Fo was to drop by yesterday. In her honour, we bichaoed the reddest chaadar that we have to replicate the red carpet; then drew the curtains to diminish its jazz and give the house a cool, muted ambience; and made summery dishes like tok daal (masoor dal with raw mango), aloo posto, mango chutney & the like. The cooler decided to konk off on Friday night, much to P's embarrassment and having ACs in the house is as good as not having any because this is Ghaziabad where you have powercuts for atleast 8 hours. And that's a kind estimate. Because on unkind days you have it for 14. Like an errant child, you know it will play up when there are guests.
I had strict instructions not to cook because she would come and make lunch. Which seemed doable till 11.30. The clock ticks away, the host in me panics, it is past 12.30, no signs of the head chef, 12.45 the door-bell rings with the impatience of Sangma and you know it is Fo. She comes in with the exuberance of spring and gets a surprise package for lunch. Rohini! We are all meeting exactly a year later. Hugs & hellos over, the chef is all ready to cook, (she has carried raw chicken to cook and a pair of change to get into the act) when she is told lunch is ready, can we please eat? 'What?! Why did you cook? Did I not tell you that I'll come & cook?' etc is told to me loudly, reprimandingly. With the docility of a big sister, I quietly listen to the rant and start frying the beguni. Not too summery, this one, but goes well with the tok daal.
Ma has learnt this Shada Chicken recipe from a cookery show on Zee Bangla. Because there is no haldi used, it goes by the name of white. While she saw this a while ago, she is yet to make it. Mother passed me the recipe when I asked her for something new & cook-friendly. You don't want to spend too long in the kitchen in a 43°C plus temperature, guests or no guests!
The first morsel of the non-veg course and Fo goes 'yummm'. So I tell Ma that her dish is a hit. Thank you.
1. 1 kg chicken- deskinned & cut
2. 1 medium onion- roughly chopped
3. 1 small garlic- peeled
4. 1 small cube ginger- roughly chopped
5. 2-3 tsp coriander powder
6. Red chilli powder/ground pepper/green chilli paste- as preferred
7. 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp mustard oil
8. 1-2 tsp vinegar
9. 1-2 tsp sugar
10. Salt to taste
11. 1 cup water(optional- only if you want more gravy)
1. Grind onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli to fine paste.
2. Mix all the ingredients and let chicken marinate for at least an hour.
Go back to sleep. When you wake up,
3. Put the marinaded chicken in a non-stick wok, cover it and let it cook on medium flame for 20-25 mins.
4. Remove from flame when chicken is tender and oil has left the wok.
Very yum, low fat, not too much masala, no frying involved, goes well
with both rice & roti. Jeene ko aur kya chahiye?!
The pyaz kachodi that Ro got became our dinner; Fo's raw chicken is still in the fridge, demanding immediate attention; the giant rajbhogs temptingly peep out of the shelves and ask to be eaten and somebody in my house wears a smug look that only a stacked store brings about....
Thank you for coming over Gurlz. You made my day.