I like down to earth, salt of the earth kind of men.
Yes, I do love them to look like Christian Grey without the "50 shades of grey" lurking inside of them of course...I will make my peace with just 10 shades..thank you ;)
My dad is a self made man..a brilliant, absolutely brilliant guy.
I doubt I ever met anyone more dynamic, capable or amazing. I have never seen him fail at anything..and even if he does, its only coz the standards he sets for himself are impossibly high.
Having lost his mom at the tender age of two, he had a tough childhood..Lets just say he never knew true love till he met my mom and fell in love with her.. And the rest as they say is history.
My husband, much like my dad is a humble, down to earth guy. They don't show off. They don't boast and they don't bully. They are both dynamic & strong ... both are the pillars of their extended family and friends..both are home bodies for whom the family matters more than anything..
And often with these kind of men, there is a need in them to go back to their humble beginnings.
It somehow soothes them, reminds them of all the tough times they have faced and how much they have evolved... It gives them the much needed connect with their roots...with their inner beings....with their souls..and they need it.
Coz even if they lose themselves momentarily in the cacophony of brands and plastic cards...in foreign trips and new homes...in luxurious stretch limos and club nights, they will never forget their root... their humble beginning.
This simple chicken jhol is a dish that celebrates the common man in India.. Its a dish that can be found in every home..may be a little altered,coz after all every region has a different dish in India, but this is atypical of the eastern region... and yes, I give you this simple,rustic, back to the roots chicken jhol as a subtle reminder to always save a bit of your past.. your beginning in you..
As a typical rusti dish, this chicken is full of flavors that are loud and shout at you! No subtle hint of flavors in this..and trust me, I wouldn't have it any other way.
As someone who characterizes her cooking as full of bold flavors, this curry has lodged itself permanently in my stout little "desi" loving heart and won a place in our bi-monthly Sunday Lunch menu..
The chicken is simmered in a spicy onion and tomato based gravy redolent with the aroma of cardamom and cloves.. subtle hint of earthy sweetness from cinnamon and a big punch of heat from the peppercorns..Its moist and tender,with just the right amount of heat that you will experience as an aftertaste..Served with plain boiled rice, some cold buttermilk and a mixed veg salad, this dish is rustic and Indian cuisine at its easiest,non-fussy best!
Give this a go and I can guarantee you won't regret it. Ever.
Remembering my roots,
Chicken 1 kg
For the Ground Masala:
- Onion 2 Meduim
- Ginger 1 inch
- Garlic 10-12 cloves
- Dried Red chillie 2
- Bay leaf 1
- Cumin seeds 1 tsp
- Green chillie 1-2
- Oil 1/2 tsp
Dry Roast: (for the garam masala)
- Cardamom 2
- Badi Elaichi or Black Cardamom 1
- Cloves 4
- Cinnamon 1 inch
- Peppercorn 4
- Mustard Oil - 4tbsp or as needed.
- Cardamom 3-4
- Cloves 4
- Peppercorn 7-8
- Black Cardamom 1
- Dried Red Chillie -2 or 3
- Cumin Seeds -1 tsp
- Onions chopped up fine - 2 medium
- Tomatoes chopped fine 2
- Kashmiri Red Chillie Powder 1 tsp (acc to taste)
- Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
- Cumin Powder 1/2tsp
- Crushed Black pepper -1/2 tsp
- Tandoori Chicken Masala Powder 1 tbsp
- Turmeric 1/2 tsp (as needed)
- Salt (as needed)
- Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) 2 tsp
- Coriander leaf for garnish - big handful
- Start by dry roasting the ingredients in a dry pan/tawa.. Cool and coarsely grind to a powder. Reserve.
- Next, In a mixer, add the ingredients under the ground masala ,a dash of water and grind till its smooth in texture. Keep aside.
- Chop up the tomatoes finely.
- Slice the Onions.
- Heat a nonstick kadhai/dutch oven and pour some mustard oil - 3tbsp
- Add the whole spices mentioned under others.
- Once fragrant, add some cumin seeds and let it pop..
- Add 2 dried red chillie, once done ,
- Add the finely chopped onion to it and saute till translucent..
- Next add the ground masala and fry it off for a bit..
- Next add the powdered masalas mentioned under "others", add the tomatoes and fry the masala well for 7-10 mintues till beautifully colored, fragrant and oil leaves the side of the masala..
- Next crush in the kasuri methi and add the chicken pieces..
- Cook open for 5 mins without turning.
- Next lower the heat, and mix well and cook covered for 15-20 mins , add a little water if you see the chicken sticking (I typically don't) , just keep stirring once in a while to ensure it doesn't stick to the pan...
- Next add enough drinking water to make a curry or jhol..
- Cook til the gravy is thick and the chicken is cooked...don't put the lid on and let it boil away for 5 mins..
- Add the dry roasted garam masala powder... the coriander leaves, give it a stir and sprinkle some slit green chillies..
- Serve with lemon wedges to be sprinkled over if so desired.