If you want me to recommend one Indian recipe to a first timer, then this Indian spiced chicken stir fry is my undisputed choice! Period!
I consider myself extremely lucky to have discovered this recipe of Indian spiced chicken stir fry! This is one addictive dish which I am gonna recommend each and every one (I mean the ‘meat-eaters’!) and I am sure they will never be able to thank me enough!
I have tried multiple chicken stir fry dishes, at home as well as at Chinese fine dining restaurants, but this Indian spiced chicken stir fry has knocked me off my feet and how!
I am not saying that I won’t go back to my favorite Chinese chicken stir fry dishes (I am definite that I will!), but this dish has got all my heart!
As you may already know India has many states each with their distinct cuisine. I belong from Bengal which has major usage of some distinct spices like poppy seeds, panch phoran, onion seeds etc.
Panch Phoran is a classic Bengali spice which is nothing but a uniform mixture of 5 whole spices – fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and fennel seeds each in equal portion and this special mix lends an exclusive taste to Bengali food.
This recipe of Indian spiced chicken stir fry is flavored with these 2 classic Bengali spices i.e. panch phoran & poppy seeds and hence gets a unique characteristic of its own! That may be the reason I am so hooked to this dish!
Being a foodie at heart, I love all kind of food, good food that is! After tasting a lot of international cuisines, I am at a fix to identify which one is my favorite! But in a little biased way, I am a tad bit inclined towards my home cuisine i.e. our very own Indian cuisine!
I am sure you will agree with me that the food we grow up on has an everlasting effect on our entire persona and no matter where we live in the world, we still want to return to our childhood comfort food! Indian food is exactly the same for me.
I grew up where the kitchen always smelled of mixed aroma from various spices and I loved every bit of it. One of the reasons I fell for this Indian spiced chicken stir fry so badly is that it virtually took me to my roots and I was almost living my childhood again!
Now amidst the stressful life of an adult, who wouldn’t love to float in the virtuality of relaxing childhood! I am definitely game for it! This chicken stir fry is so aromatic that I can’t even stress enough! I literally urge you to give this one a try!
- Chicken thigh – 800 gms, boneless and skinless
- Mustard oil – 4 tbsp + ¼ cup
- Poppy seeds – 3 tsp
- Indian Five Spice / Bengali Panch Phoran – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Chana dal (split gram lentils) – 2 tbsp
- Dry red chili – 4. chopped
- Garlic – 10 cloves, minced
- Ginger – ½ inch piece, grated
- Onion – 5, large
- Red bell pepper – 1, small, cut into thin long strips
- Fresh green/red chili – 2, chopped
- Freshly chopped coriander to garnish
- Salt to taste
- Thinly slice the onions. Heat about ¼ cup of oil in a wok and fry the sliced onion in batches to make crispy caramelized onions. This is the longest step in this recipe as you would have to do it in batches. If you tip in all the sliced onions at one go, they will steam and not fry. Hence, they won’t become crispy caramelized onion which is primary taste enhancer of this dish. Set the caramelized onion aside.
- Debone the chicken thighs and cut each thigh into 4 pieces. This stir fry recipe tastes best with small succulent cubes of chicken thighs but you can replace thighs with boneless cubes of chicken breasts too.
- Heat the 4 tablespoons of oil in a wok. Add the poppy seeds, panch phoran, turmeric, chana dal and dry red chilies for about 30 seconds.
- Then add the grated ginger and minced garlic and stir fry for another one minute.
- Add ¾ of the caramelized onions, fresh chilies and red bell pepper strips. Stir fry them for couple of minutes. Set aside about 2 tablespoons of this mixture for garnish.
- Now add the chicken thigh pieces and sauté them with the spices. If the chicken release water, then do not add any additional water and keep stir frying them on medium-low heat. If the chicken starts to stick to the bottom of the wok and becomes too dry, add couple of splashes of water at a time and continue stir frying.
- Cook until the chicken thighs are completely cooked. You can check by cutting through one piece using the tip of a knife and it should be completely white. Please note that chicken breasts cook faster than chicken thighs. So, keep an eye on the dish and judge the doneness of the chicken depending on the meat you are using.
- Season the chicken stir fry with salt to taste and sprinkle some freshly chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve the Indian spiced chicken stir fry hot with the reserved onion, red pepper and chili mixture as well as the remaining crispy caramelized onions for added crunch. Enjoy!