Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Setting the Record Straight

The reference to litti deprivation in my last post was not particularly well received by a certain Bihari member of my constituency, who swears that I was in fact, duly introduced to it at some point during college. I decided to put matters right by crediting my college room mate and friend, M, for the top three things that I do remember.

1. Ispaaarks theory
The first is the Ispaaarks theory. Not Ispaaarks as in iphone, ipad etc. Ispaaarks as in ischool. Sparks pronounced the Bihari way. ISPAAARKS. Yes. You got it.

M's Ispaaarks theory is that there can be no romantic linkage with another unless there are ispaaaarks. Every time we teased her with a member of the opposite sex (and we did this often) she'd protest, "But there are no ispaaarks!". This continued for many, many years until one day there were so many ispaaaarks, that there were fireworks. M and S got married. And M lived happily ever after.

2. Kebabs (by air)
Other than that, I have to credit M, or more specifically, her cook, for the most fantastic homemade kebabs that I have ever had. Our college operated on a trimester system. So our parents ended up seeing us back home three times a year, far more often than they'd have liked to. On many of her flights back to college from home, M managed to smuggle in a kilo or two of fine kebabs in her luggage. If you happened to be on a flight in the Delhi-Bangalore circuit between 2003-2008 that smelt of shammi kebab or murgh malai kebab, now you know who to blame.

We lived in a four person room or a "four seater" as it was called. The other two unfortunate souls in the room being vegetarians, the burden of doing justice to the kebabs invariably fell on our slender shoulders. We tried our best. And that was enough. The kebabs rarely survived more than 24 hours in our room.

3. Fellow foodie
For a small person, I have a fairly large appetite. I don't pick at my food. Erm, actually, very, very far from it. Around many of my other girl friends, I feel like a bit of a misfit. You know, the sorts that skip dessert, or avoid starters, and I also know some girls (and 1 boy) who avoid the main course ("I've already eaten"). Rarely do I make friends with extremists in that final category. M? No way. She's not like that. She loves life, and all the food in it. So when M and I have a meal together, we do what all good foodies must. Shut up and focus on the grub on the table. We nod our heads and pretend to listen to all the great conversation flowing at the table, but secretly, we are actually thinking how to politely call that last bit of cake on the table before someone else does. As a bonus, she is stridently non-vegetarian. So she was great foodie company all through my time in college.

I thought it may be appropriate to round up the post with one of M's favourite recipes. Unsurprisingly, it involves chicken. So here goes. A recipe for murgh malai tikka in M's words.
I haven't yet tried this out yet but promise to update this post with a photo as soon as I do.
Murgh malai tikka
(based on a recipe from

500 gm boneless chicken thigh pieces
3 tbsp ginger garlic paste
3 tsp lemon juice
1 cup hung curd
4 tbsp grated processed cheese.
4-5 tbsp cream (light cream will do)
3-4 tbsp paste of coriander and mint.
2-3 split green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp elaichi powder
1-2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp mustard oil (adds flavour. be careful to not add too much of this since too much of this can change the taste drastically.)
salt as per taste

1. Cut the boneless chicken into cubes. Wash and pat dry with a tissue paper. The drying part is important since no moisture/water should remain in the kebabs.
2. Add lemon juice and ginger garlic paste to the chicken pieces
3. After about an hour, add the rest of the ingredients.   
4. Leave the marinade in the fridge for preferably 3-4 hours but leaving it overnight is a great idea, if you are not in too much of a hurry.
5. Put the pieces on skewers. baste it with a bit of butter/ghee and cream and heat it in the oven at 400 C for 20-25 min. (Note: The oven temperature and time taken may need to be adjusted depending on your oven).

Note: If you like your malai kebabs slightly cheesy, then increase the quantity of cheese. It may not taste like malai kebab then but the kebab will still taste pretty good!


  1. this sounds good- esp the abundance of dairy! I tried a similar malai tikka with methi and besan once..turned out pretty good too

    1. Alice in Wonderland! I had no idea you blog as well. This does sound very good - yet to try though. Methi is always such a good idea with meat. :)

  2. I dont actually!! This is a really old blog I created many years ago n forgot to delete :P

  3. Well you should. If only to reconnect with old friends :D