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Saturday, March 22, 2008

To Me, From Mak, With Tandoori Chickens

Some of you asked what’s my mother’s inspiration for being quite the chef in the kitchen. I would say the AFC Food Channel on Astro TV but she’s been stuffing the family faces long before cable TV became the vogue.

I supposed it had to do with being the eldest daughter of 9 siblings and miscellaneous relations and friendly neighbours. The entire community knew the Jailani family very well. Anybody had a problem, refer to the freakishly huge noisy family. Country-mice aren’t like town-mice after all.

I can see why my dad, being a very quiet and private person, had to gather some 5 years of courage after meeting Mak before he could formally ask Yayi for her hand.

But I’m wandering here. Mak likes to cook because she grew up pretty much next to the kitchen stove. There’s always mouths to feed and even today, I got uncles and aunties coming in for no reason every other week or so.

But this time, my folks are taking on a long trip, more than 2 weeks. They’re going to fly to Iran to ski on mountain snow and see the springtime flowers. Then they’re crossing the border to Turkey to shop and eat and shop s’more and eat s’more.

So they’ll be nobody to feed me.

Hey, I’m cool actually. I can live on mamak food. I was planning to buy a nice tandoori chicken with naan bread from this restaurant called Fazila Maju. I told that to Mak and was budgeting my finances (secretly, I still want to buy a paperback novel!).

Soooo, as usual before she flies to a land far, far, jet-plane-trip away, she made a feast big enough so I can make myself some sandwiches for the next day. Tandoori chickens.

Red hot from the oven!

Did Mak roast a whole bird? Yup, she did.

Her excuse was that tandoori chickens are much, much healthier than me making pies (can’t argue with that). Mak’s first tandoori chicken cooking was a melting failure and so I guess she’s trying to improve where she did wrong.

I’d say this one was great! It’s not as dry and flaky as the mamak tandoori chickens; quite juicy on the inside and meaty-chewy on the outside. She used a better tandoori mix too, great colour, spicy but not overly tongue-burning hot.

You should have seen the cooking pan under the metal bar-trays thingy used to cook the chicken on it. All the bird fat dripped on it was black and brown to a crisp. I should have taken a photo but it was ugly and I was too distracted by the chicken itself (I’ll have to scrap it clean later too, urg...)..

Yummy setting.

Mm-mmm, better than KFC...

Ayah went out to buy freshly baked naan bread from the mamak. Hehe, I guess I’ll know what Mak will be trying to make next!

Too bad we don’t have instant spicy mint sauce mix so the meal would have been perfect. MySis came for dinner too, since she and I were going to send Mak and Ayah to KL International Airport after evening prayers. And she came early after work too, since she heard that Mak was making tandooris.

So there you have it. Mak may not cook for an extensive family anymore; instead she emulated new food and styles of cooking. MySis inherited her baking skills (once she finds a really good oven for her small kitchen, she’ll be making chocolate-smothered brownies and fruity pavlovas again) and I guess I’ll more into casseroles and meat dishes.

Note2self: Must learn to cook this and get it right before next family reunion/meeting open house at Batu Arang. I now got married cousins to impress.

Oh yeeeeeeaaahh! Did I mention that she also made some home-brewed pineapple juice? Of course, she’s anak Pontian...

4 Minds bloomed here too...:

lainie said...

wow. that DOES look yummy. your mom's pretty nice

kyels said...

It's 0143 hours now and I'm hungry! B/c of the pictures. Rawrrr!

kljs said...

Yummy looking tandoori!!!

Quickening said...

@lainie: Yeah, you can tell what mood she's in based on what she cooks. She really can't wait to get on to KLIA! ;)

@kyels: I heard mamak nowadays serves food 24 hours, of course. *hehehe!*

@kljs: I feel your desrie to steal my food from my mouth...
j/kidding! :D
Once I figure how to perfect this, I'll see if I can throw a north indian barbecue or something! *haha!*

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