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  • Writer's pictureDina Begum

chilli chicken with cashews

Weekends are all about family. When we all get together at my parents it's a never ending stream of eating, conversation and catching up on our favourite shows. Last weekend I watched a Bollywood film with my mum and bonded over a new set of cake severs and forks (I know!) We ate coconut macaroons and drank lots of tea and caught up on family gossip. I’m probably one of few people I know who doesn’t like Chinese food. You might be thinking what?? How can anyone not like Chinese food? Before you write me off I will say that I do love crispy duck and pancakes and dim sum. And once I discovered Hakka Chinese (while in Bangladesh) I was in heaven. This is Chinese with added spice for South Asian lovers of heat.

This very simple and quick chilli chicken dish is so satisfying and is ready in about 20 minutes. That’s if you’re super quick in the kitchen and not a constant dawdler like me. Served with plain white rice it is so delicious. Chilli chicken is a dish I first cooked about five years ago when I wanted something spicy but different - and of course easy to cook. I used to eat out a whole lot more than I do now, purely out of laziness and after ploughing through tons of recipes I created my own easy version. So I hope you enjoy this and let me know what you think!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 chicken breasts cut into small pieces (about 500g)

1 tsp salt

1 small onion chopped into large chunks

2 spring onions

1 red pepper chopped

1 green pepper chopped 4 tbs cashews 1/4 tsp black pepper 1/4 tsp cumin 1 tsp chilli flakes 1 tbs crushed garlic 1 tbs crushed ginger 2 green chillies sliced 1 tsp sesame oil 3 tbs tomato ketchup 6 tbs soy sauce 4 tbs cornflour 1 medium free range egg 4 tbs oil (plus more for frying) 250ml water Method Add a whisked egg to the chicken pieces with black pepper and cumin and mix with corn flour. In a wok or frying pan add about 100ml of oil and fry the chicken pieces until golden, turning once or twice. This takes about 5-7 minutes. Drain and reserve on a plate.

In a separate pan heat 4 tbs of oil and add the garlic and ginger and once golden add onions, salt, sliced green chillies and chopped lower halves of the spring onions - reserving the tips for garnish. Sautée for a minute or so.  To this mix stir in chopped peppers, chilli flakes, tomato ketchup, soy sauce and sesame oil and cook for a few minutes on high heat before adding 250ml of water. Once the mixture boils to a simmer reduce heat to low and add chicken pieces and cashews and cook for about 5 minutes.  Garnish with the chopped spring onion tips and serve with basmati rice.

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