Since the advent of the twins, I have done plenty of cooking, if you can count boiling (or sometimes burning) dal-rice and eggs and making cottage cheese/paneer. But I have done very little by way of cooking as in cooking up a storm. I managed to bake a couple of cakes on separate occasions, but that apart, nothing really exciting has emerged from the kitchen for several months. True, last weekend I made mutton curry, but by my standards it was merely mediocre and was consumed rapidly more due to the fact of it being mutton, than due to any excellence in the preparation.
Then, on Friday evening I went grocery shopping, and some interesting vegetables caught my eye. Since Amit had been complaining about the absence of my “Chinese” food, I decided to make it on Saturday, and shopped accordingly. On Saturday morning, my cook did me the great favour of chopping up all the veggies. All that was left, was to run out and buy certain vital ingredients such as:
- szechuan sauce (comes in a packet, courtesy Knorr)
I managed to obtain these and got only mildly wet before the rain turned into a downpour. I also bought some Coke; since we already had rum at home, we now had all the ingredients for a good evening.
From 7 to 9, I prepared dinner (I don’t cook at a frenetic pace, but rather, in quite a leisurely manner) with innumerable interruptions from the girls and little support from Amit. At the end of it, we had noodles, mixed veggies, and szechaun sauce along with a chicken dish that stole the show. I had never done this particular preparation before, but as I walked out to buy the stuff, I had sort of dreamed up this dish and so I went ahead and tried it out.
I had half a kilo of leg-and-thigh pieces (without skin), which I dusted in flour (it should have been cornflour, but I found I didn’t have any so I improvised). Then I dumped them in a pan coated with pan spray and very little oil and fried them on a low flame till they were golden brown. It already looked delicious… and then I added garlic, which, after salt, is the single most important condiment in my kitchen, without which food is not worth sniffing at. When the chicken was just about done, I added a fair sprinkling of soy sauce, a little bit of water, and a little of the flour I had used for dusting the chicken, creating a thick and dark sauce. Yummmm… I don’t know what the Chinese restaurants call this dish (far less what the actual Chinese call it), or even if it is really a dish or not, but I call it Chicken Garlic Delicious.
As is usually the case with good food, there wasn’t much left over.