I have a small party coming up and it is my son's idea that I should use it as an occasion to launch my blog quite like a book launch. I think since I started blogging I have grown several notches in his esteem and probably enjoy the same status as other celebrity authors ( I am not complaining about the larger than life persona, I know it is shortlived). He further suggests that it would be only appropriate to therefore make dishes that have been posted on the blog. Hmm! posts have so far been in no particular order: some favorites, some others that I have reminisced about.
If I were to stay with the dishes that have already appeared, they don't quite go together as a meal and if I start uploading new ones now it will take quite a while- busy week/some travel looks tough. Okay, maybe I shall make Caramel Pudding from the blog, for dessert( nobody makes them these days; replaced by apple pies, syrupy sweets, icecreams etc.), that would be quite different( especially since I have never made it as dessert when we have entertained). That takes care of one course. I usually like to try out at least a couple of new dishes when I invite people over. Adds to the fun and excietment. My favorites are starters( close to 80% of the time is spent eating them so high share of mind space), a little twist here, a little tweak there and Voila! completely new stuff. Never get me started on starters, I could just go on. But for now let me focus on the main course. I had planned to keep it simple( not slog hours in the kitchen over it), low oil and interesting. A one dish meal is what immediately comes to mind but not Biryani please( has almost become a constant at every large party I have been to, too heavy to be consumed close to midnight and my husband would not agree to the poultry version- if it is Biryani it has to be mutton only, my father felt the same way too) so maybe Kauswey.
Kauswey(a Burmese dish) seems to fit the bill, it is a one dish meal( easy to upload, my son would be happy), no oil( at least that is the version I make), interesting as a concept( takes away from the fact that you have made just one dish- tops my cheat sheet). I had first sampled Kauswey close to 15 years back at a Bong married to a Parsi friend's place. I liked the concept of a DIY main course, customised to your palate. I vividly remember that lunch session, we had finished the meal with Mango Gateux( probably the best I have had till date, light, fluffy and lip smackingly delicious).
Years later I chanced upon the dish in a recipe book on Lean Cuisine. Most people I know like Kauswey( even the name and especially the way you roll your tongue as you say the word has an exotic feel to it). If not the taste the concept definitely appeals. As the host it allows you to ready most of the stuff earlier ( no last minute frying, stirring etc.) and leaves you free to mingle with the guests/focus on the starters.
Kauswey( Burmese Chicken Curry with Noodles)
1 kg Boneless Chicken(ideally breast piece) chopped into really small pieces- that way they cook much faster and blend better with the gravy/noodles
1 tbsp garlic( finely chopped, roughly about 5/6 large pods)
3 medium sized onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder( for a better flavor roast coriander seeds and then grind them)
4 tbsp tomato puree( blanch and puree the tomatoes)
1.5 cups water
1.2 tsp chilli powder or paste( de-seed the chilis and grind them to a paste)
Salt to taste, about 2tsp
2 cups thin coconut milk
2 cups thick coconut milk
500 gms thin egg noodles
- Grind the ginger, garlic, onion, cumin, corriander with a little water to a fine paste.
- In a pan put the ground masala along with tomato puree and 1 cup water.
- Bring to boil and then simmer till the masala is cooked.
- Add the chicken and let the masala coat the chicken.
- Add the chilli powder/paste, salt and thin coconut milk and simmer till the chicken is tender( this should take about 10 minutes).
- Add the thick coconut milk and check seasoning.
To serve( this is my favorite part, makes this dish really unusual and interesting)
Serve boiled noodles in soup plates/bowls, pour the Kauswe over it and let the guests choose their topping.
By the way during a recent trip to Delhi I noticed that Paneer Bhandars( and I am told vegetables shops too) are selling read to eat noodles( as in pre-boiled). Momos as selling like hot cakes with counters across the city, replacing good old Chaat/Tikki joints. The Chinese sure are taking over in more ways than one.
Accompaniments could include: fried onion flakes, fried garlic flakes, chopped green chillies, chilli flakes, hard boiled eggs( quartered), lemon wedges, finely chopped spring onion, finely chopped green corriander, finely chopped cucumber(de-seeded), barik sev( yes, the same one that is used for sev puri) and some garlic chilli paste. Use some or all of them.
I hope my guests like it. Watch this space for an update. Now for the starters. Hmm! Maybe Mango Mayonnaise with some interesting cold cuts, Mexican grilled chicken with a mustard dip.......