When I think of the time I enjoyed Chinese food the most, all my thoughts are of Shillong. I am born and brought-up in Shillong, capital of Meghalaya, a beautiful hill station of North East of India. Meghalaya is one of the smallest state of India and has three major tribes - Khasi, Jaintia & Garo. Shillong, the home of Khasis mainly, is a small town with very simple lifestyle - no big shopping malls or fancy restaurants but its very clean & beautiful. Shillong has rolling hills around the town, its said that those hills reminded the European settlers of Scotland. Hence, Shillong is also known as "Scotland of the East"...!!!
The cuisine available in most of the restaurants there, other then the local cuisine, is CHINESE. Whether its some special occasion or just wanted to spend time with friends we would always visit a nearby Chinese restaurant...and all of them had excellent food. Among all of them I had 2 favourite - I don't really remember the names however one was near my school and the other in the heart of the main market. Both of them provided huge portions and impossible for one person to finish yet I would finish everything that I ordered....all of the items were really yummy :P . The dishes never looked too fancy however they all had something special in them that everyone enjoyed....and would look for the next excuse to come back to the resturant again.
After I came out of Shillong, I tried Chinese in several restaurants. You must have guessed what I am about to say, its true.....its nothing compared to what I had in Shillong. Now that I have not been home since 3 years slowly my liking for Chinese is also vanishing, largely due to the food. Not that its anything bad with other places, its just not the way I liked it :) . People who know me would disagree cause even now at times I get Chinese as take away, but for someone who used to have Chinese 2 times a week now I get it ones in a month and that too half is wasted. I am just waiting to go home and get back to my kind of Chinese :) .
Today, I am not sharing anything I tried in Shillong but its a dish I saw in a cookery show called Poh's Kitchen. Well in the show they used some ingredients that I didn't get here and they used beef which I don't eat....so why did I still try out the dish. The answer is in what attracted me....well I was attracted with the name Nasi Kandar aka Black Beef, I mean a black looking dish and appealing...hmmmm.... didn't seem to be very possible at the first shot and I just had to give it a try :) . Surprisingly it worked and I enjoyed something new.
|Chicken pieces with bones||250 gms - cut in small cubes|
|Red Bell Pepper||1 number|
|Garlic cloves||3 numbers|
|Red Chilli||2 numbers|
|Tomato Puree||2 tablespoons|
|Dark Soya Sauce||2 tablespoons|
|White Vinegar||1 tablespoon|
|Brown Sugar||1 tablespoon|
|Red Chilli powder||1/2 tablespoon|
|Salt||As per taste|
To marinate :-
- In a bowl take the chicken cubes and add egg, salt, 1 tbs tomato puree ,1 tbs dark soya sauce and Red Chilli powder.
- Mix them all properly. Then add the cornflour and mix again such that every chicken piece is well coated.
- Let it stand for 30 min.
- Cut the red bell pepper in small cubes. And chop the onion, garlic and red chilli finely.
- Add 3 tbs oil in a wok and let it heat.
- Fry the marinated chicken cubes till they are done and the coating is turns dark and crispy.
- Remove the fried chicken cubes in a paper towel and set aside.
- In the same oil add the chopped onion, garlic and red chilli and fry till the onion starts to carmalize.
- Add the cubed red bell pepper and fry for 6-7 min or till the pepper soften.
- In a separate bowl. whisk together the left over tomato puree, dark soya sauce, white vinegar and brown sugar.Add the sauce in the wok and cook.
- Add the fried chicken pieces in the wok and mix again till everything is well coated with the sauce.
- Cook for 5 -6 min more. And the dish is ready.