The past(the one before the recent one) weekend was a long one, not long as in l---o---o--o-ng but merely long. A friend decided to come and stay with us for 2 of the three days. No one asked, they simply notified and rang the bell Saturday night with two kids, a wife, two pillows and several other paraphernalia. Well we have known them for years and such privileges are acquired if you know one for long.
I was a bit weary of the situation. Given my recent stranger anxiety along with baby A's I wasn't sure how things would pan out. That they had a 3 month old who according to the parents was colicky and could wreak havoc by crying(again according to parents) didn't soothe my tense nerves.
Things turned out very well though and everyone had a blast. Sunday was well spent at the beach. It was a bit cold but nothing to keep the kids away. Big Sis S, her friend M, her two pseudo cousin brothers A&A and a pseudo elder sis G had loads of fun at the beach and then later on the rides at the boardwalk.
Baby A doesn't like strangers and that means any adult outside the family and her nanny. She also doesn't like to be bound in any static object like highchair, bouncer, static strollers etc. And she doesn't keep her dislike to herself, she protests loudly and monotonously. So she had to be carried while the older kids played on the beach or on the rides. She is a petite child, very much so and carrying her is easy, so many friends aka strangers volunteered but she pouted and her eyes wailed up at gestures of such love and intimacy. She clung to her not so petite Mom and generally had a mighty good time watching everything from a safe perch.
Back home she was intrigued by the 3 month old. At every opportunity she would scoot up to his bouncer, stand up and try to poke his head, face whatever. She also tried to take away the smaller one's pacifier several times. The 3 month old didn't really cry all that much or maybe I have just got used to such stuff.
Big Sis S had a great time overall with her friend M(the visiting couple's elder daughter) who is same age and that brings me to a niggling doubt which I will throw at you as a question. What do you do when you have house guests and your parenting principle does not match theirs ? The husband is pretty non-conformant and dishes out same sermons/scoldings/rules to all kids. Fortunately since most of these people are close friends no one minds. I am a bit hesitant though to do the same. What about you ?
Since Saturday night we all were invited to a friend's party and Sunday lunch was outside, I had decided to serve a homecooked meal on Sunday night. I knew I would be dead tired and maybe even crabby by the time we came back home Sunday evening. So I had decided to do a pualo and a gravy, a part of which could be cooked the day before. D would be grilling hot dogs and corn to supplement the meal.
What I made was a Chicken Kofta Curry (Chicken meatballs in a gravy) and then a Kofta Pulao (a meatball pulao) with some Raita to jazz it up. Both the curry and the pulao are a major hit with family as well as friends. And so even though we were almost full with the continuous snacking and grilling we sat down for a late dinner at 11 in night to devour these delicacies.
This particular dish serves 3 purpose at 3 stages of making.
- When you make the Chicken masala balls, you can fry them and serve as appetizers.
- You then make a gravy (the Kofta Curry) with the same balls, it turns out as a deliciously finger-licking side dish.Don't skip the frying the onion and then blending routine, it adds to the taste as does the fragrant Kasoori Methi
- Finally you use some of that gravy and the kofta to make a Kofta Pulao which serves as your entree. Whip up a raita and you have a gorgeous spread
The Kofta Pulao recipe comes in the next post in two days time
Chicken Kofta Curry (Meatballs in a delicious gravy)
Make Chicken Masala Balls(better known as Koftas)
The following quantity makes about 40-50 meatballs. All of them will NOT be used in the gravy.
To make Chicken masala balls I follow this recipe mostly. Roughly I will repeat here.
Dry roast 5-6 dry red chillis (adjust according to your choice) + 4 tbsp Corriander seeds + 1&1/2 tbsp Cumin Seeds + 1" stick of cinnamon + 5 cardamom + 5 clove + 10-20 cashewnuts
Cool and grind to a fine powder
Wet grind to a fine paste 1 medium onion + 5-6 cloves of garlic + 3" piece of ginger + some chopped corriander leaves + 8 indian green chili(go with few if your hot tolerance is low).
Note: Sometimes if in a hurry, I will make a wet paste with just 2 tsp Garlic Paste + 2 tsp ginger paste + 2 tsp corriander paste
Marinade 2-3 lb(rough estimate) of minced chicken(chicken keema) with all this
2 tbsp of yogurt
and salt for 30 mins to 2-3 hrs
Grease your palm with little oil and then make small amla or tomatiilo sized balls
Fry some of these balls and serve as an appetizer. The rest will be used in the gravy. To use in gravy you NEED NOT fry the balls.
Make Kofta Curry
I used about 24-28 chicken masala balls to make this curry
Heat Oil in a deep bottomed frying pan/Kadhai
Fry 3 medium onion chopped + 6-8 cloves of garlic + 2" ginger peeled and coarsely chopped
When the onion is lightly browned add 2 medium red tomato coarsely chopped and fry till the tomato is all mushed up and there is no raw smell. Note: I add a teeny tiny spoon of sugar to help in browning onion
Alternate Idea : Boil the raw onions. Cool and grind to paste. Make a separate paste of ginger + garlic+green chili. Make a puree of the tomatoes. You have to spend a little more time to fry the onion paste in this case.
Cool the above and blend to a paste. Keep aside
Heat some more oil in the same frying pan. This time go with less oil
Add the prepared onion+ ginger+garlic+tomato paste and fry till oil separates from the masala
In a small bowl make a paste of 3 tbsp Yogurt + 2 tsp of Cumin Powder + 1 heaped tsp of Biryani masala + 1-2 tsp of Red Chili Powder + little(1/4tsp) turmeric powder. Note: if you don't have your home made Biryani masala use Garam Masala
Reduce heat and add this masala paste to the Kadhai/Frying pan
Add 2 tsp of Kasoori Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
At low heat saute for couple of minutes till you see the masala is cooked and the oil seeping out from the sides
Add 1 cup Milk + 1 cup water. Note: I added 2% milk, you can add whole milk but this tastes as good
Add salt and mix everything well
Increase the heat to medium and let the gravy come to a boil
If you have NOT fried the chicken balls, add them(the raw spiced meat balls) to the gravy now.
If you did not pay attention and have fried the chicken balls you can add them to the gravy at the second last step.
Cover and cook till the balls are done. The balls will cook pretty quickly in the steam and will be done in 5-7 minutes.
Once the balls are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and keep aside. You don't want to over cook them
Reduce the gravy till it is thicker to a consistency you would like
Check for seasonings, add the chicken balls to the gravy, mix everything well and garnish with finely chopped corriander leaves.
The delicious Kofta Curry is ready to be served with Naan, Roti or a Pulao...
Note: If you are feeling extremely lazy you can get Chicken Balls from Costco or wherever and use that to make this curry