chilli chicken recipe
Indo chinese recipe Recipes

Chilli chicken recipe | how to make chilli chicken gravy

Chilli chicken recipe or how to make chilli chicken gravy with step by step pictures. Chilli chicken is basically a wonderful starter or appetizer of our Indo Chinese cuisine where batter fried chicken pieces are tossed in few Chinese sauces with cubed onion, capsicum, and lots of chilies and pepper.

For the dry version of chilli chicken, the recipe must be made just by tossing the fried crispy chicken pieces in sauces and seasoning with other veggies. But for gravy version just lastly need to add the cornflour mixed water in your dry chilli chicken and cook it in high flame. Whereas chilli chicken dry is considered as a wonderful starter and the gravy version goes awesome with fried rice or hakka noodles.

We have several indian chicken recipes which are also prepared with more chilies but that must not be called chili chicken, right, why? Because chilli chicken is not a pure Indian dish, it’s actually a combination of indian and chinese cuisines. Where its making process is partially Indian like frying of chicken but the use of different types of sauces, pepper and tossing method totally inspired by Chinese cooking style. Even we have also learned the use of cornflour from them.

For making chilli chicken few things need to keep in our mind. Firstly, The usage of lots of chilies and pepper(black or white), many sauces like tomato sauce (or ketchup), Soya sauce, chili sauce( red or green or both) and cooking should be on high flame. Actually Chilli chicken is a very quick preparation so before starts cooking keep its ingredients ready.

chilli chicken is served with Chinese fried rice

Though its name itself describes how spicy is this recipe, but the spiciness of chilli chicken depends on your own taste. As I can’t use more spice for my kid, but you may add more or fewer chilies as per taste.

Chilli chicken is one of the most favorite recipes of my family. I’ve learned this finger-licking chilli chicken recipe from my dad(a great cook of my family). Since I got married I mostly prepare it at home when I or my husband get a craving for Chinese food. Even it is common in our menu when we visit any Chinese restaurant.

I feel My dad makes the best chilli chicken, even more, delicious than all Chinese restaurant-style recipes. Today I’m going to share that particular recipe with you. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

Even here I’ve shared my own tricks and tips on how to make chicken pieces tender and juicy that your chili chicken easily melts in our mouth. How to prepare good marination to make the chicken pieces so flavorful and tasty in this chili chicken recipe. Lastly, how to make dry and crispy chilli chicken as a starter and even how to make a nice gravy based chilli chicken recipe for dinner. I hope my step by step recipe will help you to learn how to make chili chicken at home with the restaurant-style taste.

Make this yummy chilli chicken recipe at your home and let me know your valuable feedback in the comment section below.

You may try some of my other similar chinese recipes from my website

Even you may enjoy this dish with my chicken basil soup and Italian herb rice too.

Chilli chicken recipe 

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

Served in: 35 mins

Served for: 5 people

Course: Starter / Dinner

Cuisine: Indo Chinese / Chinese style

Author: Moumita Paul


For making the chicken soft

  • 500 gms boneless chicken 
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vinegar

For making the batter for marinating chicken

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp ginger(grated or paste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic(grated or paste)
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp maida or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For making gravy

  • 2-3 onions(cut into cubes)
  • 1 large green capsicum( cubes cut)
  • 3 tsp garlic(chopped)
  • 2 tsp ginger(chopped)
  • 4 tbsp of tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp soya sauce
  • 2 tsp red chili sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup spring onion
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 cup of refined oil
  • Salt(as required)

How to make chilli chicken gravy with step by step pictures


  • Take 500 gms chicken breast or chicken with bones and cut into small to medium pieces. Then keep the chicken pieces in a bowl, clean, and wash it thoroughly.
small to medium size boneless chicken pieces
  • Then add 2 cups of lukewarm water to the chicken, add 2 1/2 tbsp of vinegar to it. Cover the bowl and leave it for 30 mins to make the chicken pieces soft.
adding vinegar to the chicken added lukewarm water
  • After 30 mins take the chicken out from the water and squeeze each piece to remove the excess water from it. Keep it aside.
squeezing the chicken pieces to remove excess water
  • Then take another mixing bowl, add two eggs, 3 tbsp cornflour, 3 tbsp flour, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, 1 tsp grated or ginger paste, 1 1/2 tsp grated or garlic paste.
eggs, ginger, garlic, cornflour, plain flour or maida, black pepper and salt in a mixing bowl
  • Mix all the ingredients together by using whisker, spoon, or with your hand. Then all the chicken pieces to the mixture and coat the chicken nicely into the batter. Once it is done, cover the bowl and marinade it until frying.
chicken in batter to marinade
  • Now make the sauce ready for this recipe, take a bowl, add 4 tbsp tomato ketchup, 2 tsp soya sauce, 2 tsp red chili sauce, 1 1/2 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp chilli flakes,  1/2 tsp black pepper powder and 1/4 tsp salt and mix it well. Keep it aside for later.
sauce mixture is ready by adding salt in it
  • Now take a deep frying pan, heat it up on the medium flame. Add 1/2 cup or 8 tbsp of white oil or refined oil, let the oil gets hot. Then add the batter coated chicken pieces to the oil but the pan must not be crowded.
frying the batter coated chicken pieces for making this recipe
  • Fry the chicken pieces until they get golden brown in color from both sides. Remove it from the pan.
chicken is golden brown in colour after frying and ready for all chilli chicken recipes
  • When the frying of all batches is done, then put the flame of your oven on medium to high heat. First, add 3 tsp chopped garlic after sauté for few seconds add chopped ginger to it, and sauté it too.
adding chopped ginger in the pan after garlic and garlic is the important ingredient of all chinese recipes
  • Then add onion cubes(parted away) to the pan and stir it well. Sauté it for 1 min then add the green capsicum to it. Even add 3-4 green chillies to it.
onions, capsicum and green chillies are added to the pan
  • After the sautéing, the veggies for 1 minute, add the sauce mixture(prepared before) to it and mix it well.
adding sauce mixture to the sauteed vegetables for making this indo chinese recipes
  • Just after 1 minute add a handful of chopped spring onions and 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder to the pan.
adding spring onion to the pan which is must in all chinese recipes
  • Saute all the masala and vegetables for 30 secs and add the batter-fried chicken pieces to the pan. Stir or toss it well. But if you want a semi gravy, then take a mixing bowl with 1 1/2 cup of water add 3tbsp cornflour to it mix it well(to avoid lumps) and add it to the pan.
after adding fried chicken to the pan, dry chilli chicken will be ready by tossing
  • If you want dry chili chicken then stop your cooking after keeping the pan on high flame by continuous stirring or tossing for a minute. Sprinkle little salt if required.
adding corn flour added to the chicken for making its gravy
  • Let the gravy boil on high flame for 1 min then add salt and mix it well.
adding salt to this semi gravy recipe
  • Then add a handful of spring onion, cook it for few seconds by continuous stirring and your semi gravy chilli chicken will be ready.
spring onion is sprinkled on this chilli recipe
  • But if you want a regular curry-like gravy then the quantity of cornflour added water must be 2 1/2 cup instead of 1 1/2 cup. Then also you have to add salt(as per taste) and spring onion to the gravy and boil it or cook it on high flame for 1 more min.
chilli chicken is in the pan with full gravy
  • Your chilli chicken is ready with a regular gravy, serve it hot with any fried rice, noddles or even it goes well with roti too. And it’ll surely melt in your mouth.
chilli chicken is ready


  • Keep the chicken pieces small or medium as per your choice. But don’t keep it big as the chicken must not be infused in masala and sauce.
  • As sauce contains salt so add salt as per your taste.
  • Here I’ve used vinegar but if that’s not available in your kitchen, then tenderize the meat with lemon juice too.
  • I never use monosodium glutamate or msg or Agena moto in any of my homemade Chinese recipes as that creates serious health issues. Though it is used as an enhancing taste, I’ll request you not to use it in your recipe too.
  • If you don’t have chili flakes, can add chili powder too but that quantity must be less. Even you may add only green chillies (as Coorg people does) or only red chillies as most of the South Indian especially Andhra people do. But pepper powder is must to intact its Chinese taste and flavor.
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