Sep 21, 2010

South Indian Chicken -- an adaptation of chinese stir fry :)

What happens when you infuse Indian ingredients with Chinese concepts? 

Short answer to that question is better illustrated with a picture that is worth a thousand words :)


But before I show you what's in that white casserole, I think I should tell you my journey into south Indian food. Now, for the uninitiated, there is nothing.-- I repeat *nothing*-- called Indian food. I mean we are talking of a million acres that houses a billion people with histories that go back thousands of years and more than a handful of sovereignties. Simple maths tells you that its impossible to have *a* Indian cuisine. It is as varied and as diverse as the land, its history and its people!

Having said that, I have to tell you that food from Southern part of India tastes very different that else where in India. Its got a lot of lime, curd and heat. But what many of us and a lot of people in India don't know is that food from south India comes with an unflinching variety. Especially meat and chicken. The spice concoction is very unique and fragrant. My ignorance disapeared the day a very good freind of mine took me to a south Indian gourmet restruant in Kolkata... a very long time back. I forget the name of the place. But Boy did I forget the food.! It was some of the most aromatic chicken dishes I ever had. And hence started my lovestory with south Indian food.

However I am not a heat loving person. In food I mean :) And I like crunchiness in my veggies. And there is comes my other love for Asian way of cooking. Stir fries with minimal heat. And taking it a step forward, stir frying with south Indian spices and ingredients. Many a dish has been borne from this idea. And here I unveil one of the most recent! 

A south Indian stir fry! who ever heard of THAT?


1 lb of chicken. You can use bone in thighs, drumsticks. 
1/4 cup of yogurt. I prefer Greek ones because they are super creamy :)
1/2 tsp of grated garlic
1/2 tsp of grated ginger.
A pinch of red/yellow food color. You can also simply use a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I like mine mellow and colorful

1 small onion
1 big bell pepper. Green is good :)
3 big cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of whole mustard. Optional
2-3 dried red chilli. Optional
5-6 Curry leaves chopped. You can also easily substitute with 1 sprig of Dill.
1 Jalapeno. Sliced.

1/3 tsp of corn startch. You can also use all pupose flour. Just any thickner you can think of
1 cup of hot water.
Salt  for seasoning
2 tbsf regular oil
A handful of Cilantro for garnish

Marinade and cook!

Mix together grated garlic, ginger, yogurt and food color and marinate chicken for 20 min-1 hour. The longer you can marinate, the better. The yogurt breaks down the chicken and allows for more creamy chicken that cooks in less time :). In a skillet, heat oil and pop the mustard ( if you are using them). 10 secs. And then add the chicken with the marinade. Lower heat .Move  the chicken around but not too much. You want the chicken to cook in the sauce. Takes about 20 mins. When the sauce starts to dry up, add the rest of the garlic, herbs, onion, bell peppers, Jalapeno and the dried red chillies (if you are using them). Mix around well. 2-3 mins. Mix the cornstarch with water and add and heat through. Season with salt and water. When the water dries up (or you can keep some water if you prefer your chicken with sauce), take it off the stove. Garnish with cilantro.

And you have a south Indian stir fry...right up your alley...:)

Happy eating and healthy living!


Lyndsey said...

Oh yes, it sounds like it's right up my ally! I like the idea of using yogurt in the stirfry chicken. I like a little heat, but my husband can't take the heat (in food that is). I have to mellow it down and like to keep all the flavor. Like I said right up my ally!

The Japanese Redneck said...

It looks terrific. I luv stir frys.

Terrianne, Call me Ree said...

I had no idea there's no such thing as an "Indian" food. But that does make sense, given the variety in origin, culture and flavors.
Sort of like, "American" food. Whatever that is.

Your "South Indian Stir'fry" looks abosutely wonderful! =)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I call all the varieties of food cooked in the Indian continent 'Indian food'. It is diverse and wonderful and I sure hope I get to taste more of it in my life time!

3 hungry tummies said...

Very it!

Jhonny walker said...

Hello ladies,

Thanks for your comments on Indian food. I agree with Murasaki that Indian food prolly incorporates the varieties in Indian food. But yes, Like Ree says...American food...whatever that means :)

Enjoy stir fry and Thursdays!