A homely celebration

A homely celebration

I never had any formal training in culinary arts.  I learnt whatever I know from my mother. Food is a big part of my culture. Hailing from Darjeeling, there are some special dishes that make the cuisine unique.    

Coming to  Bengaluru and  working in a kitchen was never something I intended to do. I learnt under various chefs who taught me everything I know today.  

Over the years, I've learnt a lot about European cuisine. But I've never  stopped learning about Indian food as it is very close to my heart.
Working at 'The Smoke Co.' as a sous chef has been a learning experience for me. There's always something new to experiment on and learn about when you're working in a kitchen. It makes me work harder every single day.

The food that I make here allows me to get in touch with my  roots as smoking food is something we do back home as well.  That's why the recipe of 'nati chicken' is very close to my heart.  

It's been over 10 years since I celebrated Christmas with my family. Back home, it was always a special occasion for us. We would often start  the day by going to the church and come back to prepare a  lavish and  delicious meal. We would also invite all of  our relatives
and friends home and celebrate like there's no tomorrow.

I now celebrate it with my colleagues at work. It's the  busiest time of the year for a restaurateur and I am happy that I can enjoy the day doing what I love.  

What makes me miss home less is preparing dishes like the 'nati chicken'.

This recipe is interesting because we use the ash of the chicken feathers as well.  You only need a bit of the ash to coat over the chicken (make sure you don't add too much as it will easily become bitter). It's a simple recipe  that anyone can make at home and make this festive season a delicious one.  

Ingredients

*  Whole nati chicken, 1

*  Mustard oil, 100 ml    

*  Onions, 200 gm    

*  Tomato, 100 gm  

*  Chopped garlic,  100 gm    

*  Chopped ginger, 50 gm    

*  Whole sliced green chilli, 50 gm    

* Turmeric  powder, 5 gm

*  Cumin powder, 5 gm

*  Chilli powder, 5 gm

*  Coriander power, 5 gm

* Chicken feather ash,  5 gm  

Method

* Burn the whole chicken with the feather to make feather ash. Once that is done, collect the ash and wash the chicken and pat it dry .

* Cut the whole chicken in bite-size pieces.

* Crush the feather to make powder.

* Pour mustard oil into a kadhai.  Fry cut onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and tomato.  Fry till oil appears.

* Add the cut chicken and fry to mix the base masala with the chicken.

* Put all the dry masala powder along with feather ash.  

* Add salt to taste and fry till brown colour.  

* Add water and simmer for  one hour and a half as natti chicken it is hard to cook.  

* Serve hot with rice.  

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