Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chicken and Oat Dumpling Soup

Some people treat you in such a manner as if you owe them something. If you forget to call them, they will remind you saying "hey you don't call me these days" when they themselves don't take any initiative to keep in touch. Any message sent to them on Facebook most of the time goes unanswered but if you fail to respond to them on time, they feel offended and make it obvious to you that they are offended. They make comments without sparing a thought if the comments hurt your sentiments or not, but if you accidentally make any comment hurting them even the slightest, they make a huge issue out of it either insulting you or behaving in ways making you feel that you have barked up the wrong tree. I have an ex-colleague I used to be quite close to while working together, but in recent times all the attempts of conversation on FB were made from my side. She sometimes replied and sometimes didn't but what irked me most when while wishing me on my b'day she said "Happy B'day to you. Hope you still remember me."

Now I should not be the one always supposed to take initiative to keep in touch. Any friendship or any relationship for that matter is a two way affair. When I am making time out of my schedule to drop a line to a friend, I can expect my friend to treat me with respect replying to my message, no matter how late, but when I see that friend liking and sharing status messages every now and then on FB while my message goes unanswered, after a couple of attempts, I choose never to bother that friend with any means of communication. And when I suddenly stop communicating with her, she comes back wishing me on my b'day with this kind of message as if implying keeping in touch with her is my obligation and when I don't do that, my memory is accused of being challenged. What can you do in certain situation? Either you can ignore the taunting intonation hidden in her message completely and end up the note with mere 'thanks' or you may be little expressive like I had been with a reply sending the same vibe back " I was about to tell you the same "you still remember me" and thanks for your wishes."
In a recent study on human behavior I came to learn of the term "Entitlement Mentality". It is a word meant for people behaving as if they are entitled to something without any effort. This kind of mentality is staggering in number, commonly found in work place and in personal life among friends, spouses and children. Lots of studies are being done on the subject and there are a lot of syndromes explained for easy recognition of this kind of mentality. Some of the articles that I really loved reading are linked below:
(Disclaimer: The above websites didn't pay me anything to publish their links on my website. I am doing it because I liked the message conveyed in the articles linked above.)

Back to the recipe, Chicken and dumpling soup is a tasty treat to be relished. Dumplings are usually made with either flour entirely or through a mixture of different flours, but to add a health quotient I used oats in making the dumplings and they came out to be so tasty that you cannot actually differentiate it with the ones made completely of flour.

Ingredients:                                                                   Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
ü  6-8 chicken thighs with bones
ü  Few stalks of celery (chopped)
ü  2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
ü  1 onion (chopped)
ü  1 cup of yogurt, beaten
ü  960 ml chicken stock
ü  Salt to taste
ü  Black pepper, taste wise
ü  1 tbsp garam masala powder
ü  1 tsp nutmeg powder
ü  1 tsp ground thyme
ü  4-5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
ü  1 tsp paprika
ü  1 tbsp butter
For the dumplings:
ü  1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
ü  1 cup of powdered oats (Grind normal oats into fine powder)
ü  1 heaped tsp amchur or dry mango powder
ü  1 tbsp baking powder
ü  Salt to taste
ü  Black pepper, taste wise
ü  1 1/2 cup of milk (you may adjust the amount as per need)

ü 1/4 cup parsley leaves (chopped)
1) Marinate the chicken with garam masala powder and a pinch of salt. Heat butter in a flat bottomed large pot and fry the chicken on high medium heat till chicken is golden brown in color on all sides. Take the chicken off the flame and keep aside.
2) Into the same pot, add garlic and shallow fry. When garlic changes color to one shade darker, add onion, carrots and celery one after another and shallow fry.
3) Add yogurt, nutmeg powder, black pepper, ground thyme and paprika. Sauté the mixture for 2 minutes.
4) Toss the fried chicken into the pot and pour chicken stock. Wash every bit of spice remaining in the bowl of marinade with water and pour into the pot.
5) Add 2 cups of water, cover the pot with a lid and bring the soup to a boil on medium heat, stirring once in a while.
6) As the soup is simmering away, let’s get onto making the dumplings.
7) Mix all the ingredients as mentioned for dumplings together and make a mixture of thick and gluey consistency. (The consistency should not be runny at all cost.)
8) When the soup in the pot has come to a boil, cull the chicken thighs out from the soup. (Now you may do two things straight from here, depending on your discretion. Either you may keep the chicken thighs as it is aside on a plate to be tossed again into the soup or using a fork, you may separate the flesh from the bone and add the shredded chicken into the pot. )
9) I chose the first option that is keeping the thighs undisturbed on a plate to be reused again into the soup. Meanwhile, while the thighs were resting on a plate, I added teaspoonful of the gluey oat and flour mixture into the bubbling hot soup. Dumplings will be floating on the surface initially but as they get cooked, they will slide into the bottom.
10) When dumplings are partially cooked and on the flame for about 10 minutes, toss the chicken thighs into the soup. Add salt and cook the soup covered for 10-15 minutes more till dumplings are cooked through.
11) For people going by the second viable option, you may toss the shredded chicken right before the dumplings are dropped into the pot.
12) Spoon the soup into warmed soup bowl and serve with toasted bread. Divine.

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