I was going through my Facebook wall on one day when a post caught my eye.
“Today, I prepared one of my favorite dishes, chicken curry,” the post read
Checking it further, it was none other than Mr. Omar, the general manager at Maiyan who had prepared the eye-catching meal. I never knew that he the gift of preparing sumptuous meals as he didn’t notify me in my first visit at the hotel. He invited me for a second visit to make me believe that he could cook and it was interesting watching him prepare, the chicken patiently. I think patience should be his last name and its one of the key things he teaches me on how to be a master chef. From our conversation, it was interesting to know that he learnt how to cook from his first job when he was making burgers behind the scenes in a restaurant abroad. He had to survive, as most Kenyans abroad do and he maximized on it, asking questions on how a variety of dishes were prepared. His friends, who also loved cooking helped him understand the concept of cooking during a koroga and being a bachelor too before meeting his wife made him learn everything required in matters cooking.
“That’s where my interest in food began,” he continues as he smells the chicken, adding spices without measuring using a spoon like am used to when cooking. My eyes brighten. I ask how he ensures the meal has the right amount of salt, and spices and also that the water is the right amount. He tells me its years of practice and also interest that makes one be perfect in the measurements. Another thing that surprised me is the fact that he cooks for his wife when he gets home.
“What?” I ask with a puzzled look on my face.
“I actually don’t permit my wife in the kitchen when am home. I cook. Even my friends know that when they come home I cook,” he says as he removes the chicken from the cooker
I had just seen him smell the food, not taste the chicken like the way I do when I want to know if it’s cooked. He looks at my shocked face and tells me that in the Indian culture, people know that food is ready just by the smell. So divine was the smell that it attracted the staff who love his warm personality and were shocked to discover that their boss had this special gift of cooking. Everyone, including I who spends time in the internet while eating and never goes for second servings, added extra food. To Mr. Omar, that’s what makes a great chef know that the food was delicious!
2 full chicken
1 Garlic ginger paste
2 big onions
Heat the oil and add the chopped onions and fry till they brown.
Add the pieces of chicken in the brown onions
And spices (salt to taste, cumin powder 2table spoons, curry powder 1 tablespoon, dhania ajeera seeds 1 teaspoon, turmeric a quarter teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder and 1 full teaspoon red powder that adds color to the food.
Stir all that
Let the chicken cook 15 minutes on medium heat
Throw in the blended tomatoes and let it cook
Add half a cup of yogurt to get the flavor into the chicken
Take a bit of dhania and throw in the mixture
Cool in low heat so that the flavor cooks slowly and sips for 35 minutes
Add another half cup yogurt when finishing and another dhania and serve
Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to thicken the sauce
Cook for another 10 minutes
Serve with steamed rice