The era of Chilly Chicken almost ended in my kitchen when I started preparing Chicken Manchurian. It must be bcoz chilly chicken was very common and Manchurian was rare. The first manchurian trial took place around ten years back soon after I tasted it at Chiyang - the restaurant I have mentioned while writing about Mixed Noodles. It was a time when recipes could not be searched on web and I was neither a seasoned cook nor a seasoned web/ recipe searcher. Therefore, I tried it with whatever taste I could remember. I am writing this recipe after much research though it is the same as my first trial. I saw the use of tomato sauce in certain Manchurian recipes. It dint appeal to me so here is my Chicken Manchurian recipe with the taste as close to the Chiyang one.
ingredients to marinate the chicken
Chicken (boneless) - 300 - 400 gms
Corn flour (starch) - 3 tbsp
Flour (Maida) - 3 tbsp
Soy Sauce - 2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil - to deep fry
ingredients for the tempering
Onion, finely chopped - 2
Garlic - 6 - 8 cloves (for garlicky taste add 8, for moderate one add 6)
Green chillies, finely chopped - 2-3
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce - 1 tbsp
Corn starch - 1 tbsp
Water - 1/4 - 1/2 cup
Oil - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Add the ginger garlic paste, soya sauce and salt (please keep a check on the quantity of salt since soya is slightly salty).
Mix the flour (maida) and corn starch powder well. Sprinkle half of the flour mix on the chicken. Turn the chicken pieces and sprinkle the balance flour mix. Mix the chicken pieces well and let it marinate for half an hour*.
Heat oil in a pan. Deep fry the chicken in medium heat.
Prepare corn starch solution using 1 tbsp corn flour and 1/4 cup water. If you need a saucy manchurian add 1/2 cup water to make the solution. Some home secrets - you can use the batter / flour left over from the chicken marinade to prepare the corn starch solution. This would be more tasty since the flour contains seasonings like soya sauce and ginger garlic paste.
For the tempering, heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and stir in the onion, garlic and green chillies. When translucent, add soya sauce, salt and sugar. Stir well and add the corn starch solution. When it starts to boil, turn to low heat and add the fried chicken pieces. Mix well and add pepper powder. Serve with fried rice or mixed noodles or as you please.
*Alternatively a thick batter can be prepared with the flour and the chicken pieces can be dipped into it and fried. I prefer the non-batter method because the fried chicken is crispy and consumes less oil.