My first day in the kitchen I felt like too much to explore here, this sea is too vast for you to swim.
Honestly I didn’t see anything for the first couple of hours as I was behind three big bags of onions peeling and chopping. I was in a pool of tears. In that drown I even forget my house telephone number and address!!
In the afternoon session I thought it’s going to be the, last day of my life. I was in tandoor kitchen. First day of jim in my life. After mixing that 5 kg of dough for nan bread, I felt myself as a Mike Tyson in the ring. Taking out my first nan bread from that tandoor oven, I realised am working on a real furnace. Coming from a cushy college to a kitchen was like working for a day care then switching to coal mining. Then I knew many more suicidal episodes are waiting for you to come, and have to accept it.
Few new things I learnt on the day are
- Ask chef to taste dishes you have completed, his opinion is the law.
- Warn everyone clearly and loudly when moving sharp and hot objects because you are too dangerous.
- Don’t mistreat the dish washer; he is the most important crew member because when he is gone you will hate your life.
- Don’t mess around with the chef; a happy chef is the best boss ever.
- Everything on TV shows about kitchen is fake. Forget it.
- Learn sorry in all International languages, will come in use.
- Always remember that you’re a new un-greased cog in an otherwise well-oiled machine. Find a way to fit into the mechanism in the most seamless way possible and you`ll quickly become valuable.
Few other wonders hooked on my eyes are making sugar sculptures, ice carvings, butter sculptures, bread modelling, cheese carvings, vegetable and fruit carvings, tossing a romali roti, making kerala parathas and working on a wok in Chinese kitchen.
How to toss in a wok:
The first thing to know is that tossing should only be attempted in cookware with curved, sloping sides. The mechanics of food tossing is kind of like ski jumping, and ski jumpers race downhill towards a ramp, not a wall. In fact, let’s use ski jumping as an analogy.
The first thing the ski jumper has to do is race downhill towards the ramp. That’s what you need to do with the food. But first, it’s always a good idea to give the food a quick stir with a spoon, spatula, or tongs, just to make sure everything is sliding well in the pan and not stuck. Once you’re sure the food is free and clear to jump, give it a downward thrust towards the far slope of the pan.
Now our ski-jumping analogy ends, because if we were to stick with it, you’d let the food go shooting out of the pan and onto whatever’s in front of you, and we don’t want that. Instead, just as the food is beginning to launch out of the pan, you want to lift the front edge of the pan while pulling back ever so slightly, to redirect the food’s trajectory so that it shoots up vertically, or—even better—backwards and slightly towards you.
With the food airborne and, we hope, you next need to bring the pan slightly forward again to catch all the food as it comes down. Execute it well and all of the food will end up right where it started and not on the floor. Note that once you get the hang of this motion, you can loop it so that the forward movement in this last step of catching the food simultaneously functions as the forward movement of the next launch.
My first attempt in that wok was Indo-Chinese fried rice and chilli chicken which I am sharing the recipe here.
INDO-CHINESE FRIED RICE
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cooking time – 15 minutes
Serves 2 to 3
Cooked basmathi rice – 3 cups
Onion chopped – 1
Green chilli chopped –
Spring onions – 2
Green peas – 2 tbsp
Soy sauce – 3 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Pepper and salt to taste
Sugar – 1/4 tbsp(optional)
Oil – 4 tbsp
- Wash and dry vegetables.
- Chop all vegetables finely.
- Crack eggs into a bowl and season with some salt and pepper.
- Cook the rice with separated grains and allow it to cool down in a plate.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil and pour in the seasoned eggs.
- Stir and cook till they are done.
- Keep them aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a butter and sauté onions and green chillies for 5 min. Add in the ginger garlic paste and sauté.
- Add in the finely chopped vegetables and cook on low flame for exactly 5 to 7 minutes. Add soy sauce and keep the flame high for 3 min. Reduce the flame and add in rice, cooked eggs and give it a good mix. Sprinkle some spring onions and serve hot!
INDO-CHINESE CHILLI CHICKEN
500 -600 gms Boneless Chicken
2 tbsp Soya Sauce
2 tbsp Corn Flour/Corn Starch
5-6 Chopped Green Chilies
2 Onion Chopped
1 tsp Garlic Paste
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp White Pepper Powder
1 tsp Sugar
A pinch of ajinomoto ( monosodium glutamate) optional
2 cups chicken Broth/ Water
1 tbsp Oil
Cubes of red, green and yellow peppers and onion (half each) and oil to fry
- Cut the boneless chicken pieces into 1 ” cubes.
- Take 1tbsp. Soya sauce, 1tbsp. corn flour, salt, egg in a bowl and marinate chicken pieces in the the mixture for about 10-15 minutes.
- Heat oil and deep fry the marinated chicken pieces till golden brown.
- Now in a separate wok heat 1 tbsp oil and add garlic paste and green chilies and sauté for few seconds.
- Add 2 cups of chicken broth or water. Bring to boil and add sugar, pepper powder, salt, ajinomoto and remaining Soya sauce.
- Add fried chicken pieces, peppers and onion cubes to it and cook for few minutes.
- Dissolve the remaining corn flour in 1/2 cup water and add to the gravy stirring constantly to avoid lumps. ( add only when it is really boiling) Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Serve chinese chili chicken hot garnished with chopped green onion tops.
Indo-Chinese chili chicken goes well with fried rice. Enjoy cooking!!