Me: Mummy.....just tell me the recipe for your chicken fry...one more time
Mother: oh...it's the same one I have given you earlier....you made it so many times after that...!
Me: Yeah...I know ....but I wanted to be very sure this time.....planning to blog about it, so don’t want to miss any ingredients or deviate from your original recipe.....
Mother: Ok....start with mixing chilly powder, turmeric, ginger, garlic........... (She explains the recipe in detail)
Mother: Aahh..if you re planning to blog this, then it is better to use chicken legs.....that will look good in the picture
Me: WOW! I didn't think about that ...sounds great...
......and this morning while calling home, I showed them the photograph I clicked last week and was waiting eagerly to hear her response as somehow I was pretty impressed with the shot and the conversation followed was like this:
Mother: .........uh.....mm....it looks Okay......( Well, her 'ok' means 'not satisfied' , so I asked her directly)
Me: What happened....you didn' t like it...? Isn't it how it is supposed to be??
Mother: (with her voice down a bit) .....uhh....you shouldn't have kept those pieces together.....you should have lined it on a plate...
Me: Mummy, it's difficult to photograph that way....I couldn't manage to get a good angle
Mother: .....and why isn't the meat browned evenly?
Me: ohh...thats 'coz I used a shallow pan....I dont have a small wok...also I dont like it too crispy
Mother: ....atleast you should have put those onions on top of the chicken instead of layering it at the bottom.....
Me: (beginning to lose patience here ) .......I layered it that way 'coz otherwise the readers wont be able to see the meat....they will just get to see some onions alone....
Mother: still, I feel you shouldn't have clustered the chicken legs like that....
Me: (I am speechless and sad...... my creativity, my culinary skills, everything is questioned here and then I hear my brother's voice in the background)
Brother: In my personal opinion.....frankly and honestly speaking, it doesn't look 'perfect'.........the onions kinda gives a gravy like image instead of a dry fried chicken one ( trying to sound politically correct here )
Me: You know, had I pictured with onions on top, nobody will be able to see what's lying underneath that.....then there's no point in using chicken legs.....
Brother: This is just my personal opinion.....just telling you what I felt.....
Me: (Speehless......defenseless.... )
Well, I have mentioned in one of my earlier posts that my two best ( or worst?) critics are CJJ, the mastermind behind this blog and my mother, the main contributor of 90% of the recipes I have featured here . Till this conversation I was under the impression that I have a significant role to play in this blog , even if it is one of a Content Developer who gives flesh and blood to the body and keeps it alive and make everything look and sound appealing .........but with this particular conversation , it was quite clear that I have been demoted to the level of a glorified clerk or assistant who has failed to carry out her job decently!!!
Whether the fried pieces does not look the way it is supposed to be or the picture sends out a wrong message or not, this is a lip-smacking dish my mother prepares and here I am sharing her recipe with you all:
- 4-5 chicken drumsticks/leg of chicken ( You can use any piece of chicken weighing about 400-500 gm)
- 1 tbsp chilly powder (adjust to your taste and tolerance)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- Around ½ tsp homemade masala powder/garam masala
- Around ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper powder
- ¾ tsp fresh ginger paste
- ½ to ¾ tsp fresh garlic paste
- 1 ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Around 1/4 cup oil for pan-frying
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 1 red big onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Indian green chillies cut lengthwise
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- Leftover marinade used for chicken
- Salt, if required
- Lemon or lime wedges
- Wash chicken drumsticks thoroughly and make 2-3 slits on it and pat dry the pieces with a paper towel. If you are using medium size cubed pieces of chicken, there is no need to make slits on the meat.
- Make a marinade with chilly powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, ground pepper powder, ginger and garlic paste, salt and lemon juice and apply it on the meat thoroughly and let it rest for minimum 2 hours either on the kitchen counter or refrigerator.
- Heat oil in a small wok or pan: tear off curry leaves and fry them in oil for 2-3 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon and keep it aside for final garnishing. This helps to add one more level of flavour to coconut oil. Place the chicken pieces gently in oil and fry each side for 2-3 minutes, in low-medium heat, until it is done. (Note: Cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the meat and temperature too) Remove the fried pieces using a slotted spoon and keep it aside in a plate.
- Now to the same oil, add thinly sliced onions and green chillies and cook till it starts to brown. At this stage add the leftover marinade and curry leaves and mix well with the onion and stir until it loses the raw smell, for about a minute and add salt if required. Now put all the fried chicken back to the wok/pan; mix everything well, and pile up all the masala on the fried chicken pieces and keep the lid and let it cook , in warm-low flame, for a minute or two or and turn off the stove.
- Garnish with the fried curry leaves , kept aside earlier and serve with lemon or lime wedges.