Chicken with Roasted Chilli Paste and Basil
November 20, 2015 Posted by Shweta Shanbhag
There is a new Pan-Asian restaurant in town called Tim Tai. We ate one really good chicken dish there which had the distinct flavor of basil and red chillies. It was so good that I wondered why haven’t I tasted this dish before? I wanted to try this dish immediately and searched online for the recipe. This is a Thai dish and consists of a roasted red chilli paste which is the soul of this dish. I made a large batch of this paste and have stored it in the freezer. Otherwise, this dish is a simple stir fry and very easy to make once you have the paste ready.
I have tried this same dish with vegetables too and it was equally good.
Here is the recipe for this full-of-flavor dish.
For the roasted chilli paste
1/2 cup dried chillies
1/2 cup onion
1/4 cup garlic cloves
3 tbsp palm or brown sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp tamarind
1 tbsp soya sauce
For the stir fry
5-6 cloves of garlic
250 gms of boneless chicken
1 tsp soya sauce
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
For the chilli paste
- Unpeel the onions and cut into cubes. Peel the garlic cloves.
- In a pan dry roast the chillies until they darken and become brittle. I used dried bydagi chillies but once can also use fresh red chillies. This should take about 5 mins. Remove from pan and let it cool.
- Now dry fry the shallots and garlic until they are softened and slightly charred
- Now combine the chillies, shallots, garlic and tamarind and grind to a coarse paste. Add some oil and grind to a smooth paste.
- Now take 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the chilli paste and fry it, stirring occasionally, until the paste darkens in colour. This should take around 5 mins.
- Remove from the heat and when cooled add palm sugar (I managed with brown sugar), soya sauce and salt and combine well.
- The paste is ready. You can transfer this to a jar and freeze it in the refrigerator for future use.
For the Stir fry
- Cut the chicken into thin long slices. Slice the peppers and unpeel and cut the onion into cube and separate the florets.
- Take a pan and heat 1 tbsp oil. When hot, add chopped garlic and saute till light brown.
- Add the chicken, 3 tbsp roasted chilli paste, 1 tsp soya sauce and saute it on high heat till chicken is almost cooked.
- Add the onions, bell peppers and cook till the vegetables are cooked yet firm. Don’t let them overcook.
- Taste and add salt, sugar or chilli paste according to your preference
- Add lots of chopped basil leaves according to your taste and serve.