She wanted to cook chicken by spending very little time in the kitchen.
“Uf! I hate the heat and the sweat when I spend so much time in the kitchen” she told me as she spoke over the phone.
“I know how you love to cool your heels under the cool of the AC. Did I annoy you?” all the words at that moment.
“Na baba na, just take me out of the tangle of the heat and tell me the best and most easy way of cooking Murgir Jhol today. Please. please, please, help me”, she said as she tried to flatter me.
“Yes. Very little time in hand. Have to wash and dress up too”.
“OK. As you wash and dress up for your evening outing your Murgir jhol will be ready simultaneously”, I told her. I could feel the thump, jump and the excitement she was going through.
“Start”, I told her.
“Take the pieces of murgi/chicken in a bowl and place it on the cooking platform. Take out the curd/dahi from the fridge…hope you have it. Add 2-3 tbsp to the chicken. By the way how much chicken you have?”
“About 700 gms”.
“Yes that much curd will do. Now add haldi and red chilli powder, 2-3 tbsp cooking oil and salt to taste and mix it well with the chicken pieces. Don’t think about it for 7-10 minutes. In-between go to the washroom and wash your face and hands and wipe them with a clean towel. Take out your clothes and jewellery and set them. Now comb your hair, no problem with your short hair, isn’t it? Hurry back to the kitchen and make some onion, ginger, garlic paste…2 onions, 6-7 garlic flakes, ½ inch ginger. Place the wok on the stove and pour very little oil…2-3 tbsp…that’ll do. Now add the onion paste to the hot oil and then pour the marinated chicken in. Stir…slow and steady…6-7 stir now and then and put the lid and simmer the flame.
You go back, apply your make-up in the meantime. Come back and rock-n-roll the chicken that’s cooking…I mean move the pieces gently…the bottom ones coming to the top and the top ones hahaha…cover and go back as the chicken pieces must have released enough water and need no attention for some minutes.
Change your clothes and you must be ready now. Go back to the kitchen to give the final touch to the jhol you are cooking. In another pan heat some water. Now see if the water of the murgi that’s cooking has evaporated completely. If so add little water to make the jhol…I mean the gravy of the curry. Let it come to a boil and adjust the type of gravy you want.
Done. Isn’t it. Two things completed without tiring you. Like it or not?”
“Thanks a lot. My curry is done. Muuuah! Thanks again. Will talk to you later after dinner”…and she disconnected.
I realized I had been talking over the phone for about 35 minutes. But as there was lots of activity on the other side the conversation went off smoothly. I asked myself, “did I speak too long?” a query to me leaving the question unanswered…be the judge…leave you guessing how much time it took to cook the Murgir Jhol…happy quizzing!!!
© gouri guha 2014