From my mother I learned the art of frugality. Not because we have to stretch our money, but because it is considered a sacrilege to waste food that could keep others from starving. So in my mother’s kitchen, sometimes the peels of particularly fresh vegetables would get sauteéd as a side. The greens of radishes or kohlrabi would be stir-fried to be eaten with rice. Cauliflower stems would be peeled and the tender insides would be used as a vegetable. I try to follow her example, except that I tend to forget about things lying in my crisper. By the time I rediscover them, they are usually past their prime. Ahem!
Remember that marinade for the chicken? I had a couple of spoons extra that did not get roasted with the chicken. I had stowed it in the fridge, waiting for another reason to use it. This evening turned out to be the perfect occasion. I was in no mood to cook a full meal. There was leftover khichuri in the fridge. But no eggs to make those omelettes again. Did I mention that I also had no time for grocery shopping? So what did I do? Luckily I had one piece of salmon and one piece of chicken breast in the freezer (I usually squirrel away something in the freezer for a rainy day). I thawed them out quickly by immersing them (in their bags) in lukewarm water. After half an hour, I cut the breast into strips and the fish into chunks. I took a couple of teaspoons of flour in a bowl, added half a teaspoon of the marinade, a pinch of salt and made a slurry with some water. Just thick enough to coat the pieces. Then I tossed the fish and chicken in it and fried them up in a bit of oil. As the chicken sat steaming on the kitchen counter, my son came home from a play-date where he had dinner as well. He looked longingly at the chicken and I invited him to try a piece. In no time at all, the plate of chicken strips was gone. I sneaked in a nibble. It was yummy! If you like your stuff spicy, then feel free to add some chilli (not the dish but the fruit) powder in the marinade. Also might I add that if you did not make the chicken and therefore do not have marinade, let this not stop you from making some fried chicken or fish! Just grate some ginger, garlic and onion and add some lemon juice. Marinade done!
I had the tender and savoury fish with some plain rice. Somehow I had a craving for some plain old rice and fried fish, like we Bengalis tend to eat every now and then. You sprinkle some salt on the rice and a few drops of the frying oil, redolent with the fragrance of fish. Heaven on a plate! Did I tell you that we Bengalis love our fish?
If you are paying attention to what you are reading, you will notice that the khichuri is still unaccounted for. I kept it for the husband, but he came home late, still full from the pizza he ate at lunch. And they call Indian food heavy!
So what do you do with left-over marinade? Drop me a comment.