...I have never heard such a ridiculously ludicrous statement in all of my life.
Anyone who has ever visited India/lives in India or embarked on the cooking of any form of it's cuisine simply knows the bare facts....
There is no such thing as Fast Food in India.
Cooking a curry and all the other embellishments which 'have' to accompany it (otherwise the Curry Police will issue a culinary warrant) dal/rice/chapati/roti/raita/chutney/pickle/kitchen sink takes at least one full day (with preferable overnight marinading) and requires the use of every pot/pan/plate/bowl/utensil/strange silverware your kitchen possesses. In addition Cooking this kind of fare in a typical Indian kitchen with it's delightful array of 'novelties' - camp fire stove/postage stamp size preparation area/glorified toaster for an oven only adds to the
When I cook up a big Indian, and I'm not referring to cannibalism involving Shahrukh Khan, I start the process all full of glee and relish, excited to please BF, but by the end of it I'm physically and emotionally drained, bereft of any appetite, but sadly not bereft of a grumpy temper. It even has been known to end in tears.
The other day BF said 'What's for dinner tonight?' actually this was not an unusual question as like all Indians food is the constant premise of his mind set. I fooled him with a reply of 'Fish & Chips'
As he is a total sweetheart he never complains when I feed him WWF (world wide fare, not a wrestling term) he really loves it, but I know fried fish is one of his least favourites and the 'Big Indian' dinner is his most favourite, so sneakily I set about the absurdly arduous task of creating it for him as a mid week surprise, besides all I had to do was -
soak the lentils
rinse the lentils
boil the lentils
make the masala for the lentils
cook the lentils with the masala
add about 654 spices
marinate the chicken
brown the chicken
make the masala for the chicken
add a further 1,324 spices
cook the chicken and masala together
rinse the rice
boil the rice
drain the rice
sift the flour
season the flour
warm the milk
add to the flour
knead the dough
rest the dough
roll the dough
butter the skillet
cook the dough
rest the dough
chop the herbs
squeeze the limes
decant the pickle (thank the Lord his granny had already made some or I would have jumped off the balcony at this stage)
serve in strange weird silver bowls and Ta Da
How hard could that be?
Technically speaking, not hard at all. Timeframe and kitchen debris speaking, devastating as Hurricane Katrina. But a few Buzz LightYears later it was all done and dusted and warming in 'Christine' which is my pet name I have allotted for my oven-cum-glorified toaster due to it's delightfully unique independency with regards to timings and temperatures.
BF walked through the door to the gentle waft of Indian Food and his little eyes lit up and his spirits were lifted, very unlike mine as my little eyes had glazed over at the hurricane style devastation in the kitchen and my spirits could at best be described as 'choppy' and I was now behaving as if all my periods had come at once, still I soldiered on with Old Blighty strength, removed the curry from 'Christine' and....
Promptly dropped it on the floor...
Yes, yes, yes ON THE FLOOR! Naturally due to us not living on the moon (Damn Newton & gravity) upside down with the bowl fiercely protecting it's goods like a lioness protecting her cubs, it was tears of anger and frustration from me but sweet cuddles and kisses from him, and just for the record he's so sweet he ate it (well, the top layer) off the floor :*
Anyways, Sunday came around again, all too soon and so that generally means 'Indian night' for us, as I think I may have accidentally incorporated this one into my NY resolutions after one glass of wine too many and agreed to a weekly 'Big Indian' (so to speak). but due to the midweek special saga and not wishing to become codependent on prescriptives, I decided to attempt to incorporate a 'Fast Food' element, I thought when I'm back at home what's my favourite fast food? Obviously the answer was all of it and the memories of double bacon Whoppers, Zinger Chicken, Taco Bell and anything McSupersized came flooding back and I just wanted it all... all, all, all I tell thee, ideally served in a mega bucket with fries and extra onion rings just to be on the safe side
chicken thighs & legs (2-3 per person)
1 tsp of each cumin/coriander/garam masala/tandoori powder & Chilli powder to taste
(orange food colour optional)
2 tsp of ginger & garlic paste (or 1 of fresh crushed)
good sprinkle of olive oil/lemon juice + a splash of white wine & chilli vinegar
2-3 cloves of garlic peeled & cut into slivers
Mix spices/liquid ingredients & paste all together, add 1 tsp of sugar
careully, keeping the skin attached to the meat, peel back & make small slits for the garlic slivers, push firmly into the meat
take the marinade & rub onto the meat (really into the slits to permeate)
carefully pull the skin back over & dip into remaining marinade, leave to infuse for a while
Heat a deep fry pan of oil to a medium hot temperature
sift 3-4 tbsp of plain flour (maida) add 1 tsp of salt, a sprinkle of chilli powder & tandoor powder & (optional) food colour, mix a small amount of fizzy water and lightly beat to a batter consistency
Dip chicken pieces, shake off excess & carefully dip into oil with tongs, fry until tandoor is a rich colour & batter is starting to crisp
remove, drain on a wire rack, pat off excess oil & place in a medium oven until juices run clear inside (check the deepest part of flesh by the bone)
serve, eat & finger lick at regular intervals.
We ate it with garlic fries & fresh corn salsa sides
Now who's up for a....