Street style Chili Chicken recipe | Chili Chicken Dry
Last Updated on June 9, 2023 by Santosh Allada
Street style Chili Chicken recipe is a spicy, juicy, mildly sweet, and sour chicken starter from South India. It is one of the popular chicken dishes found in South Indian street side carts (bandi). The street-style recipe is different from Indo-Chinese style chili chicken at restaurants.
In restaurants, there are two versions of this dish – dry and gravy. The dry version is usually served as a starter or appetizer. Whereas, the gravy version pairs the best with veg or non-veg fried rice and noodles.
But, the street style chili chicken recipe has only a dry version as the street vendors do not use cornflour to thicken the gravy.
Street style does not have a specific recipe. The Indian street style interpretations of Chinese dishes do not have any hard and fast rules.
There are many variations in the preparation of chilli chicken. Every food cart you go to will have its own version of chili chicken and it varies depending on the vendor.
Today I’m sharing a Hyderabadi street style variation that I had seen at a food cart. So, you can expect a recipe just like how you get at a local bandi/cart.
About Street style Chili Chicken recipe
Street style Chili Chicken dry recipe is an easy recipe where bite-size boneless chicken pieces are marinated with spices and deep fried. Later, they are tossed in a spicy chili sauce mix made with ginger, garlic, green, chilies, herbs, onion petals, capsicum cubes, basic spices, and sauces.
The street style combines the best elements of two distinct cuisines. The spicy flavors of the South Indian cuisine and the umami flavors of Chinese sauces.
Compared to the street style that is loaded with MSG/Ajinomoto, at home, we can use quality ingredients and make hygienic food.
Also, the street-style chicken chili is deep red in color because of the artificial red food color. For the vibrant red color, I have used good quality red chili powder and kashmiri red chili powder. The final look of the dish majorly depends on the quality of red chili powder.
Making chili chicken at home may seem a lengthy process but it is not difficult. For easy understanding, I’m dividing the recipe into 3 steps;
1. Chicken marination and coating.
2. Deep fry.
3. Toss the fried chicken pieces in the sauce mix.
Personally, I like hot and spicy food. So the spice powders, chilies, and sauces are according to my taste buds. However, you can increase or reduce them as per your palate preference.
Reasons to make
Full of South Indian spices and flavors.
The insane flavors in this dish are a true delight for spicy chicken lovers.
The spice level is customizable.
Each fried chicken piece is coated with a finger-licking glaze of sauces.
Guaranteed to satisfy your cravings for street food.
Perfect for special family lunch or dinner on weekend.
Starter for parties, get-togethers, or special occasions/celebrations.
There are a few tricks for making the best bandi-style chili chicken at home from scratch. Follow them to the tee and you will always end up with an amazing chicken starter.
Make sure to cut the chicken into bite-size even pieces, it helps in even cooking. If the size is uneven, big size pieces may be undercooked and small size pieces may overcook.
If you want to brine the chicken, soak the cleaned chicken in salty water for 30-60 minutes. Drain the water.
Do not skip adding egg as it acts as a binding agent and helps the marination adhere to the chicken. It will result in a succulent and juicy fried chicken. The quantity of eggs should be less. I recommend adding half egg for 250 gms of meat and 1 full egg for 500 – 1000 gms of meat. Adding more egg will make the chicken coating soft and the oil will have an egg smell.
The flour coating (a mixture of cornflour and all-purpose flour) should be perfect, it should not be too thick or too thin. A thick coating will not allow the flavorful sauce to seep into the meat. And, if the coating is too thin, the chicken pieces will not have a perfect coating when fried.
To deep fry, fill the pan with oil only halfway. If the oil is more than halfway, the oil will overflow when you drop the chicken pieces or when you are deep frying.
Heat the oil properly before you drop the chicken pieces.
While frying the chicken pieces, do not overcrowd the pan. It will drop the temperature of the oil. So, deep-fry a few pieces at a time depending on the size of the pan.
Do not fry over high flame. The coating will start cooking instantly and get brown color, whereas the inside will be uncooked.
Once the oil is hot, turn the flame to medium and drop the chicken pieces.
After adding the chicken pieces, cook undisturbed for about 1 minute or until the coating sets properly. Turn the pieces and fry until they turn a golden brown color. Cooking time will depend on the quality and size of the chicken.
Avoid overcooking the chicken. It will make the chicken hard and chewy.
Cut the onion and capsicum into medium or large cubes. Stir-fry them only for a few seconds to retain the crunch.
Indo-Chinese cooking is done on the highest flame which gives a smoky flavor. If you saute on low flame, then the vegetables will get soggy and lose the crunch.
The stir-frying process is quick. So, keep all the ingredients ready before making chili chicken.
Do not add too much water or saute for too long, the fried chicken pieces will lose the crispiness.
The authentic street-style chili chicken recipe requires the following ingredients that are easily available at any Indian grocery store.
Chicken: For this recipe, I prefer to use boneless and skinless chicken breasts. You can use boneless thigh meat as it is juicy. Cut of the meat can be bite-size pieces or thin strips.
Bone-in chicken is not an ideal meat choice to make chili chicken.
Oil: I’ve used sunflower oil. I recommend using neutral or flavorless oil so that the strong aroma does not overpower the chicken.
Egg: Adding egg works as a binding agent and locks the coating. It also keeps the chicken soft and juicy, even after deep frying.
Flours: All-purpose flour (maida) and cornflour or corn starch. These two ingredients help the marinade adhere to the chicken, and cornflour gives the fried chicken a crisp exterior.
Ginger-garlic: The street vendors use the ginger-garlic paste as it is economical. At home, you can use homemade paste or finely chopped ginger and garlic.
Green chilies: It is used to add fire of spice. You can reduce the number of chilies or skip them while making for kids.
Vegetables: onions and capsicum.
I like to add finely chopped onion at the beginning and saute to give the sauce a bit of sweetness.
As it is a street-style recipe, I used green capsicum. You can use any bell peppers of your choice.
Spice powders: red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder or cayenne pepper, garam masala, and black pepper powder.
Sauces: red chili sauce, green chili sauce, soya sauce, and vinegar.
Herbs: curry leaves and coriander leaves.
How to make Street style Chili Chicken
Take chicken pieces in a bowl and add ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix it well and marinate for 5-10 minutes.
Add half egg and give a good mix. Next, add maida, cornflour, and a few tablespoons of water. Mix well. Keep this marinated chicken aside for about 20 minutes. I’ve kept it in the refrigerator overnight.
Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, turn the flame to medium and add chicken pieces and fry until they turn golden brown in color.
Take the fried chicken out onto a plate.
Heat oil in a wok or pan. When hot add finely diced onion, curry leaves, and green chilies. Fry on high flame for 30 seconds.
Add onion and capsicum chunks. Saute for 10 seconds
Add ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes away.
Add water and let it come to a roaring boil.
Add red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder, black pepper powder, and garam masala.
Next, add the sauces – red chili sauce, green chili sauce, soya sauce, and vinegar.
Give a good mix and let the water come to a boil.
Add the fried chicken pieces and mix well.
Continue to cook on high flame until the sauce mix thickens and coats the chicken pieces.
Turn off the flame and add coriander leaves.
Street style Chili Chicken is ready to serve.
Chili chicken is a versatile dish that you can serve in many different ways.
Serve it as a snack, starter, or appetizer along with sliced onions and lemon wedge.
Serve it as a munchie (chakna) with alcoholic drinks.
My kid likes to have it along with steamed rice and sambar.
This Street style Chili Chicken is ideally best enjoyed when hot, right out of the wok.
If there is any leftover, you can refrigerate it in an air-tight container. Before serving, reheat in a microwave or in a pan. But, the taste will not be the same as that freshly made.
There are a few variations that you can try in this recipe, especially with the sauces.
You can add some tomato sauce/ketchup for a mildly sweet and spicy version.
To make it spicier, you can add chili garlic sauce or schezwan chutney/sauce.
More Indo-Chinese Chicken recipes to try
If you’ve tried this Street style Chili Chicken recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Feedback and suggestions are highly appreciated. Also, please share the recipes with your friends and family members.
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Street style Chili Chicken recipe | Chili Chicken Dry
For Marinating & Coating
- 250 grams Chicken (boneless)
- Oil (to deep fry)
- 1/2 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp Garam masala
- 1/2 Egg
- 2 tbsp All Purpose flour (maida)
- 2 tbsp Cornflour
- 1 tsp Salt
For Tossing in sauce mix
- 2-3 tbsp Oil
- 2 tbsp Onion (finely chopped)
- 2-3 numbers Green Chilies (chopped or slit)
- 4-5 numbers Curry leaves
- 1/2 Capsicum (cubed)
- 1/2 Onion (cubed and separated layers)
- 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 tbsp Red Chili powder
- 1/2-1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp Garam masala
- 1 cup Water
- 1/2-1 tbsp Red Chili sauce
- 1/2-1 tbsp Green Chili sauce
- 1 tsp Soya sauce
- 1 tsp Vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Coriander leaves
Marination & Coating
- Take chicken pieces in a bowl and add ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix it well and marinate for 5-10 minutes.
- Add half egg and give a good mix. Next, add maida, cornflour, and a few tablespoons of water. Mix well. Keep this marinated chicken aside for about 20 minutes. I’ve kept it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, turn the flame to medium and add chicken pieces and fry until they turn golden brown in color.
- Take the fried chicken out onto a plate.
Tossing the fried chicken pieces in the sauce mix.
- Heat oil in a wok or pan. When hot add finely diced onion, curry leaves, and green chilies. Fry on high flame for 30 seconds.
- Add onion and capsicum chunks. Saute for 10 seconds
- Add ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes away.
- Add water and let it come to a roaring boil. Add red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder, black pepper powder, and garam masala.
- Next, add the sauces – red chili sauce, green chili sauce, soya sauce, and vinegar. Give a good mix and let the water come to a boil.
- Add the fried chicken pieces and mix well. Continue to cook on high flame until the sauce mix thickens and coats the chicken pieces.
- Turn off the flame and add coriander leaves.
- Street style Chili Chicken is ready to serve.