Saving our students

Mallika Basu - Saving our students

Posted 27th February 2007

easy-jeera-chicken-small.jpgI have been temporarily distracted from the theme of cooking from cookbooks by a trip to visit my littlest sister at University of Warwick.

She is soon to be a bona fide Bollywood starlet with a coveted film role alongside some really great actors. I could name them, but then I’d have to come after you with a gun and a shovel.

She’s busy doing what young startlets do, i.e. dieting! While she sat sipping her mineral water, hubby and I had a walk down memory lane in the student bar – home to pre-pubescent boys and hormonal girls.

Those were the days…

I noticed some things will never change with university life. The desperate note on the kitchen door begging for cleanliness, boxers and knickers drying on radiators and endless conversations about who is sleeping with whom.

But some things definitely have. Sis’s university fridge is full of fresh vegetables and soya milk. They have a banking and finance society. And her friends already have jobs lined up for when they graduate in September this year.

Bring back the good old days of cheap wine, petrol station pasties and general uselessness, I say!

My sister’s gorgeous half Indian, half English friend sheepishly admitted to not cooking anything from this site. I promised her a super easy, Indian chicken dish that would give them a break from vegetable soup (chuck everything in, boil until mush and consume) and grilled chicken.

The ingredients are limited to cumin, turmeric and chilli powder. Only because those were the spices I bought for my sis when I was up there so I know they are in the kitchen.

I threw in some yoghurt for good measure. The garam masala is optional, but I did add it and it was the perfect antidote to the sour yoghurt.

I also happen to know that the girlies don’t have a pot. But worry not ladies, your battered frying pan will do.

There are no excuses. The pressure is on.

This recipe serves 3 hungry students or any other lazy beings:

3 chicken drumsticks and 3 thighs, skinned
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 heaped tsp whole cumin
Half tsp garam masala (optional)
1 200gm pot of Greek Yoghurt
Salt to taste
1 tsp vegetable oil

Chuck the yoghurt, turmeric, chilli and some salt into a large mixing bowl. Make deep sideways slashes in the chicken and add to the bowl, mixing in the spices and yoghurt.

Heat the oil and when hot, add the cumin seeds. When they sizzle and you can smell them, add in the chicken along with its marinade.

Keep the flame on a medium heat and keep turning the chicken over until it is cooked. You may have to keep adding a little water to make sure the masala doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

When it’s ready, the chicken insides will be all white. If you’re using garam masala powder, sprinkle it just before you take the chicken off the flame.

Add salt if necessary and enjoy with salad.

13 responses to “Saving our students”

  1. asha says:

    You can’t tell us her name either, a future star!!:(

    Chicken looks gorgeous,great color and simple recipe.

    Good luck to your sister and one day we all will see her on the big screen and say “hey,that’s our Mallika’s sister there” but wait,we wouldn’t recognize her bcos you didn’t tell us!!! It’s all your fault now!:)

  2. Padmaja says:

    amazing recipe with a nice picture mallika!!
    hey best wishes to your lovely sis??
    atleast tell us her name so that we will know that its your lovely little sis!!!

  3. Trupti says:

    awww come on…just a little hint??? ok, ok…we’ll just have to keep an eye out for someone who looks like you then!

    btw, I always meant to tell you, you’re beautiful!

    Recipe is nice….perfect for students and my hubby too!


  4. sandeepa says:

    Puhleeeeez…who is your sis…we can go and watch the movie and promise to give good feed back too

    The chicken has a very good color

  5. Mallika says:

    Thanks so much Trupti! It’s amazing what 3 layers of make up can do… ha ha!!

    All you ladies are such Bollywood luvvies. I promise all will be revealed soon. I’m still trying to get her to speak to me after exposing her on this blog. Oh dear…

  6. Padmaja says:

    ok ok!!! i won’t push u now!!!!
    but we will wait for u to reveal!!!
    my best wishes!!!

  7. kavey says:

    I’m surfing the net to find some nice foodie blogs to bookmark and came across yours and one of the first post I read was about your memory trip to Warwick Uni. My sister and I (born in UK to Indian parents) both went there too, myself first and she a few years later!

    Happy memories indeed as I met my husband there!

    Good luck to your sister on her film and to you in your blog.

    The comment facility here asks for a website so I’m giving you my mum’s site (which my husband and I created and maintain). Hope you like it!

  8. Lara says:

    Payal Di (i assume i can call u that considering i am the friend of your soon to be Bollywood queen of a sister haha), we finally got round to making the recipe you very kindly put up on your blog for us poor impoverished, desperately trying to be health conscious students…and it was YUM! the only problem was we were using one month old chicken (dont worry it had been in the freezer) so it took an age to cook and also forgot to add the garam masala at the end. it was delicious, nonetheless, and i believe your blog shall be frequented more often from now on! thanks alot for the recipe and hope there are more to come…and also thanks for the ‘gorgeous’ comment…its all about the mongrel genes hehe

  9. Mallika says:

    If you are male, single and under 25… meet Lara. She’s beautiful, single and soon to be a jobless graduate. On the bright side, she can now cook Indian food. Albeit with some effort.

    Any takers?

  10. […] officially homeless and jobseeking, the Bollywood starlet is spending her days looking for meaningful employment. All under the strict tutelage of her older […]

  11. Deepa says:

    Mallika, That’s awesome!! Having a kid sister in bollywood must be interesting. You look like a model yourself. Let us know what her name is, and email me when her movie’s released. I am always a few years behind the times on bollywood (what with 2 careers, parenting, and all the crazy hobbies my husband and I have…, I only just watched a 4 year old hit movie whose name I’ve already forgotten).

  12. Abhi says:

    Hey Mallika! well..seriously…this is a life saver! the simplest one i have found so far!!
    well i am in a similar situation as your sis was, only based in down under….i was tired of using the off the shelf mixes!
    this one came out well! thx!

    oh..say hi to Lara, we might have something in common in terms of the cooking! 🙂

  13. Lore says:

    Arlcites like this just make me want to visit your website even more.

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