You may scratch your head when you look at the ingredients list below and you see curry leaves, pandan leaves, cardamoms, cloves...and how they can be in a Chinese dish. Well, you can't take the Sri Lankan cook out of my mother and that's how she made her Chinese Stir Fry.
The only thing I know is that it was one of my favorite dishes to eat and it became a family favorite for a quick weeknight meal. Yes... this stir fry is considered quick in my mother's book because it's a one pot dish with rice. She is so used to cooking 3-4 dishes to eat a rice and curry meal that a one pot dish is a breeze for her. I loved making this dish with her because it brought back some sweet memories of my childhood.
3lbs skinless bone-in chicken cut into large chunks
10-12 curry leaves
1-2 pandan leaves
3-4 green cardamom pods
3-4 black cloves
1 small cinnamon stick (1inch long)
salt and black pepper to taste
1Tbs grated ginger
1Tbs grated garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce (or to taste for salt)
1 1/2 cups water
2 carrots peeled and chopped or sliced
2 stalks celery sliced
1 onion sliced
1 bell pepper sliced
1 can water chestnuts drained
1 bunch green onions sliced
2Tbs cornstarch with a little water to thicken sauce
Recommended Garnish: store bought Chow Mein Noodles
Note: I cooked a double recipe in the photos below so if you see more quantity than suggested, that is why. The recipe provided should feed about 4 people.
Cut chicken into large chunks with bone-in and marinate for 1 hour with some salt and black pepper. Then heat 2-3 Tbs canola oil in large pan or wok and add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick, curry leaves and pandan leaves for 30-45 seconds. Next add the marinated chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Then add ginger and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Next add the carrots, celery and onion to the dish and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the soy sauce and water to cook the chicken. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the chicken is cooked through, add the bell pepper, water chestnuts and green onion. Cook for another 5 minutes (preferably covered). Finally make the cornstarch and water slurry and pour into pan. Stir well and allow the gravy to thicken. Taste for seasoning and serve with rice. Enjoy.
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