India is a pretty big country. And diverse. So much so that you travel 50 miles in any direction and you will start noticing a change in language, culture, attire and of course the cuisine. The prime crop of the particular region would determine what the cuisine would look like. If you come from a region with soil rich for rice then you would mainly be eating rice and if a region grew lentils well then you can expect an array of dishes cooked with lentils coming out of the kitchens. And the language, culture and food played (and still does) such a deep role in people’s lives that back in the days people would even hesitate marrying a person far away from their region in fear of the huge adjustments one will have to make because of the differences.
Such a dilemma arose when my parents decided to get married. Papa from central India and Mummy from a region nestled in the eastern part of India. Although that did not stop them from coming together but my brother and I got lucky because we got exposed to two different sets of traditions, languages to a certain extent, at least the dialect and food.
Mummy having born and brought up in a city on the border of Bihar and Bengal, and having gone to a Bengali school, her cooking was very much influenced by Bengali cuisine. Lets just say that I have had my fair share of Macher Jhol and Panch Foran spices growing up. So when I found out that my friend Kankana is writing a cookbook, I was of course ecstatic. But when I learned that the book is on Bengali cuisine, it became much more personal to me, because much of this food was what I grew up eating. And there are several parts and pieces of this cuisine that I always craved to learn, how to cook. And what a great job Kankana has done to make that food approachable to many!
Another reason why this cookbook is special to me is because this is her first cookbook, her baby. And I feel like an aunt to that baby. I was there at every step of this baby, from the conception to development to its delivery. I have also seen how much heart and soul Kankana has put into it which by the way you will also see in every page of the book, when you hold it. It’s a stunner with Kankana’s foolproof recipes and masterful photography.
When the thought came of sharing something from the cookbook, I was clear in my mind what recipe I was going to share. This was one of the first recipes I tested for Kankana when she was writing the book. Then I also got to enjoy it again when she was shooting the cover and once I’d pick up a bowl of this dish, it was tough for me to put it down. AND I have shared my own experience of a Sunday Chicken Curry cooked by my Papa before. So I chose one of Kankana’s favorite from the book, and mine too- a recipe for Sunday Chicken Curry, her dad used to cook for them growing up. Robibar Er Murgi Jhol or just a Bengali name for Sunday Chicken Curry is a mildly spiced curry and soul warming comfort food in Bengali homes. I hope you love it as much I did it.
Oh, and funnest part for the end. I am giving away a copy of Kankana’s gorgeous cookbook on Bengali Cuisine- Taste of Eastern India, Delicious Authentic Bengali Meals you need to try.
All you gotta do you is tell us, in the comments section below, what is one of your favorite dishes to cook and share with your dad.
Entries open till Nov. 4th, 11:59 pm. One random winner will be announced on Nov. 5th. Open only for US residents.
We have a winner! Congratulations Shama!! Please contact us wit your postal address so that we can send a copy of the cookbook your way.
Sunday Chicken Curry (Bengali Style)
- 1 lb 500g bite-size chicken pieces (mix of bone-in and boneless, also skinless)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp 15ml lemon juice
- 1 tbsp 15g salt, divided
- 1 potato
- 1 red onion
- 2 tbsp 30ml oil, divided
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1- inch 3-cm cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp 10g grated garlic
- 1 tbsp 8g grated ginger
- 1 cup 237 ml water
- 3 green chillies
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- Lime wedges
Put the chicken pieces in a big mixing bowl. Add the cumin, coriander, chili powder, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Massage with your hands so the spices coat the pieces evenly. Cover the bowl and allow the chicken to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours. Letting it marinate overnight would make the flavor better.
Peel the potato and cut it into quarters. Set aside. Peel the onion. Slice three-fourths of the onion into thin slices and grate the remaining one-fourth of the onion.
When ready to prepare the chicken curry, place a heavy- bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon (15ml) of oil. When the oil heats up, add the potato. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Stir and fry the potato until mildly golden in color, about 3 minutes. Remove the potato from the pan to a separate bowl and set aside.
To the same pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon (15ml) of oil and the sugar. Allow the sugar to caramelize for a few seconds and then add the green cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Allow them to sizzle for a few seconds, then add garlic, ginger and grated onion. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, then ass the sliced onion. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons (8g) of salt and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Stir and allow the onion to cook and turn golden brown in color, about 5 minutes.
Add the marinated chicken, stir to combine everything evenly and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the fried potatoes, water and green chillies and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Finally, sprinkle with the garam masala, stir and check for salt at this point. Add any if required. Cook for 2 minutes and turn off the heat.
Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, squeeze fresh lime juice on top and serve warm.
Looking so yummy, Thanks For sharing recepies instruction. I will make it in free times.
Hi Prerna – in step 4 you asked to ‘ass’ the sliced onion?!?! Not sure if that’s a good idea? 😂😜🙏
Cheers from Brazil! Cooked this with my Indian boyfriend and it was amazing! Thanks for sharing!
I tried this dish, everyone liked it very much, I made it myself, everyone appreciated it, it was very tasty.
[…] Chicken Curry (Bengali Style) – Indian Simmer […]
My dad loves trying anything new and different. So when I’m making him something special, it’s usually different each time!
Dahi bhalle. He loves them!!
I would love to cook kabobs for my Dad
Unfortunately my dear Uboo is no longer with us, but growing up he was my unofficial taste tester. I would make the same thing over and over again to get it right, yet he would never complain! He was a pretty good cook in his own right….he used to love making halwa. I used to watch him in awe, because I cannot make sweet dishes to save my life! I am more of a savoury girl. But I used to help cut up the almonds, wash the raisins and whatever else he needed. It didn’t matter what we were doing, as long as we got to spend time together. Being the oldest of 7 children, I was his favorite……and my siblings knew it! Miss him so much…
Baba is through & through Odiya, hence loves sweets but also has sugar problem hence we have to watch his sugar intake. But whenever he visits us, I make sure I make Chenna Poda for him. He loves it & its so easy to make if you have a good oven. The recipe is actually Baba’s younger brother’s but I have made it multiple times with Jaggery (instead of white sugar) and it has turned out to be good. https://odisha-mo-odisha.blogspot.com/2013/10/chena-poda-bada-dada-style.html
My Appa loves sweet.All the time I love to make him something sweet….since in US I miss cooking for my parents.
I wish I could cook for my dad, my mom says he loved to eat Rogan gosh.
Since I have lived in East India since my childhood and a place where I was first introduced to various cuisines and dishes. Hailing from a South Indian family living in East India and getting introduced to so many different dishes was bliss. One of the most favourite dishes of all times that my Dad and I totally love is – ‘Dokar Dalna’. It is an Oriya dish that is out of the world!
Ahh..it’s been so long that i cooked for my dad. But he loves my aloo ke paranthe. Hard to compete with mom you know..:)
As a family, we have always preferred non spicy food on regular days. Dad being a good cook, would make a mildly spiced goat/chicken stew with carrots, potato, beans and a lots of garlic. This is and will be my most favourite dish from dad’s cookbook. I would just peel all the veggies to help him out and at the end just to make sure the flavors were right, he would give me a hot piping bowl of the stew to taste before meal time (mostly to chase me out of the kitchen since I would hover around the pressure cooker until the stew was ready)
Garlicky okra and potatoes aur woh ghee waali roti ❤️
All time favorite to cook with papa is fijian style palau (chicken,lamb,goat) its all good😋!!