Sunday, October 19, 2014

Robibarer Murgir Jhol / Bengali Style Chicken Curry

I am not a writer. This blog is just a getaway for me to scribble everything that comes to my mind. Its a place where writing makes me happy and I want to share my happiness with you, whoever is reading my blog with the recipes that I have come to acquire from my families, friends and books. There are days when I am happy above the seventh sky. And there are days when I just want to dunk my mood through the gutter, so that I can replace it with a new one. When I just want to see the blue sky and when I just don't get tired playing with my 4 cats. But whatever it is...I love my life, the way it is, the way it was, and the way it used to be. Everyday is just another experience added to the C.V, I am writing from the day 1 of your life. It can be a good one,or a bad one...and as far as I have seen..its never a wasted one. Some says...if you are sad, start cooking and your mood will improve on its own. I have never found this useful for me. Whenever I have tried to cook with my sunken state of mind, it has turned out to be a disaster. As for me, my mood gets an instant uplift,with  the smell of a good food. Exactly like it used to be with the smell of my mother's food.

how to cook bengali style robibarer murgir jhol

There is something different with Bengali mothers. They are very prone to make their child a multitasking and multi-achiever. As a result of this thought, we, Bengalis start to go to art schools, singing schools, dancing and recitation schools, even before we start to go to the actual School!!! Mine was no different. My Sunday mornings were always booked with the Art classes, where I used to draw a village, most of the time. The reward for my those classes were the Sunday special lunch...that I am going to share with you. As soon as I used to enter my house, I was hit by the tempting hungry smell of the chicken, that my mother cooked. Its the Murgir Jhol / Chicken Curry, that used to be our lunch on most of the Sundays. The rooms filled with the complex smell of the ongoing chicken curry, made my hungry soul way more hungry and I used to rush to the kitchen, after literally throwing my bag somewhere in the room, to have a bite.
Although the Kasha Mangsho is a rich Bengali delicacy, its not that common in daily meals. What is common is a less spicy and soupy version of it. Normally for Bengalis, chicken is a Sunday speciality. so needless to say, this is also a Sunday special dish. In other way, you can say it, as, Robibarer Murgir Jhol. Now, it rings the bell to the hungry ears. Yummm!!

how to cook robibarer murgir jhol

It is probably the only dish that I have made the most. Its one of my husbands favorite. He finds the soupy curry, which we call "jhol", very tempting and keeps asking for more rice to go with it. Indeed a good day for me.

Murgir Jhol / Bengali Style Chicken Curry / Bengali Style Soupy Chicken Curry
Serves 4-5

robibarer murgir jhol recipe

  • Chicken - 1 kg
  • 2 medium onions - sliced
  • 2 medium tomato - chopped
  • 1/2 cup yogurt - beaten
  • 4-5 fat garlic cloves - paste
  • 2 inch ginger - paste
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp mustard oil or any unflavored oil of your choice
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Marinate your chicken with salt, lime juice, mustard oil, yogurt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes. If I have time, I marinate the chicken for 2-3 hours.
  • When the chicken is marinated enough, heat the rest of the oil in a pan and fry the halved potatoes in it, till they are golden from the sides. Once done, put them out of the pan and keep aside.
  • Now temper the remaining oil with green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. When the oil is fragrant, add the sliced onions. Put your flame on medium and saute until they are translucent. Now add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté until the onions have become golden - brown. By the time their raw flavor will be gone too.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become mushy and all cooked.
  • At this point take the chicken pieces, one by one, shaking off the excess marination mixture and add them one by one, to the onion-tomato mixture in the pan. Cook each side of the chicken pieces for 5-7 minutes and then alter the side. Then cook the other side for 5-7 minutes also.
  • Add the rest of the marination mixture and cook until the gravy has become dry. 
  • Add 2 and 1/2 cups of water, and the fried potatoes to the chicken and cover to let it cook.
  • Cook them covered for 15-20 minutes. The chicken tends to be cooked within this time. However, check if its cooked from inside, and if not, add some water and cook again, covering the pan. We are adding water, because the water will be reduced by then.
  • When the chicken is cooked, taste and adjust seasoning and add the garam masala powder. You can use ready made, but I always dry roast 1green cardamom, 2 cloves and 1 inch cinnamon stick and grind them to a fine powder. This gives a more pungent aroma. Simmer for 2 minutes and put off the flame.
  • Add the ghee  and close the lid for sometime.
  • Now your Bengali style chicken curry / Murgir Jhol is ready to be served, with some chopped fresh coriander leaves and a drizzle of lime juice.

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