September 7, 2014

General Tso's Chicken (Lighter Version) with Indian Jeera Rice

            When we were in Chicago I loved to Dine/Takeout from Panda Express. Delicious food chain with American Chinese dishes. They had a lot of varieties and I was a fan for Kung pao and Orange chicken but when I read through books on other varieties of chinese chicken, I read about Tso's chicken. When I had a chance to taste that in Asian Dynasty in Leigh Valley mall it was close to orange chicken. They did use some sweet sauce and have it deep fried. The original recipe in store or books don't call for vegetables along with it. Well I wanted this to be more of a lighter version or I can say a Healthy one, so I've totally avoided the part of deep frying, reduced the amount of using brown sugar and added vegetables in this recipe.

            I had to choose rice or noodles to serve this. Well it was the weekend, so rice was something we loved to eat and so I decided to go with Indian Jeera Rice. Jeera/Cumin Rice is delicious made with Basmati rice, Cumin and other spices with flavors. Ghee is the form of clarified butter which enriches this dish with a beautiful aroma and taste. If you don't have Ghee then go for butter or Vegetable oil. I'm making this as a lighter version, feel healthy when you scoop the dish to your plate.

Ingredients : (Serves 4 People)

For Jeera Rice:
  • Basmati Rice - 1 Cup
  • Cumin Seeds - 1-1/2 Teaspoons
  • Cinnamon Stick - 1 inch stick
  • Bay leaf - 2 no's
  • Green Cardamon - 2 no's
  • Cloves - 2 no's
  • Oil / Ghee / Butter - 2 Tablespoon
  • Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Red/Yellow Onion - 1 Small (finely chopped)
  • Salt - as needed
  • Water - 2 Cups

For Tso's Chicken: 
  • Chicken Breasts / Chicken Thighs - 1 pound (Cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • Corn Starch / Corn Flour - 4 Tablespoons
  • Green/Red Capsicum - 1 Medium sized (Diced)
  • Broccoli Crown - 1 no (Separated to florets)
  • Button Mushroom - 5 no's (Sliced 1/2 inch thick)
  • Garlic - 6 pods (Sliced)
  • Dry Red Chilli - 3 no's
  • Ginger - 2 Teaspoon (Grated)
  • Light Brown Sugar - 2 Tablespoons
  • Soy Sauce - 2 Tablespoons
  • Red pepper flakes - 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Egg - 1 no
  • Salt - As needed
  • Ground Pepper - 1/4 Teaspoon
  • Olive oil - 3 Tablespoons


For Cooking Jeera Rice:
  • Take the Basmati rice in a bowl. Wash until clear water runs out.

  • Soak the rice with water until an inch on top of rice for 20 minutes. Drain water completely and keep aside.
  •  Take a heavy bottomed pot. Heat Ghee/Oil on low-medium flame. Add Bay leaves, Cinnamon, Cardamon stick, Cloves, Cumin seeds (Don't let this burn)

  • Add Onion with required salt and cook until they are transparent. Add Ginger garlic paste and sauté for 2 minutes on low flame or until the raw smell goes off. 

  • Once onions are golden brown, add rice. 

  • Toast rice on Low flame for 5 minutes (you can smell a nice aroma around). Add the water and check for salt.  

  • Bring the water and rice to boil. Reduce the flame to low and cover it for 15 minutes or until water is completely absorbed by rice and rice is cooked soft. Move the pot and let it sit for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

For Cooking Tso's Chicken:

  • Keep the chicken clean and ready. In a bowl whisk Egg with Salt, Pepper, Corn starch(2 tablespoons)

  • Add chicken and toss until it coats well. 

  • Cover marinated chicken with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

  • Chop and keep the vegetables ready. In another bowl whisk remaining 2 tablespoons of corn starch, Brown sugar, Garlic, Ginger, Soy sauce and Red pepper flakes. 

  • Toss in the vegetables (Broccoli, Mushroom and Capsicum).

  • In a non stick skillet heat oil on medium heat. Add Dry red chili and sauté. 

  • Add  chicken pieces from egg mixture to the skillet shaking off the excess egg. 

  • Keep turning sides every 7 minutes and cook until the chicken is completely cooked, golden from outside. It would take around 15 to 20 minutes, keep aside once done. 

  • Reserve the skillet and add Vegetables mixture, sprinkle some water.

  • Cook on low flame until all the vegetables are soft and sauce gets thicker. 

  • Now add back the chicken and toss well again. 

Serve this on a bed of Jeera rice.

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