The 100th post had to be special. And it is incidental that it is happening today, the 23rd of April, the birth anniversary of William Shakespeare. If you've followed me to my Mecca, you know what this gentleman means to a literature lover. Sadly, history does not record what Shakespeare's favourite food was. There goes my chance of cooking in his honour!
"Wake up, you log of wood! WAKE UP! He's here!"
It is impossible for me to open my eyes despite the rude jolt. And it is not even morning. It is 4pm and I am being roughed up to wakefulness because our guest has arrived.
I am a disciplined person who does not sleep in the afternoon. Normally. Today was different. We partied till late last night. Woke up early today. And it has been a spin from then on. And then all that cooking followed by cleaning left me exhausted. Having set the house for tonight's dinner, I was in deep siesta when I am shoved awake because Bill has come to dinner. Bill, short for William, our guest tonight. William Shakespeare.
He loves methi parantha, had eaten it at our house once before & wants a repeat today. I suggest palak, he refuses. Something authentically oriental, is what he normally wants when he comes visiting. The Kasuri Murgh will make him create another masterpiece. The zarda pulao will intoxicate him into another sonnet & very possibly, we'll need to put him up for the night. That is okay, the carriage can wait outside as long as the horses behave themselves. They should, it is not as cold as it was last week. Good food & wine is what the Bard wants & he shall get both. It is his birthday afterall. P has baked him a cake too. 'Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers', Bill had written in Romeo & Juliet. Which means we have to eat with him. He's not buying my bhartiya nari funda that I am to eat after the guests. Suits me fine.
I skid out of the bed, quickly freshen up & get into my evening gown. The transformation is almost magical. From those rough overalls to the elegant gown, from the oily nose to the rouged cheeks, from the pallor to the paint. What takes time in a dream world! If wishes were horses, beggars would ride....Before the clock strikes twelve, the carriage changes back to a pumpkin & Cindrella loses a shoe, quickly note what's cooking today. Gather as much friends, before the dream bubble bursts!
1. 1 kg chicken
2. 1 large onion chopped
3. 2 large potatoes- halved (optional)
4. 1 tbsp kasuri methi(dried fenugreek leaves)
5. Red chilli powder- as preferred
6. 1 tsp Kashmiri mirch - for colour
7. 1/2 tbsp butter
8. 1-2 tsp sugar
9. Salt to taste
1. 1 cup yogurt
2. 1 tbsp grated onion
2. 2 tsp ginger, garlic paste/grated
1. Marinate the chicken & leave aside for at least an hour or two.
2. Fry chopped onion & potato till slightly brown & add the marinaded chicken. Add Kashmiri mirch, red chilli powder, sugar & salt and cover the wok.
3. Let chicken cook on medium heat till tender.
4. Open lid, increase heat, let gravy thicken and add kasuri methi when gravy is the consistency you like.
5. Add a dollop of butter, mix well & remove from flame.
Serve piping hot with roti/naan/rice. And prepare for your guests to stay longer after the finger-licking meal.