Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A modification of a deviation of the average Indian curry

The average Indian male is 25 years old, lives up to 67 years, can read and write his name and is a bad cook, but even the worst cook among them can cook potato, egg and chicken - overcooked, over-oiled, over-masalad and over-chillied as it is.

One that can spoil the making of a potato, egg or chicken curry must be a fool.

Just like the statements A picture is worth thousand words, Ayyappantamma Neyyappam Chuttu and Saare Jahaan Se Acha Hindoostaan Hamaara, these ones too need not be necessarily true. However, a small but growing subset of the Indian male - “The Indian males who have to cook for themselves” - on average, cooks the average potato/egg/chicken curry, and like in every statistic , there are many standard deviations from it which are not represented by the mean (sample: Mukesh Ambani’s income vs India’s per capita income). This article is about one such deviation: the Aloo-Egg curry. Or rather, a proposed deviation from the deviation itself: the Butter-Aloo-Egg curry.

Aloo Egg curry is often hailed as the National Eggitarian Curry of West Bengal (The National Non-Vegitarian one is, of course, Hilsa/Ilish). This specie - unlike Communism, Rice, Art films and Football - is absent in Kerala - except in the case of some rare mutant curries and cases when some cook turns rebel -, so its origins are considered to be after the Proletarian migration from Bengal to Kerala (which, bye the way, brought along with it the above mentioned similarities). The fact of the matter is - an average Bengali male - or at least the ones found outside India - can be seen cooking an Aloo-Egg curry, than any other combination of {Aloo, Egg, Chicken}.

Background: The average Aloo-Egg curry is cooked just like any average curry. Oil is heated, ginger-garlic cut/pasted is thrown in, with some chilli and a lot of onion, and are sautéed together till the colour starts changing, to which tomato is added and sautéed again, proceeded by some masala. This stuff is cooked till oil rises up, after which cut potatoes are added along with some water and is cooked till cooked. Add boiled eggs to this mixture of compounds, and heat more. Serve hot with Rice.

The Deviation proposed is: 1) The use of butter instead of oil 2) A change in steps of how the potatoes and eggs are cooked.

The final algorithm is: Heat some butter. Add chopped potatoes and sauté well. Add boiled eggs and fry them too, till all sides are nicely fried. Take the stuff out and keep aside. Repeat the steps of the average curry, i.e, the garlic-ginger-chilli-onion-tomato-masala part, but this time with butter. Add the fried potato-egg and turn and mix well, add water and simmer till the gravy becomes thick. You are welcome to add spluttered mustard seeds (or splutter them in the beginning), and replace tomato with tomato sauce/ketchup. Two trials of the later gave excellent results, and this means: 1) you dont need to cut the tomatoes 2) you dont need to buy the tomatoes 3) you dont need to throw the rotten tomatoes away from the fridge. The Malayali improvement on every single curry in the world - addition of Coconut milk - may be considered as a future work.

Note: 1) Boring criterion like average case calorific value etc are not considered in the algorithm. 2) The quantity of ingredients are left to the taste of the implementer and environmental conditions (weekend or weekday, availability of toilets etc). 3) Universe-{Bengali,Keralite} is welcome to try out this curry with non rice items.

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