Good food-gateway to a happy mood!

Tips for Happy Cooking- COOK, SHARE, EAT AND REPEAT

Image captured by the author

The other day, after much pestering by my brother, I decided to satisfy his insatiable desire for a tasty non-veg delicacy. So, the thought that came to mind was, why not veg fried rice and a chilly chicken recipe?

Having said that, it was I who instilled this temptation of chilly chicken into him, so the choice came effortlessly!

His usual buttery words to make me cook for him starts something like this- “Hey, you know you cook well. Why not cook biryani/chilly chicken/fried chicken etc. etc. (depending on his mood) this Sunday? You cook this time and next, it will be my turn!” But, tell you what, his next never comes (except for chicken curry that he cooked twice some months ago, about which he keeps boasting all the time as if it happened a few days back only)!

And, this is his pleading on every Sunday! On most days I ignore as I feel lethargic to cook. It’s not the process of cooking but the process that precedes cooking is actually what blows my mind. But then, it’s only in my imagination! No sooner I get into the kitchen, procrastination flies out of the window. It’s just the start that’s difficult but once am inside I groove into my cooking.

Wait the hurdle is far from over!

Another thing that drives me crazy is my mother’s constant complaints like- “Why are you using so many utensils? Why is the salt bottle not on the shelf? Why is the masala(spice) packet not properly sealed? Why this? Why that?” And more why and why!

Hence, the most difficult part-to cook together with Maa in the same kitchen and at the same time. Sigh!

However, after dealing with obstacle 1 and 2, if I can make my way into the kitchen with a cool mind, then nothing can stop me from cooking with my heart’s content and surprise my people with mouth-watering food cooked by the Chef-Me, of course!

My favourite meal for cooking is the morning breakfast. It is easy, simple, short and cooking healthy recipes like poha,upma, daliya, dosa and oats are just my favourite. Off late, I am learning to make round shaped chapati too! I am not a pro yet, but I will be soon. Hopefully! At least my mother wants me so that I don’t end up causing disgrace to her by not able to make round chapati in my would-be in-law’s house (God, knows when that will be!). That’s her reason but my reason is simple- to acquire the knack of rounding the shape which so many people are expert at!

Coming back to my area of forte, when I say oats/daliya/poha/upma it’s not like having a bowlful of it with milk. No, I don’t like it that way.

I like it in the spice and salty way. After all, life is all about salt and spice, isn’t it?

With colourful vegetables, spices, herbs, peanuts and a good amount of desi ghee-that is the way my breakfast normally goes. And, the aroma it emanates- I so wish I could have written it in words but I just can’t! Just wow is all I can say!

Okay, but this is not what my post is all about.

Today’s post is about culinary skill for lunch- Chilly Chicken (veg fried is an added bonus).

I am not going to elaborate the recipe because I am pretty sure most of you are already an expert in it. And, even if you are not you can always google search and come up with a recipe according to your taste and availability of ingredients.

I am here not only to tell you how it went by, but also, the emotional side towards the food that I cooked with so much love.

First, let me confess, I was sceptical as to how it will turn out because I have blundered it on my first attempt, about a year ago, even after following a recipe step by step. Though I looked confident to my brother, deep inside I was not so sure!

Nonetheless, I put on a brave face and after having gone through a recipe in Youtube, I asked him to bring all essentials that will be needed- he was only too happy, to rush to the market, and bring whatever was asked, as he was hoping for some grand hotel alike dish from me! Oh, what a pity!

This time, too, I followed the recipe from the internet but only with some added twist of my own. I took a grasp of the tutorial but haven’t followed step by step.

Ah, what a great decison it was!

Unexpectedly, the first step of marination turned so good that, then and there I realised I am on the right track.

Oh well, my mother poked me this time too, but I didn’t give much of a thought to it. I was just too overwhelmed with the yummy looking marinated chicken and was too excited how it will turn out like!

The next step was to chop the vegetables. I am very much particular about the way I do the chopping. Here I go slow and careful as I want my veggies to be chopped uniformly. After about 10 minutes, I chopped the onions-capsicum in cubes and garlic-ginger-chilli in small pieces. I have also kept aside differently chopped veggies for fried rice. I bet, the chopping board looked too colourful. Only, that I forgot to click a pic. Oh, pity me!

The third step and the delicate one- to fry the chicken. Here is the crucial part-the chicken has to get fried with a reddish tinge from outside and soft and juicy inside.

It shouldn’t be like papad, to be precise! That’s what happened to me last time, so was a tad scared. Keeping aside my conflict, I poured the marinated chicken on a frying pan, and lightly tossed and stirred now and then, so that it won’t stick on the pan. And o la la! This worked perfectly fine too! I cooked the world’s tastiest, fried chicken. Hehe!

The fourth step went great too. The sauce preparation was icing on the cake. The texture was so like a hotel’s recipe. And I am not exaggerating. It indeed was!

The last step- I added the fried chicken to the sauce that I prepared. And, it was beyond words! I couldn’t believe my eyes. So good it was! Okay, self-praise is needed at times. But honestly, it was way too good for a second time. Hehe!

It might be just a small thing but for me it was magic. The happiness you feel when you find your food turned so well was a bliss!

As for my brother, he was happy as hell. Along with the fried rice he had the yummiest chicken cooked by chef- Me, of course!

He was all full of praise but this time it sounded real. He was not adding up with his buttery praise and his eyes were genuinely filled with compliments for my cooking. The happiness you get on seeing someone devouring your food with so much pleasure was enough to feed your mind and soul (not your tummy because eventually I too got hungry!). I felt blessed.

So, together, after a lot of hard work, we devoured the tastiest lunch on a Sunday with relish, and ate beyond our usual capacity, with a word of assurance from him that he is going to come up with his deep-fried chicken recipe soon! Hehe!

P.S: And lastly, to give it an Indian flavour and for a good picture too, I garnished with coriander on top. Hope, my image does justice to my emotional aspect towards the food.