Chicken lollipop

Chicken lollipop

You know how all the crazy stuff you admired in your boyfriend, come back as worries about your son? That’s called payback. Your boyfriend lied expertly at home to hang out with you, made you laugh, rode super- fast, sweet-talked you into stuff and smoked stylishly. Yuvan was about 4 when he defiantly withstood an entire evening’s gentle prodding and questioning, claiming he had not scribbled on his sister’s drawing. All of us knew he had. He has his grandmothers and aunts thinking they’re his favourite girl. They have no clue he has said the same line to all the women in the family. They each secretly buy him ice cream thinking they’re the closest confidante. He compliments me when I wear a saree. He says I look cute. Last weekend he burped loudly. I :  “Ippadiya asingama yeppam viduvaange?” (How can you burp so nastily)?” Yuvi: “Seri, cute’a vidatuma?.. koo” (Ok, Shall I burp the cute way?.. koo) I laughed so hard. Jagan is mostly amused to see a smaller, possibly niftier version of him practicing his antics. He is prepared. He says I shouldn’t expect anything else. I worry. I am not prepared for this. Yuvan’s single most favourite order at restaurants is Chicken lollipop. He’ll not shy away from trying to order it in Saravana Bhavan also. That and biryani together make his favourite meal. When he was much younger and shorter, he stood up on his chair at the fancy schmancy burger place to get close to the waiter’s ear and told him “Biryani’ um pachadi’ um eduthitu vaange” (Bring biryani and raita). The waiter smiled in understanding. I make chicken lollipop every few weeks at home because he loves them so much. When I ask him how the chicken lollipop tastes, he doesn’t just say “It tastes very good.” He says “Did you make it amma? Really? It tastes so good, so much better than the restaurant lollipops”. He does finish his plate. So Yuvan’s flattery and charm notwithstanding, these chicken lollipops are really lip-smacking and are as good as the restaurant fare. These chicken lollipops are incredibly quick and surprisingly easy to make. You really can’t go wrong with these. Let me know if you make these. I’d love to hear your story. Lip-smacking chicken lollipops you can make at home in 30 minutes.
Paneer kothu chappathi

Paneer kothu chapathi

I am a big believer of signs. Last week, one morning I woke up singing “Oru poongavanam”. I set up the Bose Soundlink on the kitchen counter and played the song on repeat while I cooked. I let the onions blacken busy singing and mimicking the swimming action in the song. I had to drop off the kids at their grandma’s house before work. I switched on the radio and what song does it play? “Oru poongavanam pudhu manam…” We looked at each other open mouthed. It was a sign. It definitely was a sign. A sign of what I didn’t know but it was a sign. I sang to it in the car delighted. Only the previous day I felt like nothing was going my way, that I wasn’t doing things right. Then god plays my mind-song on radio to tell me I am doing fine. The traffic light turning to green as soon as you reach the junction, waking up early when you have to, you think you’re looking pretty and someone compliments you on how pretty you’re looking, a selfie that turns out to your liking, somebody brings you food, somebody buys you ice cream, somebody has a tablet when you have a headache.. are all good signs. Hasini has a great knack of finding out when I’ve upcycled something and I do a lot of that because I hate seeing food go waste. I don’t usually tell them because I don’t trust them to be open minded about it. Hasini makes sure to find out and announce it to everyone. This Paneer kothu chapathi however went down well with everyone. It’s super quick to put together if you have leftover chapathis or rotis in your or parathas in your fridge. You can use even the hardest, stiffest of your old rotis in this recipe. The liquid in the recipe helps soften your rotis just enough and the oil adds the delicious fried taste to it. You can add in scrambled eggs, cooked shredded chicken, peas, chopped carrots or anything else you fancy. I happened to have paneer so I made paneer kothu chapathi.  Make it your own. Don’t let another old chapathi go waste. Delicious kothu chapathi to make the best use of your leftover rotis/chapathis!
Pasta in creamy garlicky sauce

Pasta in creamy, garlicky sauce

Last week, my friends and I put to test one of our beloved childhood love-tests – FLAMES. If you’ve never heard about this ingenious little game then I am sorry to say you’ve really missed it. For you poor fellows, let me explain this path-breaking logic. You write down your name and your favourite person’s name and strike out all the common letters. Then you count up the remaining number of letters, say n. You then write the word “FLAMES” and strike out the nth letter. You keep going with the remaining letters until you have just the one letter remaining and that one letter is your relationship with that person – F – friends, L – Love, A – Affection, M – Marriage, E – Enemy and S – sister. Now that we’re married, if the test really works, the test should give an “M” for a married couple. As you rightly guessed, none of the real-life couples got an “M”. One theory that seemed to support this result was that none of the couples had any business being married to each other. All of us agreed to this at some level. The other theory is that there is no one absolute right path. There are multiple paths and we happen to have married ­­one of the possible candidates. The third theory is that FLAMES is bullshit which we were not ready to accept just yet. We continued to check our compatibility with some of our other favourite people. With Thalapathi Vijay, I get an F – friend and I am happy with that. Come to think of it, I need not have been as worried in college when my name didn’t go with the cute guy’s in the other class. It didn’t have to, for me to go talk to him. We’re always trying to find reasons for not doing the things we’re scared of doing. We’re afraid of failing, of being embarrassed, of being rebuffed. We should try anyways. We’ll laugh later about what stopped us today. It may be a formal degree, someone’s approval, public opinion, past mistakes, caution… I hope I managed to say something profound from all of that. You need some breathtaking pasta while you try FLAMES with all your favourite people. I made this creamy, garlicky, parmesan kissed pasta last week. I kid you not when I say that all seven people...
Mee Goreng

Mee Goreng

We have two more exams to go before the end of the school year. The school whatsapp group is buzzing with notes exchanges and exam paper doubt clarifications between mothers. We have a study holiday in between. Afternoon I was scrolling through SPI cinema to see which movies I’d watch next week after the final exam. I can’t wait. I need to watch a movie to mark the successful completion of the school year, to unwind, to feel alright, to reward myself. I came home from work and Yuvi tells me this – “Shall we please watch a movie tonight? I just feel like it. Viswasam?” He is my son alright. Am I a good mother? I don’t know. We watched Viswasam, on Amazon Prime. There are some scenes that were a real treat. There weren’t a whole lot of them but I really liked those. Ajith is the George Clooney of Indian Cinema and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that nobody else can rock grey hair or an unfit body like he does. What I loved about the movie was how Ajith does all the right things, says all the right things and makes it look good. He has quit drinking and he beats up anybody else who dare drink when he doesn’t. He is wearing his helmet when he swerves and does his stylish bike wheeling, he wears his seat belt when he sits in the car, he smiles and brushed aside his wife’s reprimand saying that’s the world order. Ajith commands respect, but Vijay steals my heart and Jagan is waiting on the phone. I’ve got to go. So I’ll quickly share with you a lipsmacking recipe for Mee Goreng with you my dear readers. As you’d have it, I didn’t have kecap Manis, the key ingredient in Mee Goreng and most other Malaysian dishes. I am an Indian and I know there is a substitute for everything. So I made my own Kecap Manis. I simmered soy sauce, brown sugar and star anise till it reduced to a thick syrup and used that as Kecap Manis. Mee Goreng is a hot and sweet kinda noodle dish, bursting with flavours and packed with all the good stuff – eggs, chicken and your favourite veggies. Top with a fried egg to really take this Mee Goreng over the top. Hasini and Yuvan loved this Mee...
Paniyaram

Paniyaram from leftover Dosa batter

Kids of lazy moms will know that Milagai podi and Kissan Jam are universal side dishes. One of the two will go with anything. That’s what these kids have been raised to believe. Ask Hasini and Yuvan if you wish to check. In my book, milagai podi is game for all kinds of idli, dosai, oothappam, paniyaram, upma or adai. I smear jam on dosai, chappathi, poori, bread, use it as a topping over oats, porridge, ice cream and sometimes eat spoonfuls straight from the jar when I am craving something sweet. I got caught doing just that. Since I am a responsible mother, I don’t let them eat out of the jam jar but I’ll do it when no-one’s around. When I got caught, I had to explain my veto powers and how nobody else can be trusted to handle the jam jar the right way. The other day I made paniyarams and served it with milagai podi with no qualms. I’ve always made paniyaram with leftover dosa batter. There is a point in the lifetime of a dosa batter when the dosa turns too sour and rubbery. That’s the point when wives and mommies unleash their creativity and come up with all sorts of ingenious recipes to make use of that leftover dosa batter. This paniyaram is one of the recipes I make often when I am left with sour dosa batter. I also make vengaya dosai, podi oothappam or these sweet and sour leftover idli batter fritters. These paniyarams are dumb-easy to make. Prepare a tempering of some basic ingredients – onion, chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Mix this into your leftover batter, pour into paniyaram moulds and cook. As simple as that. These paniyarams are convenient to pack in tiffin boxes too. Dumb-easy to make, these paniyarams are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Yum!
Subscribe to Foodbetterbegood!

Enter your email to stay tuned!

Subscribe!