So I was watching Iron Chef last week, and the challenging chef (who was of Indian Origin) made a dish he called a take-off of “Chicken 65″. He then went on to explain that while the dish varies widely depending on where you have it, the rumor is that it got it’s name from a chicken preparation in which the bird is cut up into 65 pieces. His certainly wasn’t that bountiful, and I wasn’t planning on staying true to the number either, but I was intrigued, and after looking at a number of drastically different “chicken 65″ recipes online, I compiled, and came up with my own Vegetarian version. This is not quite Vegan, but could easily become so, and I’ll include notes to that effect. It’s also generally red, but in looking at recipes, I realized that effect was coming from food coloring (in every instance) and I’m not into randomly coloring my food when it tastes just as good without.
1 recipe V’con Simple Seitan
1 teaspoon allspice
1 egg / 1 tbsp. energ-G
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. minced ginger
one small onion, sliced thin
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 tsp. all purpose flour
2 cups plain yogurt/soy yogurt
2 Jalapenos, minced w/seeds
2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. tandoori or garam masala
1 whole lime, squeezed
1 green onion, to garnish
1. Make the simple seitan recipe from V’con, but instead of making three large sections to boil, pull apart “nugget-sized” section from the mix, and drop those into the broth. Treat as usual.
2. Mix cornstarch, flour, egg/energ-G, ginger, garlic, cayenne, and salt. Add about 1/4 cup water.
3. Combine Seitan and above batter, marinate 10-20 minutes.
4. Fry the seitan in peanut oil until crispy on all sides, and remove.
5. Leaving a little of the oil, add the minced jalapenos (I kept the seeds, if you like less spice, remove them), yogurt, masala, and onion. Mix and fry for about a minute, then reintroduce the seitan.
5. Fry everything for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heart, add juice of one lime, more salt if needed, and garnish with green onion.
I can NOT extol the virtues of this dish enough, it was AMAZING. It has a solid heat to it, but is also perfectly balanced in terms of acid and salt. The seitan soaked up all the flavor of the marinade, and the yogurt gave the dish a perfect twang I couldn’t have predicted if I tried. In the history of recipes I’ve put together on my own, this was probably the best EVER. I ate it over picollini (mini-bowties), which is not very “traditional-Indian”, but what can I say, the guy in the Barilla Commercials is HOT. (Don’t worry, my boyfriend already knows he’s got competition)