Wednesday, 1 July 2015

MA'S SIMPLE QUICK CHICKEN CURRY/MAYER JHOTPOT MURGIR JHOL- RECIPE OF LOVE


When celebrated AUTHOR ADITI CHOPRA asked  me "Before social media was so vastly available, did you follow your interest in food and recipes otherwise?", this got me thinking about the time when I had my first rendezvous with food.

In a Bengali home, they say the love for food begins as early as the 5th or 6th month of being born, with the "Mukhe Bhaat" or Rice Eating ceremony, where the child is made to taste creamy porridge, scooped out of a silver bowl, with a silver spoon, by the child's maternal uncle.


Well, I cannot vouch, that my love for food, took its root, on that particular ceremony or not, as my bleak memory fails to authenticate it,  but my exposure towards a gastronomic journey did begin early on. Apart from the imprint that I carried from the family kitchen, my incessant travels to different corners of the globe was hugely responsibly for my desire to discover new recipes, my change of perspective about food, as an important factor in defining our well-being and a whole gamut of facts and trivia unknown before from my culinary rendezvous.


During those times, when Social Media had not yet taken over our lives completely, I would try to recreate each and every dish that I had loved in my tryst with food. I was always in touch with food in some form or the other. Not only that, I was regularly encouraged by my mother to go to the kitchen and cook new dishes on trial, off course under her supervision as a kid and on my own from my teens onward. The knack to add on to a dish, my personalized touches and thereby make it to be loved by my taste buds and that of family, friends and others, was a result of these kitchen experiments.

Mine was a family, where the ladies, had a bank of recipes stored mentally. Both my paternal and maternal grand moms were outstanding cooks, dishing up very unique food and had a story for each dish that they had cooked. They were my biggest and most trusted source of learning about new recipes before the influx of at a click search engines and thereafter the Social Media at large.

As you all know, I have told this in one of my earlier post that my Daddy was a brilliant cook. He was also the proud owner of a huge and lovely collection of recipe books by national and international cook book authors, which both of us would go through, pick up a recipe and create the dish in the realms of our kitchen, together on many Sunday afternoons.


There were television shows on food and cooking which too had me hooked big time then. Whatever TV shows on food or cooking and travel were accessible on National TV channels or regional ones, would normally not be missed by me. Watched keenly,  recipes jotted down and later, definitely cooked and tried in the kitchen.

I would also on many occassions ask the mother's of my friends for recipes. when I would be fascinated by any particular dish that they had cooked and I had loved eating it. Whenever it was possible, the chefs at restaurants if willing, were requested for recipes of favourite dishes of mine, which they sometimes complied and sometimes not. But one thing remained constant through this incredible food journey was my penchant for digging out the story behind the nemesis of the dish.

I think this quite sums up and answers Aditi Chopra's question to me as well.

Today's dish is a simple and overtly delicious CHICKEN CURRY with potatoes, a recipe of my Mother. In the wake of my Blog's one year completion, this is my ballad of love for Ma. I have cooked the dish following her recipe to the tee and not even once when cooking this dish have I tried to tweak it, as I feel it is too yummy for any change to be incorporated.

Well my opinion may be coated with love, but you, my dear readers please let your imagination free and do whatever tweaking you would like to and suit your taste buds. I had to post this dish as an ode to my Ma, as whatever I cook today has been consciously or subconsciously learnt from her and my Blogiversary celebrations will be incomplete if I do not share this Favourite, simple and tasty dish with my lovely readers. 


SIMPLE AND QUICK CHICKEN CURRY/MAYER JHOTPOT MURGIR JHOL RECIPE:

AUTHOR : PIYALI
SERVES : 4
CUISINE : INDIAN/BENGALI
TYPE : MAIN COURSE/CHICKEN CURRY
TIME : 30 MINUTES MARINATION+10 MINUTES PREPARATION+20 MINUTES COOKING

INGREDIENTS :

1) 600 Gms of Chicken with bones, skinned and cut into medium sized pieces.
2) 2 large Potatoes skinned and cubed into medium sized pieces 
3) 2 Bay leaves
4) A few green chillies slit according to taste
5) Salt to taste
6) 1 1/2 Tbsp of oil

 FOR MARINATING THE CHICKEN:

1) 1 large Red Onion Roughly chopped 
2) 4-5 Dry red kashmir chillies
3) 3 Tbsp poppy seeds 
4) 1 Tbsp of melon seeds/magaj (optional)
5)  2 Tbsp Yogurt
6) 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
7) The juice of one lemon
8) 1Tbsp Clarified butter
9) 1 Tsp ginger paste
10) 2 Tsp garlic paste
11) 1Tbsp Garam Masala powder
12) Salt to taste

FOR GARNISHING:

1) 2 Tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves
2) 4 Boiled Eggs cut into halves

GET COOKING WITH ME IN EASY STEPS:

STEP 1:

Soak the melon seeds and poppy seeds together covered in hot water for 10 minutes. grind to a fine paste. Chop the onions roughly. Along with dry red chillies and a pinch of salt grind into a fine paste and keep aside. Skin, wash and cut the potatoes. extract the juice of one lemon. Clean the chicken and place in a large mixing bowl.


Add the poppy and melon seeds paste, onion, dry red chillies paste, yogurt, turmeric, ginger paste, garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, garam masala, clarified butter to the chicken in the bowl. Mix the marinade and rub the chicken pieces nicely with it. Leave the chicken to marinate in this gorgeous spice mix for at least 30 minutes.


STEP 2:

In a pan/wok heat oil. When hot add the bay leaves. When fragrant add in the potatoes and saute them till they change colour. Now add in the chicken with the marinade and cook covered. At this point there is no need to add any water. Cook on medium flame , covered and keep a close watch for the masala not to stick and burn at the bottom of the pan. 

Once all the water from the marinade and chicken dries up in the pan, add enough water to cover the chicken and again on medium flame cook covered till the chicken is cooked completely.

Finally add in the green chillies, check the seasoning, add salt if required and water according to your desired gravy consistency. I added about 100 ml water in the final stages as I wanted a thick gravy for my CHICKEN CURRY. Bring to a boil and switch off the flame.


Garnish with Boiled eggs half and chopped fresh green coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or bread of choice.
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SIMPLE AND QUICK CHICKEN CURRY/MAYER JHOTPOT MURGIR JHOL RECIPE:

AUTHOR : PIYALI
SERVES : 4
CUISINE : INDIAN/BENGALI
TYPE : MAIN COURSE/CHICKEN CURRY
TIME : 30 MINUTES MARINATION+10 MINUTES PREPARATION+20 MINUTES COOKING

INGREDIENTS :

1) 600 Gms of Chicken with bones, skinned and cut into medium sized pieces.
2) 2 large Potatoes skinned and cubed into medium sized pieces 
3) 2 Bay leaves
4) A few green chillies slit according to taste
5) Salt to taste
6) 1 1/2 Tbsp of oil

 FOR MARINATING THE CHICKEN:

1) 1 large Red Onion Roughly chopped 
2) 4-5 Dry red kashmir chillies
3) 3 Tbsp poppy seeds 
4) 1 Tbsp of melon seeds/magaj (optional)
5)  2 Tbsp Yogurt
6) 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
7) The juice of one lemon
8) 1Tbsp Clarified butter
9) 1 Tsp ginger paste
10) 2 Tsp garlic paste
11) 1Tbsp Garam Masala powder
12) Salt to taste

FOR GARNISHING:

1) 2 Tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves
2) 4 Boiled Eggs cut into halves

THIS IS WHAT YOU DO:

1) Chop the onions roughly and along with dry red chillies and a pinch of salt grind them into a smooth paste.

2) Grind the poppy seeds and melon seeds with enough water into a thick fine paste.

3) I a large mixing bowl place the chicken pieces and add the pastes of step 1) and 2) along with all the remaining ingredients from the list FOR MARINATING THE CHICKEN.

4) Mix well and marinate for 30 minutes
.
5) In a pan heat oil and put in the bay leaves.

6) Add the potatoes and saute till they change colour.

7) Add the chicken pieces along with the marinade. Cover and cook on medium flame till there is no water left from the marinade in the pan. 

8) Add sufficient water to cover the chicken and cook covered on medium flame till the chicken is completely cooked.

9) Add slit green chillies, salt to taste and water if you require a thinner gravy. stir and bring to a boil.

10) Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and boiled eggs cut into halves. Serve hot with breads or rice.

CHECK LIST:
1) Chicken, 2) Potatoes, 3) Green Chillies, 4) Bay leaves, 5) Oil, 6) Salt

FOR MARINADE:
1) Onion, 2) Dry Red Chillies, 3) Poppy Seeds, 4) Melon seeds, 5) Yogurt, 6) Turmeric powder, 7) Lemon Juice, 8) Clarified butter, 9) Ginger Paste, 10) Garlic Paste, 11) Garam Masala Powder, 12) Salt 

FOR GARNISH:
1) Eggs, 2) Fresh Coriander Leaves.

NOTE:
  • Be careful with the salt as you are adding a pinch while grinding the onion and red chillies. Also the marinade has salt. So don't add salt without tasting while cooking.
  • This dish practically requires very little cooking and can be made very quickly. So you can prepare the marinade and marinate the chicken and leave it soaking in the marinade well ahead of cooking. However do not marinate the chicken in the marinade overnight. This will lead to the chicken breaking away from the bones while cooking.
  • You can replace both the poppy seeds and melon seeds with cashew nuts or almonds in the recipe.
  • Use oil of your choice and you can add oil instead of clarified butter in the marinade.

                                 HAPPY COOKING 

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