The Golden Rule of Curry Is...
When it comes to curry, the golden rule is to have a lot of gravy to drown our rice in. Even as a noodlehead, I will always, as in I never refuse, as in it is a fact because it can be proven again and again, that I will consume at least twice the amount of rice if there is curry to accompany my rice.
Just like noodleheads, rice lovers cannot be without rice for long. I remember an extreme example of two friends SNATCHING their rice bowls from the waiter as he was figuring out to whom he should hand the heavenly rice bowls to. So maybe, rice is like ... an edible version of The Rings of Power.
Separately, I also bore witness to two members of the media practically begging for rice after just one night of having naan 😄
AND SO... The Story Begins
Once, I had the rare opportunity of breathing in the same air as Bollywood gods at the Lakmé Fashion Week in Mumbai. The star-studded event was as glamorous as I had imagined and filled with the most beautiful people on earth and I felt that they were made more beautiful by their flamboyance and vivaciousness. As it was also my first time in India, I was drinking in every sight and sound at the Palladium Hotel, the venue that held the breathtaking affair. There was a kind of composed glamour in the hive of the fashion week activity.
This is not an embellished account of an ordinary event.
It is a true experience of an event so mesmerizing it is embedded in my memory forever. How romantic Mumbai was!
But somehow in the thick of Lakmé Fashion Week's glamour, two naughty girls were up to a little monkey business. Well, we didn't destroy the room or anything (good heavens, that is so 1980s). A journalist and I became fast friends when we realised we shared similar interests in architecture and people-watching. We were just so besotted by the people and scene there.
She went one step further by taking pictures and 'interviewing' the people there.
We practically singled a hotel staff out, short of stalking her and pressed her for some personal details. We took turns telling her that she is absolutely gorgeous and if she ever thought of joining a pageant.
The Darjeeling native just laughed us off and casually said that she looks like any other person in Darjeeling. Wow, beautiful AND humble at the same time 😙
The annual mean max temperature in Darjeeling is 14.9 ºC
Bollywood and Bengali cinema often film there
Darjeeling is a town located in West Bengal, India and is very near the borders of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh
I will make a trip here soon to find out what's up and that is a fact☝🏼
Photo of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or Toy Train is taken from http://www.theholidayindia.com/blog/things-to-do-darjeeling/
When I developed this chicken curry recipe, I wanted it to be aromatic and balanced, fragrant and not too spicy. I sat and pondered about it, making adjustments to the recipe in a notepad before I assumed work in the kitchen.
When I wrote this blog post, I was reminded of my experience in Mumbai and suddenly... the post took on a life of its own and I started chattering about so many other things. Hope you enjoyed my little experience in Mumbai and my Aromatic Chicken Curry recipe!
Aromatic Chicken Curry Recipe
To flavour oil
Cardamom Pods - 4
Cloves - 4
Star Anise - 1
Body (Toasted and Grounded)
Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 4 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 2 tsp
Ginger Paste - 2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/5 tsp
Cayenne Powder - 1 tsp (full)
Onion Powder - 2 tsp
Garlic Powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 3 sprigs
Render chicken fat
Add cardamom pods, cloves and star anise
About a minute in, add ginger paste to start the taste layering process
Add in the toasted and grounded powders, followed by the other powders. Cook the paste for a while until it becomes more caramelized and fragrant.
Add water to liquefy the paste.
Now add the chicken.
Now sprinkle the curry leaves like salt bae.
For best results (my experience after doing this a few times), I like to give the chicken thighs a headstart of around 5-7 minutes. Only then I will add the drumsticks and cook it for another 25 mins.