As much as I love having people over, the stress that comes along with the whole affair can give me ulcers.
The to-do list is always enormous... the house needs to be spotless (God help if a guest spots a stray cobweb or a fine layer of dust!), the setting has to be perfect (folded napkins, shiny glasses, cushions at the right angle et all), and the killer item on the list.... the menu!
The fact that our guests are 'white' didn't help much, it meant adding a few more agonising hours to the usual endless hours of pondering over the menu!
After consulting the not-so-helpful husband and wracking my exhausted brains, I decided on an elaborate Mangalorian fare - Chicken roce curry, panpale, pepper beans, a salad, sweet pulao and date chutney. But I was still in doubt... should I make a pork dish too? Will they like the sweet pulao? Will they be able to handle the spice? Are there too few items? (I don't think I gave my decision to marry D this much thought! :))
Anyway, before Doubting Daisy went shopping for groceries, something came upon me (I swear it was divine intervention) and I decided to kill the menu! (Shocking I know!!)
A relatively unknown 'Burmese Khao Suey' was picked instead. D was promptly informed and he was aptly horrified! Now it was Doubting D's turn. He said 'How can you make serve something you've never tried before?' To make it worse, he added 'I don't know, it's up to you!' But I did something very out of character... I didn't sway!
And here is the recipe for Burmese Khao Suey!
6 rounds of egg noodles
2 large onions finely sliced
3 large cloves of garlic chopped
2-3 green chillies chopped
1 inch ginger chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
1/2 cumin pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
1/2 tsp chilli pwd
6 chicken thighs
400 ml coconut milk
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
6 hard boiled eggs
125 gms fresh coriander
5 sprigs of spring onions
Roasted and salted peanuts
Chilli flakes/ green chillies
4 -5 cloves of garlic
To make the chicken broth, first fry the sliced onions in some oil, once they turn translucent, add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Fry for 5 minutes. Add the powders, and mix well. Now add the chicken and mix well so that the chicken is coated with the masala. Add enough boiling water to cover the chicken, add lime juice, salt and let the chicken cook.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the garnishings -
In a little oil fry sliced garlic till crisp. Be careful not to burn it. Or, you can save yourself the trouble and buy fried garlic at your nearest Asian store!
In the same oil fry finely sliced onions and till golden brown. Alternatively you can use store bought fried onions.
Quarter the boiled eggsChopped the coriander
Chop the spring onions - both the white and the green parts
Slightly crush the peanuts
Make lemon wedges
Chop the green chillies or simply use red chilli flakes from a bottle like I did :)
Once the chicken is cooked, take each piece out of the pan and roughly shred the meat with 2 forks. Add the meat back to the curry and discard the bones. Now, add the coconut milk and let the curry simmer.
Cook the noodles as per the instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside. Remember to under cook them a little bit. Just before you are ready to serve, immerse the noodles in boiling water and drain.
How to serve:
Scoop the noodles into a deep bowl, top it with the chicken broth and load the garnishing as per taste.
Eating Khao Suey is fun since everyone gets to add their own touch to their meal. The lunch went off well, the conversation flowed and people ate well. I'm glad I changed my mind and the menu! It saved me so much time and was so simple.
And yeah, for dessert I served chocolate dipped strawberries with ice cream and chocolate sauce :)