20 March, 2010

Kaus Fowl Curry (KFC) & Rice

For sure had tumbled out on the other side of the mattress; why do I say a different side? This anomaly has not one but three explanations. One, because it was not yet 8 o clock in the morning, two it was a Sunday and finally the wife was on tour( have never ever woken up in the morning unless someone shakes me awake ).

Was fresh, made my tea, opened the freezer slapped in two leftover ham slices between two slices of bread, picked up an orange and the breakfast was set. Sunday thought process especially when alone moves from one milestone to another. Each of these milestones are meal oriented. So now with Breakfast concluded successfully was looking forward to lunch. Sunday Lunches are special . Here I had found myself elevated to the best cook of the house position, so what if it was by default, had to live up to the title.

There were a few pre-conditions to this scenario. I was too lazy to step out into the market or mall in the morning. So the special meal had to come out of what was in the refrigerator and the kitchen cupboards. After the quite simple breakfast and a leisurely newspaper read, I turned my attention to the serious task of beginning lunch, starting with the ‘What’s available” search.

Ingredients: From the Freezer & Shelves

Looked into the deep freezer & found two fat chicken legs and two breasts; the likes of which would have made a pigeon proud.

Also from the cabinets several Ingredients were located ; some in containers clean and some from dusty ones ( indicating sparse use ) It was an interesting find.

Assorted nuts: About a small cupful of Walnuts, Almonds, Peanuts ( Who else but a certified nut would first lay his hands on assorted nuts? This was an omen…things were going to be nutty )

Some flakes of Saffron left over from what were used in the Basundi made a month back. It was a superb variety of Kashmiri saffron about 10-15 flakes. Black peppercorns found a huge quantity. Took about a tablespoon of about 20 corns. The whole spice box delivered to me a bark of Cinnamon (Dalchini) about an inch, Clove (Laung) pods about 8-10 pods of them), Fresh Green Cardamom about 8-10, Cummin seeds the tiny variety called Shahajeera and some black Mustard seeds; the staple of a typical Indian Kitchen. Went further and located the powdered Turmeric about 2 tablespoons and Red chilly powder about 3 tablespoons.

From the larder basket came out Red Onions medium size about 6 and Garlic about 10 pods small size.

There was salt but had run out of cooking oil had only about two tablespoons left in the container. Looked around for a substitute and found Ghee (clarified butter) about 100 ml. Also found some regular Cummin seeds and a cupful of long grained rice.

The Lunch Idea :

No rocket science after this. It had to be some variety of chicken and rice. Did not have stuff for a good biryani as the ingredients were insufficient and it was too much effort. So settled on what can be done under half an hour of preparation time. Cooking time did not count as it didn’t involve me to be present.

The process rather than selection began by eliminating options and eliminated the rice by deciding on Onion and Jeera rice. And the Chicken had to be some curry or with a thick gravy that went with rice. Heres what happened.

Kau’s Fowl Curry :

Cutting , Chopping , Grinding and Sectioning.

  • Started with the Chicken. Washed and cleaned it after totally thawing it. The rather large pieces were chopped into smaller pieces of about two inches each and yielded about 12 pieces of Chicken. Totaling about 750 gms approximately. Kept it aside.

  • Dry Spice powder : Took a frying pan and added just a drop of oil. Roasted dry the whole spices Cinnamon, Cummin, Cloves, Mustard and Pepper. Once they started to crackle and smoke a bit removed them into the pestle and roughly pounded them into a coarse powder. The spice masala was ready. Kept it aside in a cup.

  • Garlic water : Crushed the Garlic into paste in my small kitchen pestle. Dissolved the paste in half a cup of water and strained the few uncrushed pieces of garlic out.

  • Nut Paste: Soak the nuts in a cup of hot water and let them stay for about half an hour. Grind them into a fine paste. Keep the paste aside.

  • Onion Paste: Dice the onions roughly about five of them and finely slice half an onion for the rice. Taking the rest of the oil on a hot pan sautéed the onions some mustard and Cummin till golden brown. Added the two tablespoon of turmeric to it and tossed it further for a minute on the hot pan. Removed into a food processor and ground to a fine paste.

  • Red Chilly Paste : Take the 3 tablespoons of chilly powder and carefully add water till it became a thin and consistent paste.

  • Chicken Saute : In the rest of the oil left on the hot pan tossed in the chicken pieces and turned them till they changed colour and the skin tightened around it.

  • Clove Butter : In a fresh pan on a medium flame heat the clarified butter and coat the sides of the pan . Toss in the Cloves until they start popping.

  • In three tablespoons of warm water dissolve the saffron.

  • Salt to taste and few cups of water for gravy

The Making ( Chicken Curry )

On a medium flame, take the Clove flavored clarified butter. Add in the onion paste, the dry ground masala and the chicken. Toss till the ingredients inside change colour and the mixture thickens coating the chicken thoroughly. This takes about five minutes. Add in the garlic water and the red chilly paste and salt to taste. Pour in three cups of water, cover the pan and bring it to a slow boil. This may take about fifteen to twenty minutes. Lift the pan lid and add the nut paste and stir. Add the saffron water and bring it a quick boil in about 3 minutes. Turn off the burner and keeping the pan covered let the gravy thicken in and chicken cooks under the steam further marinating and soaking in the flavours of the curry. After half an hour pour it into a serving bowl. Warm it if required. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander if available. I didn’t. so it went without.

The Making ( Jeera Onion Rice )

Wash the cup of long grained rice thoroughly and remove the water. In a pan. Take a little bit of oil and toss the finely chopped onion and cumin seeds . Pour in the washed rice and toss till it dries off and each grain separates. Pour in two and half cup of water, cover and cook on a high flame. In about five minutes the water is absorbed, remove the lid and lower the flame and cook for about a minute. The rice would be ready.

The lazy one had rustled up a Chicken curry that turned out to be so surprisingly yummy that had to share it here. I have faithfully put in the ingredient quantities that I had used such that for varying quantities you gents and ladies may apportion appropriately. My serving of chicken was enough to serve five comfortably. The curry, not the rice. It tasted great with both Chappati as well as bread which became my dinner. The Rice was lunch.

Have fun guys. I had a lot of it and it is surprisingly less to medium spicy and despite the pepper corns and chilly powder doesn’t turn out fiery. I guess the nuts and onions helped here.


bhagyareema said...

Good narrative but won't be able to try it :) Post some veggie dish na.

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Hey Bhagyashree,

This is for innovators.

The Veggies that can substitute the Chicken are large chunks of Cauliflower, Cottage Cheese ( Paneer ) or Baby potatoes.

If you do eat eggs then Boiled eggs is one other possibility.

The only difference is when do you add them. The chicken needs some cooking unlike the vegetarian substitutes. The Fried Chunks/ Cubes of Paneer can be added when the gravy is on its second boil after the saffron.
For the Baby potatoes, Boiled Eggs and the Cauliflower after the first boil.

SA said...

I can help you finish it the next time... great idea ..isn't it!

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Should u require a formal invite??

Its a great idea , finishing what is made by people who enjoy food is the Cooks ultimate pleasure in serving it

eleanor said...

o.k. 'sounds' good (the foodie speaking thru heart that one almost 'hears' while reading it). Rightly said, can go with the veggie cousins. The narration brightened the start of my day. BTW, nutmeg is laung or jayphal ?m confused.

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Thanks Eleanor for the tip..u are right, I had made a few mistakes in naming the spices..

Have corrected them. This is what happens to amateur cooks who tinker around in the kitchens ;-)

Laxmikant said...

I liked the way you cook up your stories.. ofcourse thats a compliment for the recipe too.. have a nice cooking career ahead..

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Geee...Thanks Laxya...glad u liked it.

Cooking as a career is a love kept in the cold storage for the moment...

Till then shall be indulging in it as an activity that gives immense pleasure and takes me on a total de-stress mode.

Vibhisha said...

I am going to try this today -- will let u know what happened-- chicken is out and maybe substituted by eggs.

Kau Kau goes the Crow said...

Yo girl...am sure it will turn out ok...but do tell me anyway.