While there was much furor going over nothing and people were discussing gender issues and such, I had a very basic question to ask.
Why paint a child's nail ? Kohl rimmed eyes and kala tikka, I can understand. They are not makeup. There is scientific evidence that they ward off evil eyes.Or, maybe not. But neon pink nail paint ? What the good will it do ?
I have chipped nail polish on my toe nails from six months ago. The last time I managed to go to a nail salon, there was a 7 year old sitting besides me getting a pedicure. I cringed. Not because my toes could scar a 7 year old (ok, that is a possibility) but the fresh beautiful feet of a seven year old does not need pedicure.Period.
My 7 year old has had nail paint on her toes twice. Once she was at some friend's place and beyond my control, the second time she begged that I let her put on the only shade of nail paint I have. I let her because I had to finish some very important work and I knew if I let her do it she won't ask again. The nail paint has almost dried out and she has never asked since.
If anyone has to make a statement why nail paint, I say.
Before we delve into the recipe for Chicken 65 let me tell you Chicken 65 is NOT my birthright. My Ma never made it, nor did her mother or her mother's mother. Ok you get the drift, right ? My Ma-in-law never made it either. No one in my family has ever made Chicken 65 unless I go back five generations ago, at which point I have no clue. But by the theory of extrapolation I can safely say, even they did not make Chicken 65.
Heck, I did not even taste Chicken 65 until I moved to Bengaluru in my twenties. My first Chicken 65 was at this place called Krishna Chinnai in Koramangala. They had red plastic tables, blue or white or maybe even red plastic chairs, potted palms whose fronds bristled your bare arms resting on the greasy red tables in anticipation of the food.. We always went there for dinner, after dark, so beyond this I did not see.The food as I remember was hot, spicy searing hot andhra biryani, fiery hot chicken 65 and everything else with loads of kari patta and chili. That inspired us to go back there more often.
Here in the east coast of US, in the suburbs of NYC, where the assimilation of all Indian cultures is much more than I have ever seen in a single Indian state, Chicken 65 is always on the menu of an Andhra restaurant and on the charts in most Indian restaurants. The chicken looks red, as if the gulal from last Holi hasn't rubbed off them. I feel queasy. Sometimes they are double or triple fried in the stale hot oil of the frier and I have second thoughts on my order. And yet I cannot get over those spicy hot morsels of Chicken.
4 years back inspired by fellow bloggers I made my first chicken 65. It was delicious. Over the years though I have refurbished my Chicken 65 recipe, bits from here, a little from there and slowly the dish started coming out as I expected it to. I shunned the red food color and the MSG(ajina moto), I adjusted the chilli when the kids wanted their share. Finally I can say I have a Chicken 65 that is almost perfect. People like it, the kids love their version, we love it. What more can I ask for ?
Chicken ~ Type : Skinless and boneless breast meat or thigh meat
Weight: 1 lb < somewhere here < 1.5 lb
Cut in bite size pieces
Marinate chicken pieces in
2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste(I made a fresh paste with 4 fat cloves of garlic and 1" ginger),
a little soy sauce(maybe 1/4 tsp),
1/2 tsp of Black pepper powder,
Kashmiri Mirch Powder (for color and use according to taste. You can add Red chili Powder instead)
for about an hour
Note: If you can marinade for a longer time it is better. For a big batch, I try to marinate overnight, this gives the chicken a lot of flavor.
When you are ready to cook, to the marinated chicken pieces add the following
3 tsp of Corn Flour
Heat enough oil for frying in a fry pan
Fry the chicken pieces till they are a nice shade of brown on both sides. The chicken will be cooked on frying.
At this point, it makes a perfect snack for little kids.
Now heat 1-2 tbsp of Oil in a separate frying pan or wok
1/2 tsp of minced garlic,
4-5 hot Indian green chili slit lengthwise and chopped in halves,
5-6 Kari Patta/Curry Leaves
In a bowl add
1/2 cup of thick yogurt
2 tsp of Hot Chilli-Garlic Sauce(I use this)
and mix well
Take the pan off the heat and add the yogurt + hot sauce
Add the fried chicken pieces and toss the chicken pieces in the sauce and bring the pan back to heat.
Continue tossing till the yogurt+sauce gets dry and clings to the chicken pieces. Adjust for salt.
Serve immediately with some raw chopped onions and wedges of lime.
Note: If cooking for a party, you can fry the chicken pieces in batches and store overnight. Before serving, do the tossing in yogurt + hot sauce thingy
You can do a similar thing with Fish -- Fish 65
My older version of Chicken 65 -- interesting stories in the Trivia