This is a recipe that I have been meaning to blog for a couple of years now, as a part of a series of recipes for fledgling or unwilling cooks. (I was a card-carrying member of the fraternity, still am, of the unwilling branch.)
Chicken pieces, ideally bony & small -- 500 gms (your chicken seller's messed up cuts will do)
Onions -- depending on size, 4-6
Green chillies -- depending on taste, 4-10
Vegetable oil (sunflower or olive) -- half cup
Soya sauce -- 2 tbsp, approx
White vinegar -- 2 tsp, approx
Salt to taste
[the next 2 ingredients are optional]
Cornflour or ordinary refined flour (maida) -- generous pinch (1 tsp?)
SECRET INGREDIENT -- a bit of hard gurh (jaggery), say 1 tsp worth
1. Wash your chicken well and leave it to marinade in a sprinkling of salt while you...
2. Peel onions and chop them into chunks and...
3. Wash chillies and cut long slits along the length of them.
4. Heat your vegetable oil in a kada and fry the chicken till browned, a couple of pieces at a time. They really splutter so use a long-handled ladle and if you wish, a cover. Set chicken aside.
5. Secret Ingredient Step: Add the gurh (jaggery) to the now slightly cloudy oil and immediately...
6. Dump the onions and chillies into the oil and fry till onions are transluscent and chillies are blistered.
Note: I have no picture of the gurh because I didn't have any and so didn't use any. Also, I'm using double the amount of oil I need. Tiredness results in over-generous pouring.
7. Add fried chicken, stir it all up well.
8. Add soya sauce and vinegar and flour if using. Also salt. You can add more or less soya sauce according to preference, but go easy on the vinegar. See what I mean about far too much oil?
9. Cover and simmer for another 5-10 odd minutes depending on your chicken. Check with fork to see tenderness, mix well to ensure soya gravy covers all pieces and have with plain rice.
* This recipe doesn't need exact measures and in fact can handle many variations: without jaggery, with a small pinch of sugar, more soya, no onion, much more onion, many more chillies, a generous splash of honey, no flour/cornflour (I never bother with it myself) etc.
* Onions, oil and soya sauce provide your gravy. You can make it with very little oil, and 1 large onion for a dry dish.
*Gurh burns very easily, so make sure the onions and chillies are ready to throw in immediately after you've added it to the oil. Otherwise be prepared to change the oil and pan.
*This recipe can be made in a frying pan, wok or at a pinch, dekhchi, no problems.
Priyanka, there you go. :) Thanks for your recipe, I mean to try it out next time.