Friday, April 24, 2009

A Court Case and Chicken Sausage Rice (Biryani)

Slice of Life:
This incident happened a couple of years ago. My neighbor(a he) called me one morning and asked if I would be a witness in his divorce proceeding. Gulp!

The couple are my neighbors and live right across our house. They moved into the house about a year after we did. We had no kids at that time, they had a boy who a preschooler (he is finishing his middle school now). The man was more the friend than the lady of the house. I like hanging outside in my garden doing stuff and he usually was outside playing with his son. Invariably he would walk over or I would go over and we'd talk. Apart from that,

Every morning I'd see him drive his son to school and bring him back in the evenings. Like every dad or mom does with a 5 year old he panted behind the son's bicycle when the training wheels came off. When the weather was warm the father and son were out doing what every American father and son do - yes! playing catch with a football and most days DD joined in, she is not the one to resist games of any kind. On good days when there is no wind howling and an inch of snow piled on the ground DD played hide and seek or tag and the dad had told me many a times that will he be around and would keep an eye on them freeing me to do stuff. We'd also have long conversations about the state of the world, the difference between politicians in Indian and here and several other topics generally superfluous topics.

If it was lunch time dad and son offered to take DD along to wherever they went for lunch. Most times I have said no but on a few occasions when McD was mentioned I could not keep her back. He once mentioned that he loves chicken curry (don't they all). You know how it works right, once somebody mentions that they like chicken curry I can't resist offering them some. The couple and the son have visited our house for DD's birthday parties. DD has gone over to play in their house.

If you are wondering if I have ever spoken to the lady of the house. I have and the number of times can be easily counted on the fingers in my hand. She generally had a phone attached to her ear every time she stepped out making it impossible to have a conversation. The few times I have spoken to her she has been pleasant and has always been friendly. But very rarely have I seen her play with her son or just hanging out with him. I am not a witness to anything that happened inside their home, DD perhaps would have been a better judge.

She worked in the medical profession and he had a good job in one of the big consulting companies. Apart from mentioning once they had quite a few credit cards all maxed out we rarely spoke about personal stuff. Usually the talk was more about how to keep the deer out and want kind of plants would not be eaten and mostly the happenings in the world. When DH decided he was going to do the fence for the backyard himself, he helped with a few stuff. Overall a helpful and friendly neighbor. Neither DH,me or the kids had much to do with the wife.

So one day during one of those over the fence kind of conversations he mentioned that he was having problems with his wife. I was not sure if I heard it right and moved on to other topic and he mentioned it again a year after that. The phone call about the case came a month or two after. The lady was trying to get sole custody of the son.

Here is the questions for you dear readers who know quite a bit about me from my ramblings. Was was my answer Yes or No? If you were in a similar situation what would your reaction be?

We found these spicy chicken sausages in Costco last week. I was craving Biryani and all I had in hand were the sausages. It turned out quite well.


Chicken Sausage Rice
Serves: 4-6

1. 5 sausage rings cut into bite sized pieces
2. 1 Red Onions sliced thin
3. ginger garlic paste 5 garlic pods and 2 inches ginger
4. 4-5) green chillies (the sausages were spicy so just enough for the rice)
In a food processor chop the ginger,garlic and green chilies
5. 2 juicy tomatoes diced fine
6. 2 cups of mint and coriander leaves chopped
7. 2 cups Basmati rice (Rice:Water 1 : 1 1/2)
8. 1 tsp each of chilly powder, cumin powder and coriander powder
9. 2 tbsp yogurt
10. seasonings, cumin, cinnamon, cloves (3), saunf, bay leaves, curry leaves
11. 2 tsp oil
12. salt to taste

1. In the pressure cooker or a pan which is big enough to hold the rice, pour the oil and ghee and when it is hot add all the seasonings and saute.
2. In a separate pan add about 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil
3. Add the onions and fry till they are brown.
4. Add the ginger, garlic,green chillies mince and fry them well.
5. Add the mint and coriander leaves and saute til the leaves have wilted completed.
6. Add all the powders and mix well.
7. Now add the sausage and saute for about 4-5 minutes, add the yogurt and mix
8. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are soft.
9. Add the basmati rice and mix well till they are coated with the masala.
10. Add water and check if the salt is enough and cook the rice till they are almost done.
11. Close the lid and keep the flame in low medium for 5 minutes. Switch of the stove and remove from the stove. (if it stays on the hot burner the rice is in the bottom will turn brown and stick)


Tasted excellent with some cucumber raita.


  1. I just started following your blog... so don't know how what your answer was to your neighbor. From what you tell, he seems to be a good father and I think you should help him.

    I always thought about making biryani with sausage but never tried it... may be i will next time...

  2. You clever girl :), trying to rope us into this !!!
    But seriously what was your answer. And anyway what is a witness to a divorce supposed to do ? You knew him as a good dad but only one angle of it not the whole 360 degrees.

  3. Oh and sausage rice is extremely yummy.

    Have you tried the chicken meatballs ? Full of cholesterol and fat but makes a yummy kofta pulao

  4. Biryani with chicken sausages sounds delish!!

  5. wow your biryani looks so good. :) yum yum

  6. Really a thinkable case. You don't know what happened between them...So think think and think before u look forward to help....Biryani looks simply awesome.

  7. Oh God, what a predicament to be in! You must have said yes?

  8. I would say NO!

    You NEVER know what happens between the four walls and men are usually very charming with other women except their wives. I know, because my husband is one of them. He is worshiped like a demigod in his work place which is full of women, works 16hras a day by choice and at home he is completely different, like he is going thru' withdrawal from a work addiction. He even calls work and take calls when he is on vacation but gets upset when I call him for a minute to tell him something about kids. I call him Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde!:P

    I wouldn't get involved in his business. I think he is planning this year before and trying again to get you in his corner. As women, even when we don't agree or support other women, I would never go against them. Only she knows how he really is!

    But of course, it's up to you and how you feel. Kids should be with their mom unless they are abusive. Even with sole custody, he still gets the weekends and Summer holidays. Yeah, I went to Law school and dropped out to get married!(I am slapping myself now) Hahaha!

    Chicken sausage rice, send me some, ain't cooking today.
    Red Chards are growing gloriously btw.

  9. I think you said yes. Esp. when the dad spent so much time with the kid and the lady hardly ever did.. and when she was trying to get sole custody of the kid.. esp. when a child's future was at the court's decision. I think you said yes.

    The dad seems like a nice dad who'd be there for his son.

    I still have some of those sausages in the freezer..after a few tries, I couldn't eat them anymore. Too bland for me. I was wondering how to add more spice into them. The biryani soudns like a great idea.

  10. I do not what to say.. since you have seen only a part of him/her. I have no idea what goes on in a court.. but i have had known a FEW incidents (very close people to us.. & it came as a big shock when the truth behind walls spilled) where the man/woman was a charmer & differed greatly with family.

    BTW, nay kinda biryani calls my name:-)

  11. After reading what Asha and Soma posted, I don't know.. I think I'd have gone and told about what exactly I saw. If the lady was a better parent, She'd certainly have ways to prove that too. Wouldn't she?

    I feel so sorry for the child.

  12. Interesting situation...I would definitely say "yes", and in court, I would state the facts exactly as you know them, just like you did here. Yes- you have seen only one side of the story, but both parties will be calling in witnesses and the whole idea is that a fair picture will emerge in court from the combined statements of many people.

  13. I think the Dad took good care of the son but what happened inside the house is unknown. The kid from what you have said seems to have spent a lot of time with his dad ans loves to be with him. Going by this I cannot come to a conclusion that the mother does not like the son ,otherwise why should she claim custody? The decision is difficult.

    I think you would have said NO to be a witness.

    BTW: You have a phone attached to your ear every time you step out making it impossible to have a conversation with him next time.

    I too made Biriyani them with sausage once ...came out good. Pic is very tempting.

  14. I second what Asha said. We don't know what is going on between them. If I were in your place, I would rather step out being a witness. It is sad when couples divorce especially when there is a kid at home. Very selfish couple, though they might be extremely good personally. I don't know why people work it out more to part than saving their marriage.

  15. Usha, oh you should give it a try.

    Sandeepa, I went looking for the chicken meat balls and the lady offered us some of these sausages to taste. It was spicy and that is what made me buy these.

    Asha, come on over! My chard are just starting to sprout. Can't wait.

    Kay, I guess most of them are. These were actually quite spicy and the next batch I am going to add them to a egg masala like gravy.

  16. hi
    i recently came accross your blog and like your blog. i have also started a foodblog recently.keep up your good work and i wish u a very success.


  17. I don't think i can say yes or no.
    Sometimes what you see is no what is the truth.
    I now a couple , they have three kids. Well actually they are family.....if you see htem in st street they are always holiding hand in hand and walking and I know from my MIL that when they are home they agrgue a lot and etc...etc....
    SO you neighbour might have been a goof father but may be a bad husband.
    And reading Asha i would really agree to her whole post.
    I always say (my opinion) a kids should need the mom more than the dad .
    Moms sacrifsie a lot for theirkids unlike thier fathers.
    My mom brought up us three kids alone when my dad died when i was four and she brought up us so lovingly , for her we kids came first above all her needs.
    I dodn't think if it was my mom passesd away and dad took care of us , we would not be the same peopel as i know he would have gotten married and had kids and we kids would have been left out.

    My cousins wife dised and he got married after a year saying someone had to look after his 2 small kids and now he had 2 kids from his second marriage and thie kids from the first marriage is treated has worse then servants by hus second wife.
    You get my point i think kids are far better off with their mom.

  18. Very interesting but sad story. Atleast knowing you from your posts, your beliefs, your affinity to the good and positive you would have said Yes.
    Won't the boys feeling take precedence over everything else? Very curious to know your reply.

  19. Totally agree to Asha's comment. Btw, Rice looks spicy and yummy

  20. Hey ISG...nice idea to make biryani from sausages!

    Okie...I wonder what I'd have done in a similar situation. I personally think that kids are always better off with the mother. That said, it is kinda sad that a mom is always at the weaker end..if she sacrifices a career for her kids, she is denied custody often because she is financially not able, on the other hand, if she is doing well at work, hers is still the weaker side as she is not quite in the accepted mold of 'motherhood'.

    Tough choice...I don't envy you.

  21. Oh good coincidence. I had mutton biriyani this weekend and amma makes a similar version. Yeah its really tough to handle such situations. But I think you would have said a "No" as you seem to not be knowing anything on the personal front of that family. And I think you are a person who gets into anything only you have good knowledge of it. Am I right :)

  22. OMG - sausage biryani - i havent had that since my Goan roommate last made it for me 13 years ago - slurp slurp drool!

    About the case, I guess you may have said no because you didn't know enough of both sides to be an actual witness?

  23. Usha, my thoughts exactly.

    Sandeepa, a witness is supposed to testify to state what they have seen to help the case.

    KitchenFlavors, absolutely.

    Asha, not exactly. He was never charming or trying to carry tales about his wife. The dad stayed in the neighboring house for little over 8 years and the last couple of years when all this was happening he hardly spoke to me.

    Moreover I was never would have agreed going against the mother, was just going to state what I saw about the father thats all.

    Soma, so true.

    Kay, my feelings exactly. But the sad part is the damage done to the kid can never be undone.

    Nupur, you said it well. I concur.

    Cilantro, nothing is clear in these situations but for the fact that there is enough selfishness to go around.

    Mythreyee, I knew the boy and I was not sure if I would have been happy with myself if I had done nothing.

    HC, I totally agree and moms sacrifice more than their fair share, but this is a different culture. This couple is not from India.

    RC, the boy's feeling should absolutely take priority but I don't think it happened here. Really sad.

    aquadaze, that is probably true for most cases. I know of another case where the kids would have been so much better off with the dad but the mom got custody. Here the mom was not bad just that the dad was also a good dad.

    Nirmala it would have been easy to say No if I was going to be a witness about their actual divorce proceeding. But this was to be a witness in the child custody proceedings.

    Miri, I was not going to be a witness to prove if the guy was bad husband or she a bad wife. This was just to testify to how the father behaved with the son, nothing else.


Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate you taking the time.
Comments embedded with links, spam and in poor taste will not be published.