Once you try this Indian/Pakistani style 15 min Chicken bell pepper Stir fry, it will become a regular in your weekly rotation! This recipe packs a nice kick of heat with spices, balanced with a mild sweetness coming through the peppers and onions. IT is soooo perfect to eat on its own or pair it with roti or rice.
I love how stir fries work beautifully for anyone who meal preps – I cant, for the life in me. But, if you are someone who stays on top of your meal-prep game, this ones for you. Its also super versatile! Which means, you can remix it any which way! Swap out the chicken or the veggies….(more on that later) You get the picture, let’s dive right in.
Is Pakistani Chicken Bell Pepper Stir fry a fusion recipe?
Traditionally, Pakistani/Indian food doesn’t exactly have “stir fries”. Our simple quick chicken/beef dishes are usually named after the utensil used for the cooking rather than METHOD of cooking. For eg. “chicken karhayi” where “karhayi” is a type of wok. So for that reason, and because of the special “chat masala”used in this recipe, it would be called a Fusion style recipe for all intent and purposes. If you are someone who is just starting to cook for yourself, or living away from family, this is the right starting recipe for you.
What pairs well with this pepper chicken stir fry
The best thing about stir fries are the endless pairing possibilities. You can eat it as is if you are in the mood for a low-carb dinner or pair it with some more filling options.
Here are a couple of ideas you can serve/have this fusion style Stir fry:
- Go Low Carb – Eat as is! IF you are watching your carb intake, just skip adding anything at all and dig right in with a fork!
- Quiona or Couscous – Both of these are types of carbs that you can pair your chicken with, if you are avoiding rice for any dietary reason.
- Rice – Add Plain or spicy Basmati or brown rice to make it a heartier meal.
- Noodles or pasta – Another great pairing! Simply toss some noodles in Chili oil and add the stir fry on top! Perfection!
- Tortillas/Roti and flat breads
- Side salad – Add more fibre with a leafy salad or a heartier option like the Asian Cashew Salad
- Potatoes – Regular and sweet potatoes are another cult favorite addition to make stir fries a meal. You can go baked, mashed, wedges, or fries! The fusion batata harra recipe I wrote, is MADE to be paired with this Chicken stir fry btw!
- Dips – Plain yogurt, Labneh, peri peri sauce, guacamole or sour cream. All great options!
My personal favorite combo is the spicy basmati rice, plain yogurt and
a crunch salad on the side. Such a hearty meal and legit feels so fancy that I’ve ended up putting it together for parties too!
Ingredients and Substitutes
Most of the ingredients used in the recipe are pretty straight forward and you most probably already have in your pantry. But, worry not, I STILL have given some alternatives for things you may not have. Keep reading
- Chat masala – Probably the only ingredient that you might not have, is this spice blend called Chat masala commonly used in many South Asian recipes. Chat masala is tangy and spicy and its ok if you don’t have any at hand. You can skip it altogether and just sprinkle some paprika and lemon juice at the end once the recipe is finished.
- Tomato paste – You can use ketchup too as an alternative. If you are into spicy food, and feel adventurous, you can also use Spicy schezwan sauce
- Bellpeppers – Technically, I’d have to say you can’t skip these because they are literally what the dish is named after. But hey this is a super versatile dish! do what you want! you can easily use any other vegetable you like to replace peppers or do a half and half scenario.
- Onions – Red onions add a mild sweetness to balance out all the flavors. Use any onions you have at hand. This is one ingredient I won’t recommend skipping, unless you have a dietary restriction.
- Vinegar – This adds a mild sour element and helps get rid of any smell the chicken might carry. You can use any vinegar you like, or use lemon juice.
- Cilantro – Coriander or cilantro is the herb of choice for this recipe. But if you are one of those who can’t stand cilantro ( I know a few), use parsley instead, its all good
How to make Spicy Chicken Stir Fry
It took me a total of 10 mins to make this recipe from start to finish. But I still labelled it as 15 min recipe to be safe. Here’s a quick pictorial to show you the simple steps you needs to do cook the chicken.
Some notes to keeps in mind while stir frying the chicken
- Use a wide pan or skillet to avoid overcrowding of the chicken or veggies. You can even use a wok or a grillpan.
- Like all good stir fries, this one is also made on medium high flame and cooks super fast! So make sure you have everything ready before you fire up your pan.
- When you add the vegetables in the stir fry, the spices automatically coat them and you don’t need to pre-season the vegetables.
- If you are afraid the recipe may be spicy for you, skip the chili flakes, you can always add it at the end if you feel the need.
Can I use a different protein?
Since this is a quick stir fry, if you want to change your protein, it needs to be something that cooks just as quickly. Boneless fish or flank cut beef strips can both be used. You can also uses bone-in chicken but that may require addition of water and steam cooking for about 10 mins before adding vegetables.
Can I make this recipe less spicy?
Absolutely! You can reduce the spice level by skipping the green chilies and red chili flakes if you think this would be too much for you! You can always sprinkle red chili flakes towards the end, after you’ve done a taste test.
Can I make this in the oven?
OH absolutely! If you aren’t in the mood to cook on the stove, simply marinate all the ingredients together and pop it in the oven for a sheet pan style dinner. For best results allow atleast 1 hr marination, to overnight. Preheat oven at 200°C (390°F) and line a large baking tray with parchment paper, spraying with cooking oil. Place your marinated chicken and vegetables on top and spray with a little oil. You only need to bake for about 20 mins, with one halftime chicken toss. You can also broil for a min towards the end of the baking to give the charred finish.
Can I make this recipe vegetarian?
Like I said, super versatile! Swap the chicken out and use pre-boiled cauliflower florets insteads, OR if you like Paneer (Indian cottage cheese), you can use that too.
Can I grill them in an open flame?
I’ve used the same recipe to thread the chicken and vegetables onto skewer and make it on open grills during BBQ season. Turns out perfect every time!
How long can it last in the fridge?
Any raw marinated chicken can easily last in the fridge for 2 days before grilling it up. Once cooked, it can last for another 2 to 3 days, in a covered container.
Other recipes you might like
Pakistani Chicken Stirfry
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon paprika or Kashmiri Red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon blackpepper powder
- 1 teaspoon chat masala optional – see notes
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
- 300 gm boneless chicken breast cut up in small 2 inch cubes 3 breast fillets
- 1 medium red onion cut up in 1 inch squares 133 gm
- 2 cup bellpeppers cut in 1 inch squares 233 gms
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil or any neutral oil of your choice
- 2 serrano green chilies slit open into halves.
- STOVE COOKING METHOD
- Marinate chicken cubes with all the ingredients in the "chicken marinade". Set aside for atleast 15 mins.
- Heat a large skillet/grill pan/ frying pan of your choice at medium high heat on the stove.
- Add oil and green chilies. Allow green chilies to change color slightly, takes around 1 mins.
- Add marinated chicken, spread out evenly around the pan and leave for 2 to 3 mins without touching or sauteeing.
- After 3 mins, when chicken forms a nice sear on one side, start sauteeing for another 2 mins or until chicken looks golden from all sides.
- Add peppers and onions. Saute for another 2 to 3 mins or until you reach the desired color of the vegetables you prefer. For a slight char on the edges, 2 to 3 mins is enough.
- Turn off flame and adjust seasoning according to your liking. At this stage you can add more lemon juice or chat masala if you like. You can also garnish with more chopped cilantro if you want.
- Serve as is, or with a side of yellow rice and plain yogurt, or tortillas or baked potatoes.
- OVEN BAKED STIR FRY
- Marinate chicken and vegetables together by mixing all the ingredients together in a giant bowl, including oil and green chilies.
- Allow marination for 15 to 20 mins, or overnight if you like.
- Preheat oven at 200°C (390°F).
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and spray with cooking oil. Place the marinated chicken and vegetables on top and spray with a little oil
- Bake for a total of 15 to 20 mins, tossing the chicken and veggies once at the 10 min mark.
- You can also broil for a min towards the end of the baking.
- You can skip chat masala if you don’t have any. Simply use a little extra paprika and lemon juice.
- You can also make this recipe vegetarian by using cauliflower florets or Paneer instead of the chicken.
- You can pair the stir fry with spicy rice and yogurt or eat it as is.
- Marinated chicken can stay in the fridge for upto 2 days and another 2 days after the chicken is cooked.