Try this restaurant-style Chilli Chicken at home with this easy recipe. Crispy and flavorful is how I would describe this Chilli Chicken. Boneless chicken is marinated in chinese sauces, fried until crispy, this is stir fried with lots of ginger, garlic, onions, bell peppers and sauces.

Crispy Saucy Chilli Chicken piece in chopsticks
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Hands down, Chilli Chicken is my favorite appetizer to order at an Indian restaurant (or Chilli Paneer if my hubby is there). You will find the best chili chicken at small street-side restaurants all over India.

Most people don’t think about making it at home. However, it is a pretty easy recipe, and you probably have most of the ingredients needed at home. 

All you need to make this deliciousness is chicken, onions, peppers, spring onions, lots of ginger, garlic, and Chinese sauces. You can make it in the air fryer or a pan on the stovetop.

Serve it as an appetizer or enjoy it as a gravy with Hakka Noodles or fried rice. You will love it!

Check out my collection of 25+ Best Indian Appetizers.

Watch How to Make Chilli Chicken

What is Chili Chicken?

Chilli Chicken is a sweet, spicy, crispy appetizer that is most popular in Indo-Chinese cuisine. Crispy marinated chicken is sautéed in a spicy sweet sauce along with onions and bell peppers. This Chilli Chicken can be made as a dry appetizer or as a gravy to enjoy with rice.

This chili chicken is crispy on the outside and coated with flavorful sweet spicy sauces on the outside. It is super flavorful, moist, and crispy – everything you want in a chicken starter (appetizer).

You might be wondering what is Indo-chinese cuisine? – I am picking this from wikipedia – The adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes.

You will find that the dishes have lots of garlic and are much more spicier. The favorites are chow Mein, chop suey, chilli paneer or potatoes, sweet corn soup…and the list can go on and on!

My favorite Indo-Chinese street-side restaurant in Mumbai is Uncle’s Kitchen. If you are in Mumbai, do not miss going there!

Back to this Chilli Chicken, I usually fry the chicken before adding it to the sauce. If you want to make it healthier, you can air fry the chicken, just like in Chicken 65 recipe.

This recipe is a dry chilli chicken version, however, if you prefer the gravy version to enjoy as a main dish with rice or noodles, see details about that below.

chili chicken indian served in a plate with spicy sauce

How to make Chilli Chicken?

This recipe uses the very basic ingredients which are generally available in the pantry.

I use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe, as the chicken thighs remain juicy and moist after they are fried. 

To marinate the chicken, I have used ginger, garlic, egg, Chinese sauces and all-purpose flour, and cornflour to get the crispy texture. For frying, you can use the oil of your choice. I used canola oil.

For the stir fry, I used a lot of chopped ginger, garlic, and green chili. You can reduce the amount of green chilli if you don’t want your chili chicken too hot. 

Apart from these, I add onions and bell peppers to get some veggies in with the chicken, and then the basic Chinese sauces like soy sauce, vinegar, and red chili sauce are added.

Let’s talk about the chili sauce. I like to use Sambal Oelek chili paste. Another option is to use Ching’s Secret schezwan chutney (I like the chutney better than the sauce from this brand). You can also make schezwan sauce at home if you prefer.

Marinate the Chicken

  • Start with cutting the chicken into thin slices. Then, add it to a bowl along with all the marinade ingredients. Mix it all well so that the chicken is well coated. You want the chicken to get all the flavors.
  • Now if you want to make this spicier, add Kashmiri chili powder or some extra chili sauce.
  • Keep this marinated chicken aside for about 20 minutes. You can also refrigerate it overnight.
  • At this time, prepare the other ingredients, such as chopping ginger and garlic and cutting onions and peppers into squares. You want all the stir-fry ingredients ready before frying the chicken so that you can have crispy fried chicken added to the sauce.
Marinating chilli chicken

Fry Chicken

  • Heat oil in a shallow pan with about half an inch of oil. Once the oil is hot, add chicken pieces and fry for 5-8 minutes.
  • Turn a couple of times till the chicken is golden brown on both sides. Make sure not to overcook.
  • Take the chicken out in a bowl lined with kitchen towel paper.
Frying chilli chicken

Okay, this chicken is so good as is. I probably eat more than I should, under the excuse of trying :-). Also, my daughter loves these fried chicken bites.

Fried marinated chicken in a bowl over a kitchen towel

Air Fry Chicken

Preheat the air fryer to 380F for 3 minutes. Place the chicken pieces in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry for 10-12 minutes. Shake the basket halfway through.

Chicken fried in the air fryer

Prepare the Sauce & Stirfry

  • Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and have them ready.
  • Have all the stir fry ingredients ready, ideally before frying chicken, so that the chicken stays crispy when added to the stir fry.
  • Now, the final step is to stir fry. Heat oil in a wok or large pan. We want to cook the veggies on high heat and only cook them for a couple of minutes.
  • Heat oil in the wok. Then add ginger, garlic, and green chili pepper, and sauté for a minute. Add onions, red and green bell pepper, then sauté for 1-2 minutes. Now add the white part of the spring onions and sauté for another minute.
  • Add the mixed sauce and then add the cornstarch slurry while stirring continuously. Mix and cook till the sauce thickens in about 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken and toss for a minute till the sauce coats the chicken.
Stir fry chilli chicken with onions and peppers

Garnish with the green part of spring onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy immediately!

Chilli Chicken with onions and peppers in a pan

Tips to Make Perfect Chilli Chicken

  • It is important to keep all the ingredients ready before frying the chicken. This will help to ensure that the chicken remains crispy in the final stir fry.
  • Adjust the spice level to taste by adjusting the red chili sauce and green chili in the stir fry. You can also add Kashmiri Red Chili powder or Schezwan sauce to adjust the spice. I like these two options as they also add to the wonderful red color of the final dish.
  • When frying the chicken, do not overcook. You just want to get it golden brown on all sides.
  • When stir-frying the veggies, it is important to do so on high heat. This will help to get flash-cooked veggies with a slight crunch.
  • Make this chilli chicken as an appetizer or as a gravy, depending on how you would like to enjoy it.
Crispy Saucy Chilli Chicken piece in chopsticks

I am sure you are wondering how you can get the restaurant-style crispy chili chicken and how you can have it stay that way when serving for parties.

The main thing here is to not stir-fry the chicken until you are ready to serve. If possible, also fry the chicken just before you stir fry.

How to Make Chilli Chicken with Gravy?

You can use the exact same recipe as listed. I have already included lots of ginger, garlic, and veggies in the recipe. Just add 1 cup water with the cornstarch to make the slurry. Everything else remains the same.

Chilli Chicken over white rice in a bowl, with spicy chili sauce in a small bowl

How to Serve?

You can serve this Chilli Chicken as an appetizer. I like to have schezwan sauce on the side to dip (yes, I love the extra spice!).

If you make the gravy version, then serve it with chow mein or fried rice.

How to Store?

This Chili Chicken is ideally best enjoyed hot. If you want to make it ahead, then cook the veggies and the chicken separately.

Then, when ready to serve, reheat the chicken for 2-3 minutes, preferably in an air fryer, to get the crisp texture. Then, saute it together with the veggies in a skillet.

If you love Indian and Chinese food, you cannot miss this absolute favorite Chilli Chicken. Give it a try, and let me know how it turns out!

More Indian Chicken Recipes You’ll Love

4.84 from 48 votes

Chilli Chicken

Make restaurant-style Chilli Chicken at home with this easy recipe. Crispy and flavorful is how I would describe this Chilli Chicken. Boneless chicken is marinated in flavorful sauces, fried until crispy, this is stir fried with lots of ginger, garlic, onions, bell peppers and sauces.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb Chicken thighs, boneless
  • Oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoon Oil, for stir fry
  • 12 cloves Garlic, finely diced
  • 1 inch Ginger, finely diced
  • 3-4 Green Chili Pepper, cut lengthwise, adjust to taste
  • 2 cup Red Onions, cut into squares and layers separated
  • 1 cup Red Bell Pepper, cut into squares
  • 1 cup Green Bell Pepper, cut into squares
  • 1/4 cup Spring Onions, whites and green separated
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • Sesame seeds , for garnish

For the chicken marinade:

For the Stir Fry Sauce

Instructions 

Marinate the chicken

  • Cut the chicken into thin slices about an inch in size. Put them in a large bowl.
  • Add all the marinade ingredients to the bowl and mix well with the chicken. Set aside for about 20 minutes. You can also refrigerate overnight. While the chicken is resting, prep the stir fry ingredients.

Fry the chicken*

  • Stovetop option: Heat oil in a shallow pan with about 1/2 inch oil. Once the oil is hot, add chicken pieces and fry for 5-8 minutes. Turn couple of times till chicken is golden brown on both sides. Make sure to not overcook. Take the chicken out in a bowl lined with kitchen towel paper. (see notes to air fry)
  • Air Fryer option: Preheat the air fryer to 380F for 3 minutes. Place the chicken pieces in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry for 10-12 minutes. Shake basket half way through. 

Prepare the sauce and stir fry

  • Mix all the stir fry sauces in a bowl.
  • Make a slurry wiith mixing the cornstarch and water.
  • In a wok or pan, heat oil for the stir fry on high heat. Add ginger, garlic and green chili pepper. Saute for a minute.
  • Add onions, red and green bell pepper. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the white part of the spring onions and saute for another minute.
  • Add the mixed sauces. Then add the cornstarch slurry. Mix and cook till the sauce thickens.
  • Add the chicken and toss for a minute till the sauce coats the chicken.
  • Garnish with green part of spring onions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

Chili Sauce: I like to use Sambal Oelek chili paste. Another option is to use Ching’s Secret schezwan chutney (I like the chutney better than the sauce from this brand). Remember Schezwan chutney is spicy, so adjust the amount to taste. 
Tips to make Perfect Chilli Chicken:
  • It is important to keep all the ingredients ready before frying the chicken. This will help to ensure that the chicken remains crispy in the final stir fry.
  • Adjust the spice level to taste by adjusting the red chili sauce and green chili in the stir fry. You can also add Kashmiri Red Chili powder or Schezwan sauce to adjust the spice. I like these two options as they also add to the wonderful red color of the final dish.
  • When frying the chicken, do not overcook. You just want to get it golden brown on all sides.
  • When stir frying the veggies, it is important to do so on high heat. This will help to get flash cooked veggies with a slight crunch.
  • Make this chilli chicken as an appetizer or as a gravy depending on how you would like to enjoy it. 

Nutrition

Calories: 444kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 23gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 1074mgPotassium: 568mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1455IUVitamin C: 92mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese, Indian
Diet: Dairy-free
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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4.84 from 48 votes (35 ratings without comment)

31 Comments

  1. Followed the recipe exactly, and it came out so delicious!!! My whole family loved it, will definitely make again.

  2. Thanks for sharing this amazing white chicken chilli recipe and i found this recipe really an amazing recipe.

  3. I really like this amazing chicken chilli recipe. One of the best chicken recipe i have ever tried.

  4. Excellent way you described it. It really helped to understand everything so nicely. It is my favorite Indo Chinese recipe. It would be nice if you elaborate more lines to its gravy version. Rest of it is superb. Looking forward for more stir fry recipes.

  5. Hi Meeta, would you make chilli paneer using the same method, or does it need adapting somewhat? Thanks – Yasmin

    1. Hi Yasmin – The same method will work well for chilli paneer. Would love to hear if you tru it!