Robibarer Murgir Jhol/ Bengali Sunday Chicken Curry…I finally succumbed!!

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Robibarer Murgir Jhol or Bengali Sunday Chicken Curry…Robibarer Mangshor Jhol or the Bengali Sunday Mutton Curry…or better known as stuff legends are made of…or so I have heard and read…I never understood all the hullabaloo behind it, based on my relationship with potatoes (used to hate them unless fried –  just started eating them a couple of years back but even now can’t handle them in curries and can’t handle the thought of them with my chicken/meat/fish curries)…never attempted to eat it, let alone make it…but this past Sunday, finally gave in and decided to give it a shot, even though I was skeptical about why people would think that potatoes in this dish are what makes this dish…after making, eating and taking a long long nap after it, have to admit this time, and yes, only this time people were right – legends and memories…that Sunday Mutton Curry will be happening pretty soon.

 

Robibarer Murgir Jhol (Bengali Sunday Chicken Curry)
 

Ingredients

  • Chicken, skinned and cut into medium sized pieces, 1 kg

For the marinade:

  • Ginger paste,1 tsp
  • Garlic paste, 1 tsp
  • Onion, grated/paste, 1 tbsp
  • Lime juice, 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder, ½ tsp
  • Turmeric, ¼ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Mustard Oil, 1 tbsp

For the curry:

  • Green Cardamom, 2
  • Cloves, 2
  • Cinnamon, 1” stick
  • Bayleaf, 2
  • Black peppercorns, 4-5
  • Ginger paste, 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste, 1 tsp
  • Onions, finely sliced, 3 medium
  • Tomatoes, made into puree, 2 medium
  • Packaged tomato puree, 1 tbsp
  • Potatoes, peeled and halved, 2 medium
  • Kashmiri Red chili powder, 1 tbsp (for colour + heat, adjust according to taste)
  • Coriander powder, 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder, ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, ½ tsp
  • Mustard Oil, 3-4 tbsp
  • Water, about 2 cups
  • Green chilies, 2-3, slit
  • Bengali Garam Masala, ¼ tsp (equal parts cinnamon, green cardamoms, cloves, dry roasted and ground into a powder)
  • Lemon juice, about a tbsp or to taste
  • Fresh coriander, to garnish

Instructions

Wash and clean chicken, wipe dry.
Make small cuts in the chicken.

Mix all ingredients mentioned under marinade in a bowl and add in the chicken.
Rub the marinade on the chicken pieces; allow to marinate for an hour or so (can marinate overnight, but, add salt only once you get the chicken out of the refrigerator).

Sprinkle a little salt and turmeric on the potato pieces. Heat ½ tbsp of mustard oil in the pressure cooker (or a heavy bottomed pan). Add the potato pieces and fry till they turn slightly golden brown. Remove and keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the same pan.

Add lightly crushed green cardamom, clove, cinnamon, bay leaf and peppercorns.

When the spices start sizzling, add in the onions and sugar. Cook on low flame till the onions start to turn golden brown.

Add in garlic paste and fry for about a minute or so.

Add Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and mix well.

Add fresh tomato puree, packaged tomato puree, salt and ginger paste.

Stir and mix everything and let it cook on low flame for about 5 minutes.

Add in the chicken with the marinade and green chilies.

Stir and mix so that the masala coats the chicken. Let it cook on all sides for about 5-6 minutes till the chicken starts to brown.

Add the fried potatoes, water and stir.

Close the pressure cooker. The chicken should take about 10-12 minutes (in my pressure cooker about 2 whistles, one on high and one on low)

If cooking in a pan, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook till chicken is tender and starts falling off the bone.

When serving, sprinkle some Bengali garam masala, squeeze in some lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

Serve with some steamed rice or Bengali Mishti Pulao (recipe here)

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