This is not the real Ginger Chicken, in fact this is not even my Ma-in-laws Ginger Chicken. My Ma-in-law makes a very unique and tasty Chilli Chicken. Every state in India worth their salt has their unique version of Chili Chicken, there is Varanasi Chilli Chicken, The Kolkata Style Chilli Chicken, the Madrasi Chilli Chicken and then there is my Ma-in-laws Chilli Chicken.
Last year when she was here with us, she made this for us and everyone was pretty much bowled over by it. Her version did not have any garlic, yeah no garlic, I remember. However I had a gut feeling that she used a lot of ginger in it. So when I saw JFI Ginger for this month I thought I would make it as my entry. So deciding to make it for friends and for JFI I called her bright and early on Saturday Morning to get the recipe
So I said " Could you give me the recipe for the Chilli Chicken you make ?"
She said " You need chicken, soy sauce, corn flour, blah blah …"
I said "Yeah, that's fine but what about the Ginger…"
My voice drowned somewhere in mid-Atlantic, leaking from those fiber optic cables
She said "Marinate the chicken in vinegar, soy sauce, blah, blah…"
I said "But how much Ginger do I use ?"
She gingerly side stepped my question and went on "Heat oil, fry the chicken pieces, blah, blah..."
I was now desperate "But wait I really need to know about the Ginger, that is what is important, for all I care the chicken can take a backseat"
And she said " There's no Ginger…"
I said "Whaaaaaaaaat NO GINGER, and you tell that now, What am I to do…"
All these numerous events had taken their toll, I knew I was cracking up. She the poor soul had no clue what was happening, so preferred to talk to her grand daughter about un-gingerly issues rather than giving me a recipe of a chili chicken sans ginger
I was desperate, and my Ma said "What's the big deal, put a lot of Ginger instead, if it's not Chilli Chicken , it's going to be Ginger Chicken"
So that's what I did, and it turned out great. It had a gingery flavor and could well be Bengali Ginger Chicken. I was pretty flustered by this time to take exact measures, so measures are approximate (which it is in most of my cooking anyway)
What You Need
Chicken ~ I used 2lb of boneless, skinless Perdue Chicken Tenderloins cut in small pieces
Ginger ~ 3" fresh ginger grated
Green Chillies ~ 5/6 finely chopped
Onion ~ 4 tbsp of onion paste
Corn Flour ~ 2-3 tsp
Vinegar ~ 1 tbsp
Tomato Ketchup ~ I used about 1-2 tbsp of Maggi Hot & Sweet Tomato Ketchup
How I Did It
Cut the Chicken in small pieces
Marinate the chicken in Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Salt and 1/3 of the grated ginger for an hour
Sprinkle corn flour on the chicken and mix
Heat Oil in Kadhai/Frying Pan
Lightly Fry the chicken Pieces till they are brown. Remove and drain on paper towel
Grind the Onion to paste. I already had Onion Paste so I used 4 tbsp of it
To the oil add the onion paste
Fry till the onion is nicely browned
Add the rest of the ginger, the green chillies and sauté a little
Add 1 tsp of soy sauce. If you think you need more go ahead and do it.
Add 1 tbsp of Hot & Sweet Maggi Tomato ketchup
Add the fried chicken pieces
Saute till the masla coats the chicken nicely
Cook on low till the chicken is done. Avoid adding water, I just sprinkled a little
Mine was on the dry side. You can have a little gravy if you want. Serve it with Fried Rice or just by itself. Sending this for JFI Ginger to Rosie of WTRT Jim ? Heard she is moving, so hope she gets this in her Inbox.
Trivia: Tangra is a district in north-west Kolkata known for it's famous Chinatown. Food from Tangra is a distinct variety of traditional Chinese food adapted to Indian ingredients and the Bengali palate.