The white pearl danglings from Hyderabad were my favorite. How could I forget it? For it was exactly at the time of crushes and infatuations that I got it and gifted to my then boyfriend S (sort of, for he was never a friendly one, more of a serious type, who never forgets to buy me a masala dosa, and that he is my first love of life - My Dad). Well past that year, I met my man, then boyfriend and now my hubby dear. Of course we had our first spoonfuls of Haleem at a restaurant served by our family friends and once a kind of Haleem at work. Little later, I met our colleague Khan's beautiful begum, and with her khubani ka meeta, that was even more beautiful and delicious.These were the times Andhra popped into my world. These are the very things I would love to remember even if you ask me a decade later.
Reading Sucharitha Reddy’s Nostalgia Cuisine is like visiting your grandma's kitchen where you get to see the brass and copper utensils at real work. No doubt today most of the brass utensils grace our living rooms, sometimes sitting right where we serve our fruit platters, or sometimes in a corner of the wide veranda as a collection, with so many sentiments attached and sometimes not, showcasing owner’s pride. At least my Mom had a handful to keep her busy with those high maintenance ones with occasional scrub of tamarind. I am not an authority on cleaning business, so can't talk about it in detail.
As I started leafing through the heavily photographed pages of the book, what stuck me was the picture of a glistening Kodi Shorva followed by a gush of memories of Aunty Carol’s house, get togethers reminding little
India assembled in her house, and of course Aunty's orange colored chicken curry as we children used to call it.
As a child, heading to Aunty Carol's on a Sunday meant eating orange colored chicken curry with basmati rice for lunch and sometimes delicious green rice with lots of side plates for small feeds from time to time, playing rummy for Dad folks, and cooking for Mommie dears. What I look forward to was the friends, hide and seek, shooting my first tidbits of Hindi, and how we all danced, way before we practiced with 1-2-3. Wow it all seemed like a perfect childhood with perfect people around. The settings were mediocre. We never dressed up like fairies nor aunty used fine bone china. What's notable was her love, which traveled beyond all caste, creed, and people.
When you least expect it and somebody hands you a gift that you want soo badly? How you feel about it? You sure will be happy. HAPPY right.
I too am very happy to find the recipe in Reddy's book.
Chicken - 1 kg
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Curd, whipped - 1 cup
Coconut -poppy seed paste - 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon sticks - 2
Cardamoms - 2
Cloves - 4
Caraway seeds - 1/4 tsp
Onions, chopped - 2 cups
Hot water - 2 cups
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
Marinate the chicken with ginger-garlic paste, curd, coconut-poppy seed paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for 30 mins.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, caraway seeds and the onions.
Saute till the onions turn golden brown.
Add the marinated chicken and cook for 5 mins till the raw flavor goes. Cover and cook for some time. Stir well and let the chicken simmer for a few minutes till the oil separates. Finally add the hot water and let the gravy cook for some more time. Sprinkle the garam masala powder and garnish with the coriander leaves. Serve Kodi shorva hot.
Mutton shorva can be prepared similarly.