student | urban planning | revolutionary marxist
dictatorship of the kumquat
You might be thinking that the name of this recipe is made up, since you never heard it before. That’s because it is. My father made up the name when I was about 12 years old! Actually there is a story behind it to justify the name. It goes like this.
My Dad was posted in Kashmir in those days and he got a cook to help him out. He was staying alone since the rest of the family had stayed back in Imphal. Mama wasn’t around to cook for him, so the cook did most of the cooking. He wasn’t very experienced at cooking; and so wasn’t very familiar with popular recipes. But he always managed to save his job by improvising and coming up with his own recipes. We stayed with Papa during our vacations and that’s when we got to taste his cooking. Among other dishes, his chicken was the best and it never tasted like any chicken curry we had. His name was Ramaiya and Papa started referring to his chicken as Ramaiya Chicken! Papa liked his curry so much that he learned the recipe from Ramaiya and passed it on to his children too. To this day, Ramaiya Chicken remains a popular dish in our house.
For Ramaiya Chicken, you will need:
- 1 kg chicken (preferably, country chicken with skin).
- 2 large onions.
- 3-4 large tomatoes.
- 1 large piece of ginger.
- 2 medium size potatoes.
- 60 g mustard oil.
- 1 tbsp paprika (I have used an exotic chilli powder grown in the neighbouring hills instead.).
- salt to taste.
Getting your chicken cut into small pieces will get the flavours to mix well with the meat.
Dice the onions and the tomatoes. Ramaiya liked dicing up vegetables into small pieces!
Peel and pound the garlic.
Peel and cut the potatoes into fairly big pieces.
Heat the oil in a wok and put in the onions.
Keep stiring and fry them till they just start turning brown.
Now, add the tomatoes and salt. The salt will help release the water from the tomatoes and help it to fry more thoroughly.
Fry them till some water evaporates and you can see the oil separately.
Add in the ginger and paprika and toss them around.
You will get a lovely red sauce… keep frying for a few seconds.
Now, add the potatoes. We are adding the potatoes early as we want it to disintegrate a little lending a thick texture to the gravy. Cook them for a about half a minute.
And then add the chicken.
Toss the chicken around for about a minute allowing it to mix in well.
Now, put on a lid and let it stand for about a minute….
… or until the juices from the meat come out.
Now take off the lid and fry the ingredients for some time till the juice evaporates leaving just the oils. Now the mustard oil and the oil from the chicken skin are mixed well.
Now, add some water, about 2 cups, and leave it to boil.
And when the amount of water is reduced to about 1/3rd of the original, the potatoes will be soft and will crumble a bit.
Check if the chicken is cooked well. If it is not, add some more water and let it boil for some more time. And if it is, bring the thickness of the gravy to the consistency of your liking. And your Ramaiya Chicken is done! It has a mild sweet and sour taste to it which comes from the onions and tomatoes.
Garnish with some green onions. Never garnish it with coriander leaves as it will alter the taste of the dish drastically! Enjoy it with the staple of your choice.
Ramaiya Bhaiya, I hope the internet likes your recipe.
Teochew style Beef Kway Teow soup / Beef noodles
I LOVE this. Very flavourful broth & beef slices cooked just right (will continue to “cook” in the hot soup). Yes, similar to the popular pho but still tastes (very) different (to me). Different broth and different garnish used.
~Food of Spring~
Có người anh hỏi. Sao em lại thích những hình ảnh về đồ ăn thức uống bánh trái nhiều như thế nhỉ?
Mình cười. Không biết giải thích thế nào.
Về cảm giác dễ chịu, đơn giản, và yên ả mà nó mang lại.
Cả cảm giác con gái trỗi dậy rất nhẹ nhàng.
When I go to contemporary Asian restaurants, like Wolfgang Puck’s now-shuttered 20.21 in Minneapolis and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market in New York City, it seems the entrées are always in the $16–$35 range and the only identifiable person of color in the kitchen is the dishwasher. The menus usually include little blurbs about how the chefs used to backpack in the steaming jungles of the Far East (undoubtedly stuffing all the herbs and spices they could fit into said backpacks along the way, for research purposes), and were so inspired by the smiling faces of the very generous natives—of which there are plenty of tasteful black-and-white photos on the walls, by the way—and the hospitality, oh, the hospitality, that they decided the best way to really crystallize that life-changing experience was to go back home and sterilize the cuisine they experienced by putting some microcilantro on that $20 curry to really make it worthy of the everyday American sophisticate. American chefs like to talk fancy talk about “elevating” or “refining” third-world cuisines, a rhetoric that brings to mind the mission civilisatrice that Europe took on to justify violent takeovers of those same cuisines’ countries of origin. In their publicity materials, Spice Market uses explicitly objectifying language to describe the culture they’re appropriating: “A timeless paean to Southeast Asian sensuality, Spice Market titillates Manhattan’s Meatpacking District with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s piquant elevations of the region’s street cuisine.” The positioning of Western aesthetics as superior, or higher, than all the rest is, at its bottom line, an expression of the idea that no culture has value unless it has been “improved” by the Western Midas touch. If a dish hasn’t been eaten or reimagined by a white person, does it really exist?
Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods, often claims that to know a culture, you must eat their food. I’ve eaten Vietnamese food my whole life, but there’s still so much that I don’t understand about my family and the place we came from. I don’t know why we can be so reticent, yet so emotional; why Catholicism, the invaders’ religion, still has such a hold on them; why we laugh so hard even at times when there’s not much to laugh about. After endless plates of com bi, banh xeo, and cha gio, I still don’t know what my grandmother thinks about when she prays.
Some days when I’m feeling upset, I like to make pickles and sauces. Frustrated? make a bottle of pesto. Depressed? pepper relish sounds good. Stressed out? make two pounds of kimchi. It gives another meaning to bottling up your feelings. I like to think that it’s much more lucrative than just brooding around indulging yourself.
A few days ago my paternal grandmother was hospitalized due to GI-tract bleeding. It’s been managed and she’s much better since, but I was home that day and felt helpless and ended up making two batches of Korean pickled radish - kkakdugi and danmooji. Add that to the lingering wad of kimchi and now I’m in a bit of a pickle. No one in this house is as big a pickle enthusiast, so I’ll have to find a way to eat them all before I leave to Qatar in a few weeks.
This is one of them. It’s a re-post but with a bit better pictures, methinks. Feel free to add minced chicken, beef or pork and fry them with the garlic in the cooking step below.
JJAJANG-MYEON (serves 2-3):
[ 1/2 cup diced carrots + 1 cup diced zucchini + 1 onion, diced + 1 cup peeled and diced potatoes + 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, any kind + 3 cloves of garlic + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil + 1/4 cup Chunjang (Korean black bean paste) + 1 1/2 cup water + 2 tablespoons cornflour dissolved in 1/4 cup water + 2 tablespoons sugar + 2 teaspoon sesame oil + noodles or spaghetti ]OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon grated ginger.
Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic and ginger, if using, until fragrant. Add potato, onion, and zucchini and keep stirring until the potato looks a little translucent.
Clear a space in the center by pushing the ingredients to the edges.
Add the other tablespoon of vegetable oil to the center of the wok, then add the black bean paste and stir it with a wooden spoon for 1 minute to fry it. Mix the vegetables in the pan into the sauce and keep stirring.
Add water and let it cook with the lid closed for about 10 minutes. Open the lid check if the vegetables are fully cooked. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch. Keep stirring until it’s well mixed and thick. Add the sesame oil and remove from the heat.
Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Warm the sauce if needed. Serve with hard boiled egg, cucumber strips and danmooji.
i had pho yesterday at a newish restaurant near my haus and im excited because i had never been there and it’s good
#food (at Ying Thai 2)