Chinese Chilli Chicken with Forbidden Rice

I love Indo-Chinese cuisine but am often weighed down with guilt after an indulgent take out. This Chinese style Chilli Chicken is not just yummy but far less greasy than the usual fare, as I make it without frying. I marinate the chicken overnight and that is the key to good taste as the flavours seep in and develop well  while cooking.

All too often, Chinese style cooking seems daunting – generally by the sheer number of ingredients. This is a simplified version by using ingredients already in your kitchen. I use sesame oil for the cooking but if you don’t have it, it can be easily replaced by peanut/ vegetable oil. 
The Black rice were a gift from Siddarth (brother) during my last trip to India and I have been yearning to use them. This was my first time cooking with them and they turned out fabulous, it has rich purple/ black hue and beautiful nutty aroma as it cooks and is a little bit sticky (not as much as jasmine rice) that it holds moulded shapes very well. The nutrition factor is wow with low calories, high fibre and lots of anthocyanin (antioxidants).

The kids absolutely loved the black rice and smacked their bowls clean – no selling/ bargaining required at all! They trepidatiously attempted the chilli chicken with their fork and found it too spicy and literary chugged down the whole glass of watermelon juice. Note to self: trial a low spiced version

Prep Time: 15 Mins

Cooking Time: 20 mins
Recipe Level: Medium

Spice Level: High

Serves: 2
Shelf Life: Eat fresh
Serving Suggestion: With Black rice


Two sauce pans, two wooden spoon, grater, knife, chopping board and serving plate


  • 120 gms black rice
  • 200 gms boneless chicken breast – bite size pieces
  • 2 tsp cornflour/ cornstarch
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar ( white vinegar can be used too)
  • 3 tsp Chings green chilli sauce
  • 2 tsp gluten free soy sauce 
  • 1 inch ginger – minced
  • 5 garlic cloves – minced
  • 5 garlic cloves – sliced round
  • 1 small red and yellow pepper (green ones can be used too or instead) – chopped as medium squares
  • 1 large onion – chopped as medium squares
  • 4 dry red long chilli – broken into halves
  • 2 tsp black pepper – crushed
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (or any vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of black and white sesame seeds
  • 3 stalks of spring onion


  1. Wash and soak the black rice in water overnight. This is preferable as it cooks beautifully after a four hour soak at least.
  2. Marinate the chicken in vinegar, soy sauce, chilli sauce, minced ginger-garlic and cornflour concoction overnight. Add more salt if you like, I find the salt from soya sauce sufficient for my taste.
  3. In one of the sauce pans, add rice and 240ml water along with salt an d1 tsp oil. Cook it uncovered on slow fire till the water evaporates completely and the rice grain is firm to touch and squashes easily when pressed between thumb and finger.
  4. In another sauce pan, add 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil and sliced garlic. Sauce till golden brown and add the broken dry chilli and the onions and peppers. Sauce till the onions are translucent – remove and keep aside. 
  5. Add 1/2 tbsp oil in the sauce pan, add the marinated chicken along with the marinade. Cook till dry for 10 minutes. The marinade thicken and coats the chicken as it cooks due to corn flour. Add in the vegetables and stir. Cover with lid, the flavors will develop and the steam will cook the chicken thoroughly.
  6. Dress with chopped spring onion and sesame seeds.


  • Traditionally the chicken is fried and then added to the gravy. If oil is not your fiend, then go ahead and pre fry the chicken.

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