I had invited a couple of friends over for dinner and I was contemplating ways of surprising their taste buds.
As I opened the refrigerator door and stooped down to pick up the pack of boneless chicken thighs, sitting on the lowest rack of the refrigerator, it cried out “I challenge you to dish out a new curry today.”
I wouldn’t have taken up the gauntlet but for the bunch of fresh cilantro resting right next to it.
The food processor was called to action. Ginger, garlic cloves, a medium sized onion, half a cup of yogurt and the whole bunch of cilantro were blended into a marinade in no time.
The chicken pieces were coated in the marinade and set aside for half an hour. A drizzle of oil into the pan and in went the chicken. Fifteen minutes later my “Cilantro Chicken” was ready.
At dinner time I boasted about my new recipe. But I didn’t receive the applause I was fishing for.
After my friends left that day, I Googled “dhania (cilantro) chicken”. A bunch of recipes sprang up on the screen.
I was preparing the same cilantro chicken, which I had once claimed to be my brainchild, for friends who were coming over for lunch.
But this time it had to be ‘my cilantro chicken’. So I dry roasted a bunch of whole spices – black and green cardamom, cinnamon, clove, star anise, mace – and put them in a grinder. I sprinkled the powdered spices over the curry just a couple of minutes before turning off the gas burner.
And I named it “Curry in a hurry”.