Food Health

Chicken Chili Dry | Indo Chinese Chili Chicken Recipe

Chicken chili dry with onions and green chilies on a white plate, with a napkin in the background along with garlic cloves.

Learn how to make restaurant style chicken chili dry and gravy at home. This super popular Indo Chinese recipe is made with crispy fried chicken, onions, and green chilies in a Chinese style sauce. Serve with fried rice, or egg noodles.

So many of you appreciated the chicken Manchurian recipe that I shared last week. That’s why today I am sharing another Indo Chinese favorite recipe of mine – chicken chili dry. It’s taken me a few tries, and I finally have a chicken chili dry recipe that tastes like the one that you get at Pakistani and Indian Chinese restaurants.

What is chicken chili dry?

Chicken chili dry is a popular dish at Indo Chinese restaurants, and it is made with chicken, onions, and green chilies. Certain restaurants also add capsicum / green bell pepper as well. It is on the spicy side due to the use of the green chilies, and it is also known for not having gravy. That is why it is called chicken chili dry. There are variations of this recipe which have chili sauce and tomato sauce. You can add those if you prefer, but the version I am sharing today uses just soy sauce and vinegar, and has what we call a white Chinese style gravy. Restaurants also offer a chicken chili dry with gravy option for people who want the flavor of this dish in a gravy version. In the recipe, I have added notes on how to make a gravy version of chicken chili dry.

Making chicken chili dry, restaurant style:  

Chicken chili dry with onions and green chilies on a white plate. There is a napkin peeking from the top left. In the middle are 3 garlic cloves, and on the right is a cup of sliced onions.
  • Velveting the chicken – this is a technique used by Chinese restaurants to make tender and juicy chicken. Start off with tossing the sliced chicken pieces in baking soda and let them sit for about 20 minutes. Wash the chicken pieces and pat them dry. You can now proceed with the chicken chili dry marinade. This step can be skipped if there isn’t enough time, but the additional step does result in super tender chicken.
  • Marinating and frying the chicken –  marinate the sliced chicken with garlic paste, white pepper powder, salt and soy sauce and then add flour along with cornflour. Let the chicken marinate for 15 minutes, and then fry till crispy and golden brown. Set aside. Restaurants will usually deep fry the chicken, but I like to shallow fry as it reduces the amount of oil used.
  • Making the chicken chili dry stir fry – take a wok or large frying pan and saute ginger, garlic and green chilies till their aroma is released. Then add the onions. If you want to add capsicum / green bell pepper it needs to be added at this stage. Add spices, along with soy sauce, vinegar, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then add the fried chicken. Toss the chicken through the sauce, and serve hot with fried rice or egg noodles if you are feeling experimental.

Chicken chili dry – gravy version:

To make a gravy version of this popular recipe, just add 1 cup of water before adding the chicken. Add additional soy sauce, vinegar and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then add a cornflour slurry to thicken the sauce. Once the sauce is thickened, add fried chicken and toss through. Serve hot with fried rice or egg noodles.

Would love it if you could try out and rate the recipe, and let me know how it was in the comments below! 


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