Exactly a month back, I had my Mum and B Mashi visit us for a fortnight. It was a Saturday and their train was to reach at 4 pm. I was going to meet Ma after almost 3 months and absolutely had to come out of the drudgery of my morbid routine and hit the kitchen again. We woke up late (as always) and by the time I was done with the peripheral stuff, it was 2. With very little time at hand, I decided to go for a straight and simple Chicken Curry that could be aptly paired with Mutton Biryani (from Paradise Restaurant that has opened up bang opposite to our apartment). I had made this Akhrot Chicken around 2 years back and it had featured as one of my very first blog posts. But honestly, I had forgotten how it tasted like. So I chose to revisit the recipe. By the time I was done cooking it was 2.40 pm. As I was cleaning up, I found P scoop out some gravy with his paratha and pop it in his mouth. A few minutes later, he repeated his action. Now when it comes to food, he is possibly the most passive and neutral person I’ve met. He eats to fill is stomach, hardly ever for the taste. You give him a bowl of cornflakes and a plate of biryani and he would devour both with equal nonchalance. Wait, he might just enjoy the cornflakes more! So when I saw him dip his paratha into the gravy TWICE, I was a bit surprised. I tasted a spoonful myself and holy cow, wasn’t it good! The clock was nearing 3 and I still had to take my bath before leaving for the station at 3.30. But what the heck! I’d be going to office straight from the station and therefore had to shoot it immediately. In a hurry I took out my camera gear, arranged the food and took a few quick shots before darting for the station.
That night when I came back home at 1.30 am, Ma, Mashi and P were waiting up for me, like always. They sat with me as I finished my dinner. I asked them whether they’ve had a good meal. It is but obvious that the first thing anybody living away from home misses is Maa-r haater ranna (Mom’s cooking). But it evokes a completely different sentiment when your mother, on eating after 3 months what you’ve cooked, says, “I’ve missed your food!”
Akhrot Murg (Chicken in a Walnut-based Gravy)Print
- Chicken: 1 kilo
- Walnuts, powdered: 2/3rd cup
- Onion, pasted: 2
- Tomato, pureed: 2
- Garlic: 2 Tablespoons
- Ginger: 1 Tablespoon
- Yoghurt: 2/3rd Cup
- Cumin powder: 2 Teaspoons
- Coriander powder: 1 Teaspoon
- Red Chilli powder: 1 Teaspoon
- Green Chillis: 3-4
- Cream: 4 Tablespoons
- Olive oil/ Ghee: 2 Tablespoons
- Salt, to taste
5. Now add the marinated chicken pieces and cook on high heat till oil separates. Reduce the temperature and continue to simmer covered for another 5-10 minutes. Make sure the chicken is cooked through.
6. In a different bowl, mix 1/2 cup powdered walnuts with the cream (milk will also do) and add it to the gravy. Mix well and llet it simmer for another 5 minutes.
7. Serve hot with steamed rice/ roti/ paratha/ naan etc.