Monday, January 29, 2007

Ma-in-laws Ginger Chicken


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)


Ginger Chicken

What You Need

Chicken ~ I used 2lb of boneless, skinless Perdue Chicken Tenderloins cut in small pieces
Soy Sauce
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 salt
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.


  1. I loved the story Sandeepa. Coming here after a gap and I see there's plenty of interesting stuff to read.

    Also want some guidance on how to get the three-column template for the new blogger...Shall mail you on that.

  2. Sandeepa, you have made some costly!? Chicken I see, H used to call my dishes costly, when in those early cooking days ($1.25/minute phone calls) I used to call mom for recipes.

    Nice and interesting story, it is these juicy bits which make the recipe all the more interesting. And to the point the ginger chicken looks fantastic. Lip smacking I am sure.

  3. Great story,hope that didn't break your bank!!:D Can't see the picture, but sounds great!!:))

  4. Hahahaha....... what a story!!!! you have a knack of saying sandeepa!!! :) Hats of to you!!! :)

  5. Hi nandita
    I still use a classic template. So though I am on new Blogger I did not choose their layout etc, my template is same as in the old blogger
    Do you need help with that, then please let me know

    yeah the phone bills would run high back then right ? The first month I was here I had to pay $500 !!! I would happily yack away not paying any attention to the time :)

    hey blogger is getting bad really, some prob or other comes up everyday. Your page is taking so long to load, I couldn't check it yet

    Thanks..this was really frustrating you know, what with ginger and the lunch looming large

  6. Hi Sandeepa!
    That was a fun read! The recipe looks good too, but my guess is it cant be made without chicken:))Could substitute soy chunks instead, maybe.Your republic day photograph was awesome too. I have not been able to get into ur blog for about a week now up. Blogger issue. Glad I could come in today.

  7. heheh..had a nice chuckle Sandeepa. what a lovely post.


  8. Sandeepa, I am a vegetarian but had to come and drop a line here. The picture is just devine and loved the presentation. Loved your post as well.


  9. Sandeepa - loved your post... whenever I am in a mood for something different, I pick up the phone and call.

    The chicken looks delicious, will try soon.

  10. Nice story..Used break H's pocket alot before for some traditional recipes, nowdays 'coz of Vonage H is happy...Ginger chicken looks delicious...might try this weekend as my family loved youe Spicy egg bake...

  11. I still do this calling up india for recipes....:)I was really bored n tired so thought of browsing through blogs...n am glad i did...really after reading your post my mind is refreshed :) Not forgetting your Ginger Chicken looks Yummy!!!

  12. It's an engrossing & appetising post ! sandeepa, your Ma-in-law's ginger chicken looks delish:))

  13. Very nice post. I also liked the line in the previous one - "... some things the heart says better than the keypad ..."

  14. haha, cute story.. i call my mom often for recipes, too, but usually end up not following them.. ;-)

    Now you're giving me the urge to go carnivorous.. have been eating mostly veggies for a long time now.. cheers!

  15. PS: Thanks for adding me to your favourites! SO sweet! :)

  16. Enjoyed reading the story of ginger chicken. It looks excellent...good entry

  17. Hema, Trs, Maheshwari, Seema, sri, mandira, Shilpa, Lera, Prema, Sra

    Thanks all of you for taking the time to come over and read my inane posts. I really appreciate that, your coments make my day

    BTW I have been having problems with blogger commenting on mine or any one else's blog. Does that happen to you too ? Please let me know. I have reported to Blogger too

  18. Hi Sandeepa -- loved your play on words when, after all the ginger talk, your question was "gingerly sidestepped" :)

    Chicken looks really great!

  19. Oooh! That looks nice, Sandeepa!! Love the way it nicely coats the chicken.

  20. Yes, Sandeepa, this week I had problems too with comments I posted on other blogs (including yours) that weren't saved, so I wonder if people who have tried to comment on mine experienced the same thing...

    BTW, your posts are not inane!

  21. Sandeepa, it's me again! You've been tagged for the "5 things most people don't know about me" meme! :)

  22. Lovely entry. Love the ginger chicken but would also love to hear about the non ginger chilli chicken. Care to share?

  23. Linda, Vani, Shilpa, Gini

    shall do, let me make it first

    Ok about the meme

    All of you, I am having lots of trouble commenting from work and when home have little time so.... :(

  24. sandeepa , tried your ginger chicken today..was delicious..thanks for the recipe.

  25. Your ma is a happy lady! I enjoy the story.. even more, I think I'll enjoy your ginger chicken a lot, must try!!!
    And what a wonderful photo!

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  27. Hi Sandeepa,
    Your blog & your way of presenting r totally unique as your name is(coz,I heard lot of sandeep(s) not Sandeepa(s):)Well,thanks a lot for the recipe.I tried in the evening,It came out very good.My family had water in there mouth as I cook and in there eyes as they eat.(In a good way though.I spiced it up:)so..
    Anyway,Good display, well told story and mainly, very tasty food..what more could be there to make a lazy person like me to go & cook!! Thanks again!!
    Take care.bye..

  28. Hi Sandeepa,

    Love your blog. I tried this tonight. I put too much salt ( didn't take into consideration that soy sauce is salty too). I used ginger paste ( that you get in a jar in an indian store). Maybe I should have tried fresh ginger. It didn't turn out quite how I expected. Not as delicious as yours must be!
    But I definitely want to attempt it again!

  29. hi sandeepa...i just loved ur blog!!!!! came across so many yummyyyy recipes!! thanks a lot!!!!!! :-)

  30. interesting blog! ginger chicken looks tasty and delicious!!


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