I am a malayali, and like every other Keralite, I too practise the “santosham vanaal kudikenam, dukham vanaalum kudikenam, Jaichal kudikanam, thotaal kudikenam, promotion kitiyaal.…” You get the drift, don’t you? We mark every possible scenario in life with a drink. Only, in my case, the drink is a Pepsi or a coke instead of gin and rum. Though I am not proud of it, I must confess that I’ve been drinking from a very young age. Guess my parents were lenient about it because they rightly realized that perfection would be burden for a girl in the present day and time.
Anyway, this meant that every time I won a competition in school, my dad bought me a Pepsi. Every time, I didn’t win, he bought me two tins – one in the afternoon, and one on his way back from work to cheer me up. And one of his way back from work on regular days too, because he knew he couldn’t come home to his kids empty handed. Given a choice between chocolate and soft drinks, I almost always chose the latter. The dentist who came to my school showed us a picture of how an egg shell kept in a glass of soft drink had developed cracks whereas the other egg shell kept in water remained shiny and white. I went home and observed some “erosion” on my teeth. But I was unperturbed because I knew that the dentist was an idiot who valued beauty and health over pleasure.
When I came across recipes of chicken dishes that used Pepsi/cola in it, I knew I must it a try. And as always, the drink delivered.
Cola chicken is a sweet, salty and tangy chicken dish which reminds you of the Chinese dishes from Indo Chinese restaurants you are familiar with. It is flavored with the usual Chinese sauces but the Pepsi gives it a very unique flavour which is what makes it different from other dishes.
- Mix the chicken with all the ingredients for marinade. Let it rest for half an hour atleast.
- Heat oil in a pan or wok. Toss in spring onions whites and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes to sweat the spring onions. Add red chili powder and saute for a minute over low flame.
- Add chicken pieces and fry for a couple of minutes on each side till flesh becomes whitish. Add remaining sauces and mix well. Pour in pepsi/cola, cover and cook till chicken is done and sauce is thick. Add capsicum and cook for for two more minutes.
- If you feel the sauce is too thin even after chicken is completely cooked, mix two teaspoons of cornflour with a quarter cup of cold water and pour it into the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Top with spring onion greens and toasted peanuts.
PS: Do you remember the blue Pepsi introduced in India during one of the cricket cups?