mardi, octobre 07, 2008

Masala Dosa, Chapati, Chicken Curry à la P

P's Chicken Curry and Chapatis

Hub and I are probably united (for once) in wanting to live in India for a few years. Though the recent news of the Indian CEO of an Italian MNC in India being clubbed to death by angry workers have somewhat diminished the ardour.

In the meantime, we stick to our weekly curries and occasional readings of Indian authors. I was told that I wasn't too bad in the curry business, but there is only so much that we can learn from the books. A stint in a real Indian kitchen obliges if I wish to stay on track for cooking nirvana. Besides, cooking together is fun.

To my joy (and luck, of course), there is P. Excellent cook who on a good day can cook for 50 singlehandedly. And she has very kindly offered to let me watch her cook lunch today. And brunch in. Then lunch in. And finally take away.

As if God wanted to show his approval for my entreprise, He had R waylaying me this morning after dropping the kids off at school, with a gift of - Biryani and Pappadums. Though of course the favoured recipient was actually the Hub. For some reason Indian women like to feed him.

I love going to P's place. It's cozy and smells of spices. And when you eat you can watch her cook at the same time - very convenient :-). Besides, we hit off really well (I think) and usually have quite a few good laughs insieme.

Masala Dosa

She started out with a Masala Dosa - for my brunch. I made Dosa recently, but mine was done the French crepe way - with more liquid. Whereas she did it the Indian way (as it should be done), with a thicker batter. Using an experienced hand, she spread the batter with the back of her ladle till she obtained a smooth and round Dosa. When the batter is done properly, you'll get holes in the white part of the Dosa as it is being cooked. Cook only on one side till crispy. And P gave me a tip : rub the pan with an onion if you do not want your batter to stick to it.

Dosa Batter :

3 cups raw Rice
1 cup spilt Urad Dal
1 Tsp Yellow Dal
1 Tsp Fenugreek seeds
2 Tsp Rice Flakes

Soak the rice and lentils separately for 5-6 hours. Grind them to batter consistency and then mix them together. Leave to ferment all night in a warm place.

Potato Masala :

Boil a few potatoes, mash them and set aside.

Heat some oil in a pan and brown some onions, green chillies, ground turmeric, salt and curry leaves.

Mix in the potatoes and serve with the Dosa.

I was only halfway through my brunch when she started preparing the lunch. Chicken Curry that made her the toast of the Indian bachelors working here. So much for my diet, but how could one say no to a Chicken Curry like P's?

It's good when the oil floats to the top of the curry

Chicken Curry :

Chicken pieces (marinated with curd, ginger, pepper and garlic)
Black Cardamomes (3-4)
Green Cardamome (1-2)
Whole Cloves (5-6)
Whole Pepper
Cinnamon bark (2)
grated Coconut
Garlic (5-6)

Brown the spices and grind them into a paste with some water. Heat up some oil in a pan and add in 2 bay leaves followed by the spice paste. Also add in some turmeric, chilli powder, ground cumin, ground coriander and garam masala.

When the mixture is fragrant, add the chicken pieces. When the chicken is cooked, add in some warm water and half of a big tomato and stir well. If you wish, you can also add in some fresh coriander leaves and/or paneer (cheese). Serve hot with some rice and chapatis.

P, bless her generous heart, went on to teach me how to make chapatis. It looked easy, but when made by an inexperienced person like myself will surely churn out only Australia and India-shaped dough (we had a good laugh over this, didn't we?). Ideally, chapati dough should be thin, smooth and round.

Chapati :

(Wholemeal) Wheat Flour
Water (lukewarm)
Salt (optional)

You're supposed to know how much water your chapati will need literally at the tips of your fingers. Meaning at the moment I wouldn't know. But from the look of things it could be something like 2 cups of flour : 1.5 cups of water.

As P kept stressing, chapatis are healthy because you wouldn't need oil to cook it. You cook it on both sides on a hot pan and then finish by putting it on top of the fire. It will puff out (and look pretty) and then it's ready for consumption. Keep the chapatis warm wrapped up in a little towel.

I had food to take away of course - for the Hub (again) and the Babies. They polished off everything with enjoyment and asked me when I would going back to aunty P's...

How about after I would have burnt some calories?

5 commentaires:

petite fleur a dit…

Lucky you. Private tutorial like this.

You know, India's one of the few places I've never been & it's on the top of my must go list. And I want to go there for one month & travel around.

SIG a dit…

Oh wow!

Beau Lotus 涟 a dit…

I've never been there too though the Hub has. And he loved his trip.

Still with kids and without probably things will be very different and there do seem to be many bombings there in the last 2 years.

Let's see if we're destined to visit this fascinating country.

Anonyme a dit…

Lucky you, both North Indian(chapati) and South Indian food in one day.

eh, my chapati's are never round matter how much I try :)

Beau Lotus 涟 a dit…


It's normal if you wish since P came from the centre of India :-). Best of both worlds?

I'll keep practising...