Friday, 18 February 2011

Murgir Jhol

Another variation here:

So I've recently had a couple of emails from my friends in different shores, which complain that although they follow the recipes here, the result is not quite like what they order in Indian restaurants. There's also the hint that perhaps, just perhaps, Indian cooking is a little elaborate.

Oh dear. Well, I suppose one could put it down to cultural orientation. I always thought all manner of baking and so forth were rather tricky business, what with their exact measurements and exact thicknessess and exact temperatures. And I've always been inclined to think Bengali cooking quite simple. And I've taken care to pick only those dishes that I made when I lived on my own, because I thought them remarkably easy and delicious.

But here's to making amends :-) This is a really simple one-pot chicken dish that goes remarkably well with hot rice or flatbreads of most kinds. It can either have a great deal of thin broth, or a lesser amount of thicker gravy, depening on your preference.

 Rub four chunks of chicken with turmeric, salt and lemon juice.

 Paste one tomato, couple of small onions, green chilies, garlic, plus whole/ground cumin, coriander and red chilli.

 Scoop the paste on the chicken. Let it stand for twety minutes (although my very impatient mother barely waits five, and it tastes just fine).

 Shallow-fry halved or quartered poatoes in mustard oil.

Add the marinated chicken to the pot.

  Fry it on medium till the oil separates (the process is called koshano/bhuna). When the oil separates, add water and pressure-cook or cover and simmer till chicken and potatoes are cooked.

 Finally! Perfectly tender chicken cooked in a steaming pot of lightly spiced broth. It's delicious!

Well, I hope that makes up for the wickedly difficult recipes I've been posting :-) And as for food you eat at Indian restaurants, I'll admit freely most of it is not cooked in our kitchen. I'd never before heard of chicken tikka masala, for example, and then was baffled to see whole chicken pieces in it, not tikkas (little mince patties), as advertised. But I just might give it a shot one of these days.


Dea-chan said...

That does look remarkably easy. But I also find baking incredibly simple, and far easier than cooking. In baking, the goal is often to be sweet. That is easy to achieve. And everyone learns on their own by simply eating what kind of things work well in desserts (fruit, chocolate, etc.). Anything that involves savory spices I'm often at a loss, for I have no idea the amounts to put in.

sumana001 said...

Rimi, to keep it really light, I don't use a masala paste. Instead, I mince onions and garlic, etc, and grate the ginger. I somehow have the feeling - illusion it might be - that this saves on the quantity of oil used for "frying" the spices. What do you say?

Rimi said...

T -- cultural orientation then. I'm convinced! also I'm fonder of savoury baking (like mince pies) than I am of sweet, so... :-)

Sumana -- well, the masala is mostly onion, garlic and tomatoes anyway. The spices are negligible -- one teaspoon jeera guro and about 3/4 dhone guro. But it does take less oil for just onions and garlic and ginger, and I personally think it's the tomato that soaks up the oil -- have you ever noticed how much oil you need for 'koshano' when tomato paste is involved? Takes longer to cook, too!

Abhishek Mukherjee said...

Amar baper barite eiro'mi hoto. :|

Magically Bored said...

This kind of murgi'r jhol is just heavenly. I always top it with freshly chopped coriander. Yum!

Puck said...

You are a goddess.

Deepanwita Biswas said...

Yes, it is typically Bong dish.As you peple said it might take too much oil, instead of too much oil use little water. kashano r time use adding very little water at a times whenever you think it is sticking to the pan. It is still tasty & you are using less oil.