A little story to start... while I was packing Rasha's lunch box and Azza was sipping her cup of milk before going to school, we stuck a conversation:
Me: Athante teacher Englishila paraya? (Does your teacher speak in English?)
Azza: Alla... (No...)
Me: Pinne Hindiya samsarikka? (Does she speak Hindi?)
*BTW, my kids learned Hindi only by watching cartoons... at least one advantage of watching them! Hehe...
Azza: *Shakes her head to imply no*
Me: Pinne entha paraya? (Then what she speaks?)
Azza: Ummi chamcharikkuna pole... (Like how ummi speaks...)
It didn't run through my head initially, then I realized that she was indicating that her teacher communicates to her in Malayalam. Since she didn't know how to say the so-called-complicated name of our language, she gave me this response! I am awestruck at how they frame their responses... kids these days! :)
Whenever I am not in a mood to cook, I always go for pasta as it is one of the easiest things to make, yet it tastes delicious. One thing I love about pasta is that it is an any time meal - you can serve it as breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even as a quick snack. This is just another way of enjoying pasta with white sauce, also known as bechamel sauce, adding chicken and vegetables to make it a complete meal. You can make it with just chicken or only vegetables as well. Sharing the way I make it...
Chicken Pasta in White Sauce
400 gm macaroni
350 gm boneless chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 blob butter
4 tbsp all purpose flour
500 ml milk
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp pepper powder
2 chicken stock cubes
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
Cook the macaroni/ pasta till el dente. Drain and set aside.
Cut the chicken into small pieces. Add in salt, pepper and garlic and cook in the pressure cooker for one whistle. Once the pressure is gone, keep on high flame and cook till the stock is almost dried.
In a large saucepan, heat the butter. Add the all purpose flour and saute just for a minute. Ensure that this is done on low flame so that the flour doesn't burn. Immediately add in the milk and continuously stir to ensure no lumps are formed. Keep stirring till the milk starts thickening. Add in the oregano, thyme, paprika, pepper powder and stock cubes and continue to stir till the mixture thickens.
Add in the chicken and the vegetables and cook for 4-5 minutes on low flame. Adjust the salt. Finally add the cooked macaroni, give it a nice mix and cook on low flame for around 5 minutes. Switch off and serve warm...