indo-Chinese, a delicious fusion cuisine that is spicy and fiery. You won’t be able to go back at all once you taste this cuisine.
That’s the beauty of food, of its ability to merge cultural tastes together. A few spices of the subcontinent origin such as red chili powder and garlic combined with some ingredients from Chinese cuisine such as soy sauce result in a delicious fusion cuisine. And one of my favorite dishes from this fusion cuisine is this Easy Chicken Manchurian, which is about as easy as recipes can get.
Chicken Manchurian is such a famous recipe but has no roots in China except for the use of soy sauce and the fact that it is cooked in a wok. The chicken is marinated in a coating of corn flour, egg, ginger and garlic paste and soy sauce, red chili flakes, salt and black pepper. It’s fried until it gets a crispy layer on the outside. A sauce is then made with a combination of ketchup, tomato puree and chicken stock. While traditionally Chicken Manchurian doesn’t have the addition of vegetables, I used lightly sauteed onions and capsicum to add texture to the dash, but that’s entirely up to you. Red food coloring is also added to give this dish a fiery red color, but I did not add any.
This is a quick and easy dish with great flavor and goes well with both rice and noodles. Do try it if you’re in the mood for a sweet and tangy dish. You won’t regret it!
Easy Chicken Manchurian
- 500 gm boneless chicken chopped in cubes
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes optional
- 2 teaspoons soya sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 3-4 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 green capsicum cubed
- 1 small onion cubed
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup water or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon corn flour mixed with water to form a thick liquid
- 1 green chilli chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
Combine chicken, cornflour, egg, salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, soy sauce and ginger & garlic paste. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
Shallow fry the chicken until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook the chicken.
In a wok (or a pot) heat oil and add the ginger & garlic paste until light golden.
Add the onion and green capsicum and saute lightly.
Add the ketchup, tomato puree, salt, sugar and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the water or chicken stock and let it come to a simmer (See notes).
Add the cornflour to water and mix. Add this to the sauce, and keep stirring until it becomes thick.
Add the fried chicken, black pepper and soy sauce.
Let gently simmer on low heat for another 3-4 minutes.
Serve with white rice or egg fried rice.