Actually it was Manohar Parrikar who came out with it. He looked at the media-persons before him and said, what kind of a government is this? Ministers are involved in sex scandals, rape scandals, murder, excise scams, illegal mining… We have a boneless chief minister, a man with no backbone.” I heard it on the television as I was preparing Murg Makhani, butter chicken that can adapt itself to any occasion, any cuisine situation. It is chicken marinated overnight in curd, along with spices and cooked in tomato puree.
I listened to the news item while rubbing the marinade into the chicken. What Parrikar meant was that the Chief Minister did not have the courage to put his foot down. He was too chicken to do anything about his ministers, because he was so afraid of losing his seat. One image led to another and the allegory I ended up with was a boneless chicken.
Boneless chicken which is used for Murg Makhani gets along very well with a variety of spices, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, lime, cumin, methi, ginger and garlic. By themselves each cannot do much, but together, they make a formidable combination. Just like a coalition government actually. Bits and pieces of other food groups, nothing much by themselves, but together, they mix and merge their interests and they cling to the boneless Chicken Makhani (we’ll call it CM). Together with the CM they get a uniform flavour, and with all that rubbing they are embedded deep in the CM. The CM cannot move without them, they are always with him in everything he does.
Making a CM to your specifications is not at all a difficult task, provided you have the right recipe with you. So I am going to give you a recipe for a CM that is easy to digest.
How to Make Boneless Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhan)
• 80 kg chicken (boneless)
• Sour comments from opposition
• His own colleagues trying to topple him constantly
• 1 powerful but independent minister
• I handful of openly corrupt leaders who everyone is too afraid to expose
• A sprinkling of fiery orators who can whip up the masses.
• Lots of infrastructure projects for the ministers
• Mining Lobby
• Building Lobby
• Lots of empty promises
For the Gravy
• We the people of Goa, whipped and beaten.
• The chicken cuts himself into small pieces. He mixes, well all the ingredients for the marinade and thoroughly rubs the mixture into his chicken pieces
• Let the marinated pieces stand for an entire term.
• You will need lots of grease to grease the chicken. Put him in the pan. He will not move. He will just sit there in his boneless way, because he knows if he jumps out of the frying pan he will end up in the fire.
And that’s how you get the perfect Chicken Makhani, hereinafter known as CM. The CM be warned, has a shelf life. No matter how thick the gravy, the CM can get rotten. He needs to feel the heat regularly. Therefore the gravy too needs to be heated constantly, else it will just sit and congeal.