The reputation of being a foodie is a tough job to keep. To keep satisfying your gastronomical urges is a big challenge, specially in a foreign land where most of your favourite cuisines are lacking. But yours truly loves challanges and took on this errand to feed himself the best of dishes.
When i decided to bid adieu to Kolkata and pack myself off to Bangalore, the only advice i heard from everyone was regarding food. South Indian cuisine was unpalatable for most Bongs and relatives and friends were perturbed about my well being, knowing how much i rely on food for survival. My answer would be, “I eat it all. Do not worry, i will manage.” Yes, i was quite confident that i will manage. Why not? I loved eating dosas at Udupi or from the roadside thela wallahs at Rashbehari Avenue.
I gave up on eating south Indian food within a week of shifting to this city. The food was really mundane and lacked imagination. The sheer travesty of not being able to enjoy what you eat made me go glum. Even the outlets which supposedly sold “North Indian food” bore the hallmark of curry leaves and sour sambhar daal! Not willing to bow down to food jehad, i decided to call it a war!
Before moving in to Bangalore, the most difficult dish that i ever cooked (on gas) was egg bhurji. It was a challenge, therefore, to cook authentic Bengali cuisine, which would taste good and be eatable. That too, to cook 365 days a year was a Hearculean task itself. I fathomed i had no choice but to take the plunge and so i did. For the last one month i have been maturing as a cook.
My big moment came yesterday when i prepared, for the first time on gas, chicken biriyani. It might sound juvenile but i believe this has been a defining milestone in my life. My love for chicken is known to all. To be able to cook it, THAT TOO in Bangalore, after a gap of a month, is a feat unimaginable for me.
I wish to share this moment of joy with all my readers by sharing the recipe of the chicken biriyani that now forms a part of my system.
Marinate the chicken for half an hour with curd, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, onion paste and tomato puree with some salt.
Fry onions in a pan of oil till brown. Add garam masala powder, red chilli powder, jeera. Add the marinated chicken and stir till it i cooked.
In another container, take some rice soaked in water and boil it till half. To this half boiled rice, add the chicken, saffron powder, little milk. Mix well, cover with a lid and simmer for half an hour.
Your chicken biriyani is ready.