The scientists are back from Vienna and are trying to make sense of Bangalore. Why do you have to wait so long for the cylinder, why do they play such loud bhajans for the Gods, why is there so much traffic, do we really need a maid, can't we do our own work etc. Welcome home, we tell them. You'll soon get used to all this. And bless your stars, you are in Blr. Bangalore is one of the best places to live in. The weather is better than in most parts of the country; the traffic, well, we won't scare you with the bottleneck stories; the maid, you'll soon figure out that jhadu pochcha bartan is taking a toll on your scientific temperament and keeping a maid is a necessary evil here. You want to have a free mind to dwell on discoveries & inventions, not worry about why there is so much dust on the window pane!
Meet Saptarshi & Moumita, one a Mathematician, another a Chemistry champ. Having left the Indian shores to further their studies in Austria, they have come back with Doctor prefixed to their names. That makes us, the family, very proud of Bhaitu & Mou. What warms our hearts more, especially the elderly hearts in the family, is that they are both excellent cooks. Scientists who cook! Now isn't that a heady cocktail? It sure is. All you bachelors/spinsters reading this, don't eye the duo. They are married to each other :)
I learnt about Nihari/Nehari from this scholarly couple. While Bhaitu mentioned it in passing, it was Mou who gave me an excellent step-by-step. So inspiring was the narrative that the next outing saw me picking up their recommended spice from the store! What better Poila Boishak dinner could there be. Popular as the national dish of Pakistan, Nihari is usually eaten in the early hours of the morning. A rich spicy variety of meat, it is a delicacy that is enjoyed by all who like it hot! Ingredients:
1. 1kg chicken(mutton/beef)
2. Fry the chicken pieces & add the nihari masala. Fry on low flame for 5 minutes and add water.
2. 1 medium onion- sliced
3. 1/2 cup aata(wheatflour)- water added to make thin paste
4. 50gm(1 pouch) Nehari masala
5. 1 tsp ginger juliennes- to garnish
6. 1 tbsp chopped coriander- to garnish
7. Oil to cook
3. Let chicken cook on low-medium flame till cooked.
4. When chicken is tender, pour the aata paste & keep stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed.
5. Add the fried onion, let nihari cook for 5-7 minutes till oil comes on surface.
Traditionally , nihari is garnished with chopped chillies & lemon too. Present however you want to.
The readymade spices contain salt, do not add any. If your family likes food less spicy, use 1/2 or 3/4th of the pouch. As the academic couple toss between a dishwater & a TV, you try out Nihari this weekend.