A recipe with ketchup – are you kidding me? What’s next, a packet of red vines? I have to admit I too was skeptical about the ingredients in this dish. But time and time again I’ve found myself enjoying this Nepali dry curry at various restaurants – each time confirming that yes – ketchup plays a key role. I know, you’re still skeptical, I would be.
What ketchup cleverly delivers here is a little sweetness and gentle acidity that plays off the savory and spicy quite well. Sure, you could go with apple cider vinegar and sugar instead, but where’s the fun in that huh. There’s something gleefully liberating about reaching for the ketchup bottle and not the truffled doves tears.
The dish can be made with prawns, paneer, chicken, lamb – name your protein really. I enjoy Tandoori Chicken personally; I take a pound of chicken breast, dice and marinate overnight in a tandoori spice mix with greek yogurt. While I’m prepping my mise en place, I throw the cubed chicken in the oven at 400f for 25 minutes. By the time its coming out of the oven, I’m usually set with prep work and its good to go right into the dish as I cook.
Speaking of cooking, this Nepali chicken chilli recipe is quick to prepare and make, provided you have all your ingredients good to go.
Nepali Chicken Chilli Recipe
Prep Time: 25minutes
Cook Time: 20minutes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp ginger, finely minced
2 tbsp garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeno, finely minced
1 pound cooked chicken breast, cubed
1/2 onion sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp cornstarch
3-10 tbsp water
1. In a large non stick frying pan, gently saute minced garlic, ginger and jalapeno. Don’t burn, just flavor the oil.
2. Once the oil is perfumed and the aromatics start to wilt (3-5 minutes) add cooked chicken and coat.
3. Add in roughly chopped onion and bell peppers, cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add soy and ketchup, stir and coat.
5. Continue cooking on medium heat until vegetables are cooked to desired texture – I like crisp, crunchy veggies.
6. Make a slurry by adding cornstarch to cold water. Integrate into curry. The amount of water you add is variable and depends how dry/saucy you want the end product to be.
7. Before serving stir in cilantro.
8. Serve with basmati rice and/or pita/naan.