Snippets of conversations tend to leave a mark on our thoughts, often popping up in our psyche at different stages of life.
“As an individual, I have always wanted to create a legacy…,” a desire expressed by the founder of Readomania had struck a chord with me, leading to several moments of introspection about the notion of legacy and its various forms.
Over the past two months, the family has seen mortality up close with the demise of family members and close friends. It has been especially difficult for my parents who had a special bond with each of these individuals. But the loss of my sister’s mother-in-law has shaken the core of us all.
An inspiring and strong lady, she has been someone we have looked up to – as an individual and for the beautiful relation she shared with my sister. Her legacy remains in the relations she formed with people around her, the lessons she taught her children and the bond she shared with Didi1.
To be honest, when she got married a decade ago, Didi was marginally better off than me in terms of cooking. Over the years, it is the tips and tricks from our mother and her mother-in-law who she called Mamoni2 that have made her into a stellar cook. Today’s recipe is one that Mamoni taught Didi.
Along with the recipe that landed in my inbox a few days ago, Didi sent a heartwarming email giving an insight into her relationship with Mamoni. What better way to pass on a legacy than to share the inspiring characteristics about this dynamic lady through stories from the pages of life. Here are some excerpts from the email:
“…Mamoni loved to eat and feed others. She remembered the favourite food of her kith and kin and always made sure it was laid out on the table, in addition to a lot of other dishes during the main meals…”
“…When I first started cooking, I would use my mother’s recipes and her tricks to make cooking easier and faster. I would share these recipes with Mamoni who understood my need for the easy and quick. She too would look for recipes to share with me, be it from magazines or her favourite cooking shows. She would try the recipe first, include modifications if needed and share the recipe with me only if she was satisfied with it. The doi chicken (chicken in yogurt sauce) is one such recipe.”
If you like this recipe and give it a shot – and I hope you do – please comment below. Feel free to share the recipe and tag From The Corner Table on Facebook/Instagram if you make this yummy chicken and upload photos.
Pssst… all photographs have been clicked by the untrained me on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Do let me know how they are working out.
Bengali Doi Chicken
(Chicken in yogurt sauce)
Time: 30 minutes
Boneless chicken (cubed) – 500 grams
Greek yogurt / hung curd – 250 grams (and an extra 50 grams)
Brown raisins – 1 tablespoon
Onions (sliced) – 3 medium sized
Ginger paste – 1 tablespoon
Green chillies (slit) – 4
Cinnamon – 2 sticks (or 1 big stick)
Cumin powder – 2 teaspoons
Black pepper (freshly ground) – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Sugar – 1 teaspoon
In a fairly big bowl, mix 250 grams yogurt, ginger paste, cumin powder, black pepper powder, salt and sugar. Whisk well. Add the chicken and set aside to marinate – at least for 30 minutes. The ideal marinating time would be 2 hours.
Place a non-stick pan or a kadhai3 on low heat. Add some oil and heat. Once the oil is hot enough, add 1 sliced onion and fry till dark brown. Set aside for garnish.
In the same pan, add the remaining onion slices along with the cinnamon and sauté till the onion is soft and light brown.
Pour in the chicken along with the marinate mix. Give it a quick stir, lower the flame and cover the pan. Stir the chicken occasionally. Once the chicken is semi cooked, check the sauce for salt-sugar-pepper and adjust. If you need more gravy, then add the remaining yogurt and adjust the spices accordingly.
Add 2 green chillies, mix well and cover the pan. Once the chicken in cooked, add the raisins, give the chicken a quick stir and take off the heat.
Serve hot, garnished with the green chillies, brown raisins and the fried onion. The chicken in yogurt sauce can be eaten with rice, naan or pita.
* Add ½ teaspoon sugar to the onions to give them a dark brown tint.
* Feel free to increase the amount of sugar if the sauce is too sour for your taste.
* Do NOT use water to thicken the gravy. Use yogurt. Water will dilute the creaminess and taste of the yogurt.
* If using hung curd, then the sauce might be a tad bit watery. Add a teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken the gravy.
1 Didi – affectionate term for older sister in several Indian languages
2 Mamoni – affectionate term for mother/mother-in-law in Bengali language
3 kadhai – thick, circular and deep cooking pot used in Indian kitchens
Photos: Rapti Bhaumick