Gluten free Indo-Chinese Chilli Chicken (paleo, keto)


Chilli chicken is a very popular Indo-Chinese dish and after taking just one bite, you’ll understand why. Think: crispy cubes of fried chicken coated in a slightly sweet and spicy sauce! My recipe is gluten-free and paleo friendly – a dish that everyone can enjoy!

paleo and gluten free Indo Chinese chilli chicken

This recipe for chilli chicken is my gluten-free take on a famous Indo-Chinese dish made by sautéing juicy, fried chicken in a slightly sweet and spicy sauce. This flavor bomb of a sauce coats the pieces of fried chicken and makes this dish irresistible! You won’t be able to tell it’s gluten-free or paleo, trust me!

When I was in college, Roby and I would first call our local Indian buffet (Milan in Charlottesville) to make sure they had chilli chicken on the menu. If not, it wasn’t worth a trip. It was my absolute favorite thing to eat up until I had to switch to a gluten-free diet. Giving up chilli chicken was a little heart breaking (along with my beloved chole bhature but that’s another sob story for another day).

Thankfully, you can make chilli chicken yourself at home – and you can make it gluten-free! My version is a bit healthier, but it doesn’t taste healthier. The chicken is still deep fried (but I use avocado oil) and the sauce is just as delicious thanks to coconut aminos – though I’m sure tamari would be fine too.

Indo-Chinese cuisine is crazy popular all over India but this type of cuisine was actually developed by a small Chinese community in India. Some other popular dishes you may have heard of: hakka noodles, manchurian, chilli paneer, garlic chicken/paneer, jalfrezi chicken, etc. While these recipes are not quite Indian and not quite Chinese… the combined flavors are out of this world tasty. It may just be the best fusion ever.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of my gluten free chilli chicken!

paleo and gluten free Indo Chinese chilli chicken

Gluten free Chili Chicken (paleo, keto)

paleo and gluten free Indo Chinese chilli chicken

Gluten free Chili Chicken (paleo, keto)

This is a popular Indo-Chinese dish made by sautéing juicy, fried chicken in a slightly sweet and spicy sauce.
5 from 3 reviews
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Servings 4
Cuisine Indo-Chinese


Crispy Chicken:

  • 1 ½ pounds skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Avocado oil or sustainable palm oil enough to fry

Stir-fry Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons oil or fat of choice
  • 3 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 onion chopped in large pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped in large pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1- inch ginger minced
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons canned tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Scallions optional for garnish


To Make the Chicken:

  • Add the chicken, arrowroot powder, egg, salt and black pepper to a bowl and mix well.
  • Heat oil in a wok or a deep, wide bottomed pot to 360°F.
  • Fry the chicken a few pieces at a time, until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside for now.

To Make the Sauce/Coating:

  • Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the dried red chilies and onion. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the edges of the onions begin to caramelize.
  • Add the green bell pepper to the pan and continue to stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Next, add the garlic and ginger, briefly stir-fry, then quickly add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Add the fried chicken, mix well, serve.


*Kashmiri chili is used mainly for its bright red color, so if you can't find it feel free to replace it with paprika or if you like spicy food then use Indian red chili powder or cayenne instead to taste.
I suggest gathering the spices listed in the stir-fry sauce together in a small bowl in advance - this way you can add them in quickly at the same time.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Kishan says

    Hi Ashley, this looks great but just wondering about the arrowroot if it’s keto? Also could you air fry the chicken instead as I HATE deep frying 🙂 Your food is delicious 😉

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Kishan, I don’t think that arrowroot is keto-friendly, however, maybe you can work it into your carbs? Also, I haven’t tried air-frying this recipe – but I do think the air-fryer does a good job with chicken so hopefully it’ll work well here.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mari, the sauce is a bit different but both dishes have an Indo-Chinese flavor. I prefer chilli chicken to manchurian – if you try this, you’ll have to let me know what you think!

  2. Sarah says

    5 stars
    Hey Ashley,

    I’ve been slacking in my posts but had to let you know how amazing this dish is! I’m not surprised you would call ahead to make sure it was on the menu 🙂 Indo-Chinese dishes are a bit hit-or-miss with me, but this was fantastic!

    Also, congratulations on your new addition! I’m sure you’re both over the moon and overwhelmed…I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying family time 🙂

  3. Priya says

    Is there an alternative for arrowroot and tapioca powder/flour that we can use if we are doing a SIBO diet? Maybe coconut, cassava, or almond flour?

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