Long before India discovered Sichuan cuisine, before chicken manchurian was invented in Bombay, there was chilli chicken.
Chilli chicken is not so much a recipe, as it’s an idea. It’s a dish that the Chinese used to make for their Indian guests. And as long as it had lots of chilli, they didn’t really care how authentic it was.
Chilli chicken was invented in Calcutta by Chinese restaurateurs — their way of creating a spicy dish to please Indians.
Now, every Chinese restaurant across India has its own version. Some are with bones, some are boneless, some are dry, some have gravy, some are starters, others are mains.