It’s a Sunday, and most other people waking up to anticipate a sumptuous brunch. However, these are people who have their weekends off. Not me. I have to dash off to work a bit early today, but it’s still in the afternoon.
But like I said, it’s Sunday. And the wife likes to continue the tradition of the hearty Sunday meal from when we were both back home. So this is her effort at homemade chicken curry, to be eaten with the kind of parotta/parantha mentioned earlier.
We start with the curry. Actually, the chicken first. Pooja says the pieces must be big, like they are when chicken curry is cooked for the family. That’s 700 gram of chicken, enough for the finished dish to feed four people.
Pooja first washed the chicken, then soaked it in boiling hot water for a few minutes to kill germs. Note: She did not boil the chicken. She boiled the water and poured it in the container with the chicken.
Next, she coated the chicken with a marinade of mustard oil, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and salt. It was left to soak in some juices and release some others for the time being, as Pooja went about preparing the rest of the dish.
First came the tomatoes. Three of them went into the purée that was made in the mixer.
Next came the onions. Two were put in the mixer, and out came a putty-like, onion paste. Another was cut up into quarters, to be put in the dish as is.
Preparation done, now comes the cooking part.
Two tablespoons of mustard oil, yes, mustard oil were heated in the pan for a few minutes till they achieved the runny consistency of water. Then, in went the onions, the paste as well as the bigger pieces. The yellow colour is the mustard oil. Pungent, but also flavourful!
The onion was fried till brown. Then, in went the tomato puree, and the whole thing was stirred properly. Red chilli powder, dried coriander powder, cumin powder and salt went in at this point.
Let all the spices and the seasoning mix, before adding the marinated chicken and stirring some more.
Let the chicken cook to some extent from the juices inside it.
Then, pour in some water. You do want the curry/gravy, right?
Now, bring the gravy to boil. This helped the chicken absorb a lot of the spices, and the gravy, in turn, imbibed the beautiful chicken flavour.
After some of the water evaporates, put in some freshly chopped coriander/cilantro, and the dish is usually ready.
But not this dish. The wife wanted the gravy somewhat thicker. Or as they say in Bengal, “kosha”. Every mouthful will be a festival of flavours! So after the water was reduced some more, this is what the dish looked like.
Now, it seemed to me that a lot of my readers from outside India were interested in learning the exact technique of tearing an Indian flatbread – a roti, parantha/parotta or naan. I had covered the issue towards the end of an earlier post. However, this time, I decided to break it down for you good folks, with Pooja once again obliging as the model.
The first step, as you will recall, is getting the grip right. The index finger holds down one part of the flatbread, while the thumb and middle finger pull a nearby part.
Continue doing this till you have a chunk of the flatbread separated.
And then, dip it into your own bowl of the dish – the chicken curry in this case – make little taco out of it, and let the eating commence!
Or as some of my Muslim friends invite you to a meal: “Bismillah kijiye!”