Aug 27, 2009

Shanghai food-- the Bengali way

Awright. I missed my favorite aerobics class yesterday. Steps. I got home after a not-so-great-afternoon, with nothing on my mind other than biking to the class and sweating it out. In the house there was  no food.  I hate to come back hungry and have nothing to eat. It was still early evening. So guess what ? I chucked-yes chucked- the class. And got dirty in the kitchen :)

The food was delish..ooh I have to say what it was :)

Back in India, 'Chinese food' used to be my and R's favorite-- and of every second person I knew. My mom's too. After I started grad school here, that changed. I did not like the American chinese food. So much so I gave up on that cuisine :(  Now, I am no chinese and so have no clue what an authentic one would be. But as far as I was was downhill for me. I and R lost that fun of having chinese. Till.. I moved to San Diego for an year as a visiting student. I am in my third month of that year. And right across the street (where R had been living for over three years and now I am too for three months), close to the grocery (where he goes almost everyday to get something or the other), we 'chanced' upon this oh-so- good-Indian style chinese we loved and missed so much! Thanks Shanghai Cafe. Anyone near La jolla, CA-92122 should go there. Its small one and family run. But serves the best chinese food I ever had in this entire nation. Its now our favorite eat out.

So I had to cook chinese the bong (aka bengali) style. Chili Chicken and Fried Rice--two of my favorite things. Made coffee and got on with it. Was done in 40 minutes. You got to work for your pleasure kids :)

Chili Chicken


6 chicken breasts- with bones and skinned
2.5 tbsp yoghurt--any variety is fine.
2 tbsp grated garlic
1.5 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp corn flour

Marinate chicken with all these ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice the chicken so that juices penetrate

3 green chili peppers sliced up lengthwise
2 large onion cut up
3 green onion chopped up
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp vinegar--any kind.
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
Red pepper powder-- depending on if you like heat. I dont. So I used only half a tsp.
A pinch of black pepper

Garnish- cilantro, lemon, green onion, parsley..whatever you like to see on your food.


Heat oil in a skillet. Put the black pepper  and the green peppers in the hot oil (WAIT till the oil  gets smoking hot and turn down the heat before throwing in the peppers. Saves me from the possible oil that may fly out of the skillet as soon as the green peppers hit the oil). Don't you just love the aroma??
Fry for  10-15 secs. Put the onion in the skillet and fry till soft and slightly brown. About 5-8 minutes.

Now add the marinated chicken in the skillet. Fry for 10 minutes with occasional stirring. Add the vinegar, sugar, red pepper, soy sauce and keep stirring for ~ 5 minutes. The entire thing should cook in its juices as well as the yoghurt. Reduce heat and cover for  ~ 6 minutes. Take off the cover and season with salt and green pepper. Garnish with green onion/ cilantro/ parsley/lemon / green pepper/ mexican pepper...go wild.

Pictures forthcoming and in this entry.

It was an awesome dinner.  Although the coffee did get cold in 40 minutes, a good ending to a bad day. Whoever said that the way to a man's heart was anything other than food :). I would just modify and say' anyone's heart'. And of course we saved a few bucks and several calories. Took that guilt out of missing an aerobics class.

Happy eating.


Nat said...

Hi J, Just wanted to let you know I have signed up for twitter. Not sure if you're into this kinda thing but i thought it might be fun...just to know what each other is getting upto during the day etc... you can access my link through my home page above my profile... !

Jhonny walker said...

I am on twitter..but I rarely go is a reason to go :)

Thanks :)