“Kala Chicken” is the name my family and friends chose to give to my signature chicken dish. I tried a bit more finesse, “Chicken in Oyster Sauce” or “Chicken with Fried Onion” but “Kala Chicken” is what stuck. Unfortunately. To be fair, the dish is a little “Kala”, but it is also my most popular savory recipe. It was always requested in family events when I was living in Dhaka. Words did travel all the way to Toronto and I have taught some of my family and friends living here how to cook the same. I won’t lie, it is a little elaborate but it’s really worth it! The umami-ness of the oyster sauce and the kick of the fried chilli-garlic-onion makes a great combo! In addition, now that I can find ready-made ingredients like fried onions and minced garlic here in TO, it has become easier to make this recipe. The recipe can be broken down into three main steps:
- Shallow Fry
- Prepping the Sauce
- Chicken :1 (cut into small pieces) / Chicken Drumsticks : 1 tray of 15 (The idea is to use chicken pieces with bones)
- Oil: 1/2 cup
- Water: 1 cup
For the Marinade:
- Garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
- Ginger Paste: 1 tbsp
- Soy Sauce : 5 tbsp
- Black Pepper: to taste
For the Sauce:
- Fried Onion: 1 cup
- Minced Garlic: 1 cup
- Dry Red Chilli : 8-12 (depending on your heat preference; you can also use a mix of sweet and hot dry red chilli)
- Oyster Sauce: 1/2 bottle (250 ml)
- Salt : to taste
Step 1: Marinade
Make shallow cuts on each of the chicken pieces. Prepare marinade with garlic paste, ginger paste, soy sauce and black pepper. Coat the chicken pieces well with the marinade and set aside in the fridge. For best results, marinate overnight or at least for 2-4 hours.
Step 2: Shallow Fry the Chicken
In a large flat heavy pan, pour the oil and heat in medium high. Add a batch of chicken pieces in a single layer and shallow fry them on medium heat. We are looking to cook the chicken and develop a golden-brown color. Once cooked, drain the chicken pieces and set side on a separate bowl. Cook the rest of the chicken pieces in the same manner.
Step: 3 Sauce
Now this is where the magic happens! In the same pan and oil you used to cook the chicken, add minced garlic and coarsely ground red chillies and fry until garlic turns golden brown. Next add coarsely ground fried onion and mix well. Once they start to stick to each other, and oyster sauce and half of the water. Turn the heat to medium low and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. Once the sauce reaches a gravy consistency, add the chicken pieces and the remaining water. Mix the chicken pieces with the sauce to coat them well. Cover and let it cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and take the pan of the stove.
The recipe is very versatile and goes very well with steamed rice, pulao, mixed fried rice and roti or naan.
If you decide to this recipe a try this Eid, let me know! I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you for reading ❤