Monday, my daughters pre-school had a Mothers Day tea bang at 9 in the morning. Maybe they thought Moms needed a break and should indulge in leisurely tea at 9 in the morning instead of slogging at work. So I gave work a miss and went for the tea, who would miss a hot cuppa that too with cute 3 year olds.
I went with a vision of meeting the other Moms, of bonding with them, of meeting with them over cups of coffee at the corner café. Somewhere at the back of my mind I had a picture of the Moms outside the gates of the nursery school near my home in India. Snacking on Jhal Muri and Phuchka(Gol Gappa) they would be busy discussing animatedly everything from the Universe to in-laws while the kids slogged inside. Though Jhal Muri would be sorely missed I thought something of a similar bonding would transpire here too.
I also wanted to make my daughters social life more happening at this new school by arranging some play dates with her class mates as suggested by some of my Mommy Blogger friends.
Armed with a cheery feeling and great ideas I went.
But things didn't turn out exactly the way I dreamed...
There were super Moms with their hair in place, their lipstick the right color and not something random dug out of the purse, the kind who would arrange play dates with a panache and probably had all such events already entered in their Blackberry. I was awed by their mere presence and dare not extend any thoughts of bonding with them ever.
And then there were Moms like me with their hairs not only out of place but sticking at all wrong directions. But they unlike me were totally wrapped up in their own offspring and while I surreptitiously prodded other kids to check play date materials, they were very contented with their own. They smiled at me benevolently with a hint of suspicion, holding on tightly to their children.
Then there was someone whom I kinda knew and could coerce her into setting up a play date even if the café meeting wouldn’t transpire, but S had no liking for that perfectly well behaved sweet child of hers.
Finally however I met the mother of the little girl towards whom S had taken a fancy too. She was a nice Asian lady but alas knew very little English. Neither of us understood what the other said but I still managed to wrench her phone number from her. Hope when I call her up she will not hang up on me and maybe even agree to sharing a cup of tea.
Its been 4 days and I haven't called and I am sure by next week I will loose the number scrawled on a piece of paper and thereby my daughter will loose an aranged social meet up and instead play with my neighbours daughter. If my daughter ends up an aniti-social like her Dad when grown up you know who gets the blame.
Tired at the end of the day with so much self inflicted pressure, I wanted to cook something that didn’t need my undivided attention and would spice up my life too. So I made Chicken Fry frameworked from Sumitha’s Kerala Chicken Fry recipe. Check her blog Kitchen Wonders for the original Recipe.I had tried this last week too with some of my twists thrown in. I also baked the chicken first and then fried them. It was very very tasty considering the little time you need to devote to it. The main thing which gives this Chicken fry a distinct flavor is Kari Patta, with its heady aroma. So heres Sumitha’s Chicken Fry a la Sandeepa Ishtyle
I am sending this for this weeks WHB Kalyn's brainchild, hosted this week by Rinku at CookingInWestChester, the herb in question is of course Curry leaves or Kari Patta. Highly aromatic the curry leaves are very popular for seasoning in Indian Cooking. While Bay leaves are more popular for seasoning in North and East Indian Cooking, Curry Leaves is the preferred darling in South Indian Cuisine. However the two leaves are very different and do not substitute one with the other. These leaves have several medicinal properties and are good for digestive disorders, eye disorders etc. as described here . But I have always used curry leaves for flavoring never really ate them, don't now why.
What You Need
Skinless Chicken Drumsticks ~ 4-5
Plain Yogurt ~ 2/3 cup
Ginger Paste ~ 2 tsp heaped
Garlic Paste ~ 1 tsp heaped
Chicken Curry Powder ~ 2 tsp . This adds an oomph to the dish. I used Shan Brand. You can use Garam Masala instead
Corriander powder/Dhania Powder ~ 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder ~ 1/2 tsp or according to your spice level
Onion Paste ~ 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves/Kari Patta ~ 6-7
Green Chillies ~ 6 chopped. I like it spicy hot, adjust the green chillies according to your spice level
How I Did It
I used Skinless Chicken Drumsticks. After cleaning them I made some slits on them
Mix together Yogurt, Ginger paste, Garlic paste, Corriander Powder, Chicken Curry Powder, Chilli Powder, Salt. Marinade the chicken pieces in this for at least 40-45 minutes. Use this time to play with your kid or soak in a bubble bath if you have the luxury to do so. No you might not chuck your kid out of the window for that bath
Remove the drumsticks from the marinade, place them on a lightly greased baking tray and bake the chicken drumsticks at 350F for 30 mins. They will be slightly browned at the end of this. During this 30 mins pack next days lunch or curl on the couch with your newly acquired book.You can entice the hubby to pack lunch and the kid by telling him you are TECHNICALLY cooking now.
Heat Oil in a Frying Pan. Since the chicken has been baked now you don't need much oil so use little of it. Also I used Olive oil while for the authentic Kerala version you should use Coconut Oil as suggested by Sumitha
Add the Onion paste, 6-7 curry leaves and 6 chopped green chillies.
When the onion has turned a nice pinkish brown add the chicken drumsticks
Add about 1 – 2tbsp of the marinade and fry them. I covered and fried till they were browned and done. You can add a little more of the remaining marinade along the way but the result should be dry so remember to fry till dry. Mine were not uniformly browned like Sumitha's but they were a nice color and tasted awesome.
Serve with wedges of lime and slices of red onions
Trivia: Curry Leaves tree is a small tree, growing 4-6 m tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm diameter. The leaves are pinnate, with 11-21 leaflets, each leaflet 2-4 cm long and 1-2 cm broad. The flowers are small white, and fragrant. The small black, shiny berries are edible, but their seeds are poisonous.(Source: Wiki)