Saturday, September 26, 2015

Chicken Dak Bunglow / Chicken Dak Bangla

During our childhood and as we grew up we used to read a number of stories and novels related to the mail delivery man or mail delivery system during the British rule in India, which was more commonly known as the “Dak Byabostha”. The most significant for me is the play "Dak Ghar" written by Rabindranath Tagore, where an ailing boy named Amal awaits the king’s letter before he dies.The men who delivered the mails or the postmen were known as the “Dak Horkora”. This mail delivery system consisted of a number of relaying postmen or dak horkoras, who delivered the mails and letters on foot or riding a horse while carrying their treasure on their back. And very naturally the route they used for this purpose came to be known as the Dak route.

bengali chicken dak bunglow recipe

bengali style chicken dak bangla recipe

The rest houses which were built along the Dak route for the use of the British officers later came to be known as Dak Bunglow or Dak Bangla. The chicken dish that the khansamas or cooks prepared for the officers popularized as Chicken Dak Bunglow. Originally the recipe of Chicken Dak Bungalow was a Roast and not a curry like we have these days. The essence of this dish was to cook something very light on spices. Also these Bunglows were situated at places where they didn’t have the luxury to shop on a day to day basis. So the cooks also had to deal with minimum ingredients and the shortest of time as they had to cook with anything and everything that was available to them. It was then served with baked potatoes, boiled eggs or grilled legumes. The recipe that I followed today was inspired from Bridget White. In her recipe she used curry leaves and so the recipe is more prone towards the South Indian flavours.

bengali style dak bunglow chicken recipe with step by step pictures

dak bunglow chicken recipe with step by step pictures

dak bunglow chicken recipe with step by step pictures

dak bunglow chicken recipe with step by step pictures

This is however of no surprise as in those days, most of the cooks and khansamas used to come from South India, and they made the use of coconut milks, mustard seeds and curry leaves. I adapted the recipe to suit it more towards our Bengali taste, and so I added whole garam masalas in tempering the oil.

dak bangla chicken recipe with step by step pictures

dak bangla chicken recipe with step by step pictures

dak bangla chicken recipe with step by step pictures

dak bangla chicken recipe with step by step pictures

The first time I heard of Chicken Dak Bunglow was when one of my friends went for lunch in Bhajahari Manna and described it as a beautiful and rich chicken curry. Later I came to know more about this dish from Magazines, books and cookery shows. I also enquired about it in a food group in Facebook, and got most of my information from a very kind person named Esrar Ahmed  there.

dak bangla chicken recipe with step by step pictures

Hope you enjoy this recipe as I did, and if you have any other version of this curry do let me know.

chicken dak bunglow recipe with step by step pictures

Chicken Dak Bunglow / Chicken Dak Bangla
Serves 5-7

bengali style chicken dak bangla recipe with step by step pictures

Ingredients:
1 kg chicken on bone
3 medium onions – sliced
6 cloves of garlic – minced
3-4 whole garlic clove – peeled
½ inch stick of ginger – minced
1 cup thick curd – whisked
Juice of 1 lemon
2 dry red chillies
2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 whole green chillies - broken
1 medium cinnamon stick
3-4 green cardamoms
3 cloves
6-8 whole black peppercorns
2 tbsp mustard oil
2-3 small potatoes – peeled and boiled
2-3 eggs – hard boiled
Salt

Method:
Marinate the chicken with the curd, ginger –garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, lemon juice, salt and ½ tbsp oil. Let them marinate for 1 hour.
Heat oil in the pan and add in the dry red chillies, broken green chilies, cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, cloves and whole black peppercorns.
As they start to splutter add in the sliced onions and whole garlics, and fry till they are golden brown and crispy. If you have a small kadai, do the frying in small batches.
Once done, transfer the fried onions with the whole garlic and whole spices into a bowl and keep aside.
Next fry the potatoes and eggs separately till they become golden from the sides. Once done take them out of the kadai / pan and keep aside.
Now in the same oil (add more if required) add the chicken pieces with the marinade and cook till all the moisture evaporates.
When the curry becomes thick, pour in 2 and ½ cups of water and put cover. Cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are completely cooked from inside.
Taste and adjust the seasoning and sprinkle the garam masala powder.
Simmer till the gravy reaches your desired consistency and then add half of the fried onions. Mix roughly and put off the flame.
Serve hot with plain steamed rice with rest of the fried onions on top of it and the fried and boiled potatoes and eggs.

No comments:

Post a Comment