‘Need some cheer-me-up food – butter chicken and butter naan from Mini Punjab “.
Thats her message. I ordered, the food arrived followed by her. As she vented her heart out, I dug in and my mind goes – “Gosh! This is really good! Hope she doesn’t finish it.”
Turns out, her day had been really bad – she emptied the bowl. Dang!
Back home, I thought about it – trying Butter Chicken as a cheer-me-up dish. Hmmnn. I ordered Butter Chicken from another place, not really known for its meaty stuff. The gravy was watery, the chicken too tough. Lesson learnt!
Then one day it happened. The lines wouldn’t come, the walk didn’t help, bills popped up, work pinged – New Year cheer wasn’t happening. When the dust settled, the thought sprang up. I called, “Hello! Mini Punjab. One BC please!”.
Just out of curiosity, I googled “History of Butter Chicken”. And was I in for a surprise!
Butter Chicken was an accidental child born just days after the partition. To feed a bus-load of hungry refugees, the cook mixed the Tandoori Chicken with a simple gravy of tomato sauce, and added butter and a few spices. The dish was an instant hit and the rest is history.
In other words, this dish was born as a ‘Cheer-me-up dish!’
I sat on the veranda overlooking a nice Bandra sunset so the food could work its magic. The condiments marinated with the tandoori chicken brought out the flavours and the rich, creamy tomato sauce blended with the butter to give me a smile. And I kid you not – just then, my phone rang. A long lost friend was visiting and wanted to meet. Sure thing.
Another friend came over – we talked shop, heart and health. It was that warm feeling again – my dopamine high and the changing world made me write a note to self – “Dear BC, thank you. Now can do. Will call though, when it’s a Butter Chicken kinda day”.