Last month has been quite disappointing to say the least and the mood’s been lower than down in the dumps. Add to the mix the feeling of homesickness, and you have something akin to depression staring you in the face. However, the hunger for something reminiscent of the good old days managed to pierce this veil of misery. This something turned out to be a craving for any chinjabi (Punjabi Chinese for the uninitiated) dish. I was aiming at any concoction that tasted like street food back home, irrespective of the meat in it.
- Cooked and shelled prawns or cubed boneless chicken: 500 gms
- Capsicum, onion, spring onions: half a cup each
- Garlic: 4 cloves; smashed to bring out the strong flavours
- Red chilli powder: 2 tsp (or as much or little you like)
- Tomatoes: 2 medium; chopped
- Sweet and sour chilli sauce: two tbsp (adjust accordingly if the brand you are using is too sweet)
- Corn flour: 2 tbsp dissolved in a little cold water
- Chicken stock or hot water: half a cup
- Soy sauce: 2 tbsp
- Fish sauce (optional): a tsp
- Oil: one Tbsp
If you are using chicken then you also need the following marinade
- Egg: one; beaten
- Corn flour: 1 tbsp
- Soy sauce: a splash
Marinate the chicken for at least fifteen minutes
- Heat a tbsp of oil and pan fry the chicken in it. Once sealed, take it out.
- In the same pan, add red chilli powder followed by garlic; fry till fragrant
- Add capsicum and onion and half a cup of spring onion; fry a little more till browned at the edges (and are still crunchy).
- Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, cook till the former are soft and mashable
- Add chicken or prawns, a splash of soy sauce (and fish sauce, if using) and chicken stock. Let it bubble for a minute and then add the corn flour liquid. This will thicken the gravy.
- Cook till done. In case of prawns, this will be just about a couple of minutes.
- Prepare egg noodles as per instructions on the packet.
- One both are cooked, mix them all up. Garnish with coriander and remaining spring onions.