CHICKEN TIKKA: THE BETTER FED DEGENERATE
Soft, disguised; a hidden ground turkey.
Physically deprived yet stomach-satisfied, they will at last fall asleep on stained mattresses in the code-monkey barracoons they call home.
All of this is very reminiscent of some of the more frightening scenes of geekitude in Big Bang Theory, though the cast is different, and not so intelligent.
As both the bookseller and several of my Punjabi friends would say
"it is buggery sad!"
Their frantic glandular questing has stumbled over mediocre tiffin.
If better food post-midnight were available, they might get some.
What the poor dears need is some nicely grilled animal protein, spicy and redolent of a caravan sarai north of Samarkhand. Or perhaps of a thriving camel market somewhere between Jullunder and Peshawar.
You know, exotic. That inevitably leads to romance.
Two pairs of befuddled eyes meet over a plate of juicy chunks, two greasy hands reach out for a touch of spice, two hot bodies mingle in the perfume of a distant fire..........
Actually, they need to cut out the liquor; it affects performance.
And makes for some really bad 'spontaneous' decisions.
Grilled chicken pieces.
One cup fresh yoghurt.
One cup chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro).
Thumb-length ginger, chopped.
Half dozen cloves garlic, chopped.
1-2 TBS ground coriander.
½ TBS ground cumin.
½ TBS cayenne.
1 Tsp. dry ginger.
½ Tsp. turmeric.
½ Tsp. cinnamon powder.
½ Tsp ground black pepper.
½ Tsp. salt.
½ Tsp. orange food coloring.
Two TBS lime juice.
2 Lbs. chicken, boned and skinned, large chunk cut.
One onion sliced into very thin rings.
Fresh green chilies, sliced.
Lime wedges for squeezing.
Generous pinches of amchoor.
Pinch of salt.
Dump all marinade ingredients except the yoghurt into the food processor, grind smooth. Mix with the yoghurt, and marinate the chicken for several hours therein inside the refrigerator.
Spear the chicken chunks on skewers and grill over red hot coals. Brush with ghee two or three times, allowing the excess to drip into the fire and flare up.
Once the chicken is cooked, put it on a heated platter and set it aside temporarily.
Put the onion rings and sliced chilies in a bowl, squeeze the lime over, and sprinkle with the amchoor and the pinch of salt. Mix well. Strew some over the chicken, and dump the rest next to it.
Best served with fresh buttery naan, of course, but rice pilaf and a crisp salad also can. If you are English, make an emulsified sauce using butter, heavy cream, tomato paste, and a touch of coconut milk, with generous pinches of cayenne and ground cumin.
Obviously I like the concept of street-side chicken tikka, available in late evenings. However the realization that this would likely encourage rutting behaviours among the youthful Midwesterners recently swarmed to our city frightens me. Perhaps the grill-wallahs should set up under the trees on Hyde Street instead of Polk. Migrant waspy vodka-jugend don't travel uphill; they never developed those muscles while they were at Cow-town State.
So it would, without a doubt, attract a far better class of people.
Fewer individuals so "white" that they glow in the dark.
More mature San Franciscans, of any age.
Better brighter eyes.
Actually, I can imagine myself there someday, reaching out across a plate of zesty grilled meat and 'accidentally' stroking the warm velvety skin of a soft soft arm.....
Hand me that bowl of lime-chili-onions, my dear.
All we need afterwards is masala chai.
Mmm, you smell good.
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Labels: Indian food