Food : Trivandrum Rating : 3/5 Stars

PinStove – Chapatti, American Cheese Omelette, Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Fried Rice, Chilly Chicken, Butter Chicken, Semiya Payasam

After enjoying the incredibly good Pothichoru and Neymeen Curry last time, I decided to get dinner for my home thru PinStove from the PinChef Aishwarya Ajith based on how well I enjoyed her Neymeen (Seer Fish) curry… So, from her list, I went for a portion of Chapattis, Chicken Fried Rice, Boneless Chilly Chicken, Butter Chicken and Semiya Payasam… Then, two items caught my eye from her menu which were the Chicken Nuggets and what she called as the American Cheese Omelette… So, went for those too… As always everything came neatly packed and on time thanks to the exceptionally good delivery service by PinStove… πŸ™‚

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The Spread

The portion of Chapattis had 3 Chapattis and it looked clean as can be seen in the pic below… From its taste, its quite clear that it was made with wheat flour of good quality and also not oily at all, which is good…

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Chapatti

The American Cheese Omelette came as shown in the pic below… The Cheese was stuffed inside the Omelette and the omelette was made seasoned with coriander leaves, crushed black pepper and salt… The Omelette was incredibly light and fluffy with just the right amount of Cheese in it so that it didn’t dominate the overall taste of the Omelette…

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American Cheese Omelette

I was surprised at how the Chicken Nuggets looked as can be seen in the pic below… Unlike what we usually see, these were as big and looked like Cutlets for me… However, on the inside, it was clearly the usual Chicken Nuggets made with the usual processed Chicken meat… I guess these were store bought as one of those frozen ready to cook options as I could clearly sense the presence of Sodium Benzoate which is usually found in such packaged food options…

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Chicken Nuggets

Next was the Chicken Fried which was clearly homemade from scratch πŸ™‚ It came as shown below… It consisted of stir-fried Rice with Egg, Chicken and Vegetables seasoned with Soy… The amount of Soy in it was a bit too much for my liking and the rice and the vegetables felt a bit overcooked… Another problem I felt was that it didn’t have enough of Pepper in it and the amount of salt was very very slightly below whats needed… I think it would’ve been a great Fried Rice has those issues been avoided…

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Chicken Fried Rice

The side dish I got for the Fried Rice was the Chilly Chicken and I took the option of having it made with boneless Chicken meat which was mentioned as a separate item in the menu as Boneless Chilly Chicken… This is another stir fry dish made with boneless chicken pieces with onions, bell peppers, spring onion, with dark soy, tomato and green chilly sauce… It tasted slightly sweet because of the presence of the tomato sauce and caramelised onions… Overall a great tasting Chilly Chicken option… My only problem with it is the cooking of the chicken which was overdone making it dry on the inside and tough to chew… I hope the chef avoids that from happening in the future…

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Boneless Chilly Chicken

The Butter Chicken is the side-dish I got for the Chapattis… It came as shown in the pic below… Even though I wished to get it made with boneless chicken meat, I couldn’t find the option for this in the menu and so went for the regular Butter Chicken but with the request to use boneless chicken for this too… When I checked what arrived, I found that it was made with boneless chicken itself, which I consider to be a good gesture from her part πŸ™‚ Taste-wise however, it didn’t taste anything like the Butter Chicken that I have seen so far… Compared to what I usually have been getting, this one lacks the flavour of fresh tomato puree and butter… Once again, unfortunately, just like the Chilly Chicken, the chicken pieces were overcooked… The garam masala used appeared to be fine but the gravy also seemed to contain corn starch as thickener… So, basically I would request the chef to research and use a better recipe and be more careful about the cooking times for the Chicken used…

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Butter Chicken

Based on the taste of the Chicken dishes, I have a suspicion if the boneless chicken used has been brought as frozen from the supermarket and then defrosted wrongly, like for example the microwave (which even though is a quick way to defrost, is a bad idea cause it ends up partially cooking the chicken and so when you cook the chicken like you usually do, you end up with pieces of Chicken thats overcooked and bland and dry inside, which appeared to be how the chicken tasted like for me and hence the doubt…

Then finally for dessert, I got the Semiya Payasam, which is a popular dessert in Kerala and is basically a sweet porridge made with Semolina in milk and flavoured with cardamom and ghee… This particular one appeared to have use cloves as well along with roasted cashews and dried grapes… The amount of sweetness was very mild in it and I wish it had more… A problem I had with this other than sweetness is the cooking of the Semolina… For best results, you have to have the semolina cooked in the milk itself… When you don’t do that and precook it in water and then add the cooked to the milk, it kind of waters down the taste of the payasam and the semolina would taste bland when you chew into it…

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Semiya Payasam

So, on the overall a dinner that left me with mixed feeling by the PinChef Aishwarya Ajith… The American Cheese Omelette remains as my personal favourite and I only wish that the fineness that went into it had gone into the other items as well… When I think about both experiences, the conclusion I could make was that the chef is really good at doing some items, while others not so much… So, it is my humble request to all the home-chefs working thru PinStove or any other platform to do a self evaluation and modify the menu to stick to and play to your strengths and avoid the weak spots… Its impossible for anyone to excel in everything… Even trained professional chefs have that limitation and its perfectly normal… Hopefully everything will get corrected very soon… πŸ™‚

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