‘Let’s meet for dinner’ during my college days, almost always meant ‘Let’s go out for Chinese food’. The décor in all Chinese restaurants was the same – dimly lit with red lanterns and tables covered with a red cotton tablecloth where a single red rose stood proud in a small white ceramic vase. Old timers will remember Continental on Residency Road being one of the upmarket Chinese restaurants. For me it was synonymous with fine dining because (ahem) it had a small waterfall in the entrance!
Of course Chinese food here meant, the completely bastardized Indian-Chinese version! Chicken Lollipop, Chicken Manchurian Gravy, American Chop Suey and Schezwan Fried Rice was the customary order. Someone might get a little adventurous on some days and order for a Thread Chicken or Crispy Lamb, but these occasions were few and far between. I can’t remember a single birthday where dining in Chung-Wah or Continental did not involve ordering Chicken Lollipops!
In some ways me trying to recreate the recipe, can be attributed to nostalgia, but the truth is a less romantic story. Let’s just put it down to a takeaway order gone so wrong, that I swore off ordering lollipops from any restaurant. (That list also includes momos). This was three years ago.
Last week, the meat section in Spar Koramangala, had a tray full of chicken wings fashioned into lollipops. All I could think of, standing there, was how amazing a plate of those deep fried crispy lollipops dunked in a spicy schezwan sauce would taste. I quickly bought half a kilo of wings and ran home to google a recipe. After plagiarizing multiple recipes from cookbooks and the web, I have amalgamated the elements into one that pleases my remembered palate. I’m just thrilled that my Lollipop abstinence days are over. Considering how easy it is to make, I may actually go overboard with this one!