Thursday, 31 August 2017

CURRY CHICKEN


Basking in the joy of a long weekend!..... some good cooking and eating together with my men. I have nothing much to do all day through, neither I am comfortable with frequent get-togethers, given my inherent nature of "staying confined and content to and with I, me, myself"..... a nature that was very much disliked in my newly wed husband's household...... I overheard a couple of times .... " bouta ekta ekla chora hoyeche, sharadin gharey dhukey boshey ache"..... meaning the daughter- in -law is very self centric and remains confined to her room all day through. They indeed had reason to complain because every household aspires for a bubbly daughter- in -law full of warmth..... but I am one person who is too lethargic to change her 'self'.... do we really can change our nature? My dearest friend T did support me saying leave her at herself..... the one who stayed only 3-4 months a year at home.... rest of the time he was sailing at the sea.... the wife and father running to the neighbourhood uncle's home to receive his call till we had our own. Do not ask me the reason why I took so much interest in cooking after stepping into this island.... I was still in utter disbelief.... are the three of us really going to live together? Finally after 13 long years of marriage.... we tasted how a true home is like. Off course I missed my family there as much as they did. My daddy had a mild heart attack just after few days I left Kolkata and within few years phew... vanished ..... I love it when kids take to cooking..... do it often.... you may not get a chance to serve your parents later in life. I hear a similar story from an old lady.... S you know my man left early because he could not take the pain of staying far from his kids.... such statements are laced with emotions and we should stay quiet and listen... someone is trying to share the pain and ease heart saying so.

I can see mourning after departures and what is called missing the partner. I can also see how some people take advantage of situation and storm in into your own household. They take mean ways to earn your confidence and go to the extent of poking their nose and talk ill of your partner.... adding more to an already tensed relationship. There are a couple of friends who share their deepest secrets with me.... a sincere note to them.... make your family your priority.... spend some 'us' time together and do not allow anyone to speak against your partner and create a rift between 'you'.... they cannot be your true friends...... neither should you speak too much about your home to others. If I tell all these to them directly, they will not listen to me.... I do not have that aura, or a persona to take hold of people.... I can never be a people pleaser... a raw deal as I always call myself. I learnt cooking way after marriage, I did it for the new household I became a part of.... come on the women did not fight always there... more for my visiting guest-in-honour husband. The two things I learnt first were chicken curry and matar paneer.... is that for this reason the son loves these two the most?... haha... The only praise my not so much of a friend mother-in-law makes of me is my cooking.... wish there was an express train service between the island and  the cities of India... I may not want to live under one roof with her but very much wish to pack food boxes for them...their cook takes advantage of their age and serves non-sense.... that is where I get angry... if you can watch television all day through with poor eyesight, why cannot you cook a macher jhol bhaat, torkari, daal? Am I too wrong saying so?... My father-in-law has done immense hardships throughout his life, he deserves this little bit of care.

However patriarch Indian society is, there is a parallel trend among many of sidelining the husband's parents and embracing one's own and dragging the husband too in the process.... it definitely digs a hole in the relationship and unacceptable too. In this context, I must mention my friend Dr. Nishi Pulugurtha.... an Andhraite who married a Bengali and living with both mother and maa-in-law under one roof. She attends college all day, freaks out with friends often, comes back home and cooks non-vegetarian food for her husband.... herself been a vegetarian. She speaks for feminism. There is my friend Saubhik's wife Mousumi.... who left her job in USA to attend his ailing mother in Kolkata leaving Saubhik back there.... she is a feminist. My friend from school Sandip Mukherjee who married a vibrant Punjabi kudi Varshini Kapoor Mukherjee told me she left Delhi and a lucrative job for few months to take care of her maa-in-law living in Kolkata. I like that girl.... she eats "tyangra macher jhol with rice".... with love... courtesy the husband.... she is a feminist who always puts a like on the happening pictures of her bald husband who replicated Kishore Kumar perfectly at school ..... There is my brother's wife who is a teacher... visits her parents after school everyday and spent alone in a hospital cabin for a couple of days to attend her paa-in-law.... made an effort to discover my parent's birth certificates just to celebrate their birthday.... who are not so rich people ..... she is a feminist too..... and I define feminism as this.... either way.... if a chauvinist requires a woman to look after his home, to give birth to his children.... why cannot he respect the women around? Hey, we need each other to build a better world. .... "bahut gyan diye felley je gyanoda debi".... "shei jonyo kokhon je cha er sangey ekta porota aar aloo-peyaj-roshuner chochori kheye fellam kheyali nei"..... I am preaching too much... in the process I had a paratha with aloo-onion-garlic fry... that I cooked for my men's lunch box. Now I am free for the entire day. This is high time I should enjoy sharing with you this island's favourite or perhaps of South East Asia's favourite? Curry Chicken done with lots of coconut milk and a specially made spice mix. I did it for the first time at home and used a store bought spice-mix which has salt, sugar? vegetable oil, candle-nuts, shallots, garlic, chillies, lemon-grass, young ginger, turmeric in it so far I can remember. You can mix and match accordingly. I love to have the one we get at Toast Box who usually serve it with French? buns .... You see I do not qualify to be a food blogger in the first place ...... At home we have chicken / mutton curries with either rice or South Asian breads.... my food posts always reflect what we eat at home. The perfect blend of spices had been complimented by the use of thick coconut milk. To it I added some fried sliced onion and lemon juice, little of cumin-coriander powder in the marination of the chicken. The recipe is an adaption from a similar one from rasamalaysia.com. There is some celebration this weekend for many throughout the world.... I wish them all happy celebration with this island's favourite "Curry Chicken.".... which has to have potato in it.

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INGREDIENTS :
Chicken : 1kg [medium cut]
Potato : 2[medium]
Spice Mix : I used a readymade one [you can mix and blend some salt, red chillies, candle nuts or peanuts, small onions or shallots, galangal or ginger, lemon grass, garlic, turmeric, vegetable oil]
Coconut milk : 100ml
Lemon Juice : 2-3 tbsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Onion : 1[medium] sliced
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Curry Leaves : 7-8 [I was short of it that day... had to skip]
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2tbsp

METHOD :
The lazy me used this spice-mix to prepare this delectable curry chicken with potatoes.



Usually it is done with skin on the chicken but I prefer to discard the skin.... it is habitual in fact.

We will marinate the washed chicken pieces with salt, turmeric, lemon juice, cumin, coriander and red chilli powders for an hour or so.

Peel the potatoes, cut each one into 4 pieces and wash thoroughly. Rub with little salt and turmeric. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok. Add the curry leaves if you are using. Stir and then add the sliced onions. Once they turn golden brown, add the spice mix.

We will keep stirring the spice mix for 1 minute at low heat. We will add the chicken pieces along with the marinade. Fold in well and cover.

We will open cover and stir every 3 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the marinated potato pieces. Fold in well and cover cook for 3-4 minutes stirring in between.

Open cover and add the coconut milk and a medium cup water. We will cook not more than 2-3 minutes without cover, else the curry may curdle.

Serve hot with your choice of mains, we at home love it with steamed rice or South Asian breads.


4 comments :

  1. Oh yum. Such a sheer pleasure. I only can cook chicken when my other half-half is away, this is the chicken curry I am gonna put my fingers into.

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