The hot and humid weather of the year has almost come to an end and it is nice to see the dark clouds hovering over the city. One tends to get bored by staying indoors to avoid the heat and glancing at the same decor and doing the same regular cooking.
Sometimes we get refreshed by a change of decor and with a change of cooking. Therefore, I tried creating an Eastern ambiance with elements associated with the Eastern culture, in our living room. To capture the mood of the East I set a table typical of the east and by preparing Chinese food. It was fun attempting to do an oriental style interior with house plants like the Bamboo, a Bonsai tree, fruits and dishes with a touch of blue.
A floor throw pillow with tassels
Do you love Chinese food? Who wouldn't love it? Besides eating Chinese food preparing Chinese food is a great pleasure too. Chinese cuisine surely is finding its way into most homes and is a work of art. Beside other interests, cooking and trying out new dishes are always on my agenda.
Sometimes, I am amused by the old memories of me as a newly married young girl who got away from my home town and moved to a unfamiliar destination like Mumbai/Bombay. At the time, everything seemed new and difficult, including cooking, which seemed like a Himalayan task. There were many funny incidents involving my cooking, including ones that occured after guests had been invited. I remember calling my mother or writing to her to tell her about how I found cooking so difficult. Every single time she would convince me by saying I would learn cooking over a period of time and that I must keep trying.
I shall always remember and follow a sweet Tamil adage my mother came up with, which roughly translated means 'What the eyes see, the hands will learn'. How true it holds, and yes my cooking did improve over the years. I learned cooking through trial and error, from books, TV shows, Cooking Classes and from various other sources.
I'd like to share a few of my Chinese recipes which I learnt whilst attending a Chinese cooking class. The Chinese Recipes used here have been concocted to suit Indian tastes, and the food is amusingly called 'Indian Chinese Food'. They are easy to prepare and delicious too.
Indonesian blue depression plates
A Bonsai tree near my bay window
Tips on Chinese cooking:
Always serve Chinese food in porcelain or China crockery.
If using chopsticks, the right way is to place the chopsticks is parallel to one another.
If someone is passing a bowl of rice or any other food bowl, always receive it with both hands. Else it is considered bad sign.
Garlic - 100gm
Ginger - 100gm
Green chillies - 5
Red Chilli powder - 2 tablespoons
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tablespoon
Tomato Ketchup - Half a cup
Chilli sauce -1 tablespoon
Celery along with leaves -2 sticks
Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Vinegar - 1 tablespoon.
Ajinamotto - A pinch (Optional)
Salt - According to the taste.
Method : Chop the Garlic, Ginger, Green Chillies, Celery leaves along with the stem, very fine. In a bowl put in the chopped Garlic, Ginger, Green Chillies, cut Celery, Red Chilli powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, Tomato ketchup, Chilli sauce, Ajinamotto, Sugar, Vinegar and salt.
In a pan pour the oil and heat it up till the smoke rises. Switch off the stove and let the oil cool down. Pour the oil (cold) in the bowl and mix it thoroughly. The Chilli powder can be reduced according to ones taste. This sauce is tangy and spicy and served with soups, main dishes, and starters.
2. Garlic chicken
Boneless chicken-Half a kilo
Green Capsicum - 3 Medium Sized
Green Chillies - 3 or 4
Garlic - 100 Gms
Tomato Ketchup - 1/2 Table Spon
Soya Sauce - 3 or 4 Table Spoons
Black Pepper - 1/2 Teaspoon
Cut Chicken into Small pieces. Pour Oil in a pan and pan fry the Chicken pieces till it becomes tender and cooked. Remove the Chicken from the pan and spread it on a tissue paper to remove the excess oil.
Keep the used pan on the stove and put in the finely cut Garlic and fry for a few minutes. Then add the Cut Green Chillies and the Cut Capsicum, and fry thm for a while and then add the Chicken in the pan. Add the Soya Sauce, Tomato Ketchup, Pepper Powder and Salt. Reduce the intensity of the flame, and stir it for a few minutes, to then switch off the Cooking Unit.
This dish can be used as a Starter.
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