Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A Malayali Tongue Twister

I have posted plenty of Malayali recipes on this blog over the last few months, but haven't inflicted one tongue twister of a name on you, o reader. This is a shame, given that Malayalam, as the name itself suggests, is a tongue twister of a language. In an effort to make this blog a little more authentic, let me make amends for past wrongs and present to you Chicken Olarthiyathu.

In any average restaurant in India, the waiter will quite happily distinguish for you the "dry" dishes on the menu from the rest. Translated into English, this refers to curries in which the gravy clings to the meat or vegetables that form the core of the dish. Chicken Olarthiyathu is meant to be a "dry" curry - simply put, it is chicken in a spicy masala, with the strong flavour of curry leaves (an all-time favourite with me) ringing through.

I concocted my version of chicken olarthiyathu for my brother, who is currently visiting me from India. To put it mildly, he is sparing with his praise of cooking, and fairly liberal with his criticism. Not a particularly even handed approach if you ask me, but of course, life isn't fair.

At dinner, I plonked the chicken olarthiyathu on the dining table and bullied him into taking photos of it so I could post them on the blog. He looked distinctly unhappy with this pre-dinner ritual, but  decided not to complain. I have to say that having a resident photographer is quite a luxury. This blog is beginning to look so much prettier than it usually does. When we finally proceeded to eat, there wasn't much verbal communication about the food other than an appreciative nod from him. But the chicken olarthiyathu disappeared at a very rapid rate before my eyes. I take that as a big compliment from my brother who is fighting a losing battle against his love handles.

Sadly, I didn't note down the recipe when I was putting this together, so that will have to wait for another time. Chicken olarthiyathu will be making another appearance in my kitchen fairly soon, so I promise it will not be a long wait.   

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