Having my roots in Sylhet (now in Bangladesh) of Undivided India, I take pride and feel so much fascinated by the story of those boatmen, who, probably sylhetis, used to sing those Bhatiyali songs and cook their daily food completely ignorant about the fact that they are creating a masterpiece. Yes, the dish is Goalondo Steamer Curry or Steamer Fowl Curry. A legendary dish which is the epitome of simplicity. Simple, rustic and rich with history, this fowl (chicken) curry holds a saga of Padma and Brahmaputra and probably, the melody of Bhatiyali songs………..
Goalondo, a small place situated at the junction of Padma and Brahmaputra used to be a transport hub back then. With daily steamer service this place used to connect passengers to Narayanganj, Sylhet, Chittagong and Assam. Internet is flooded with many information that speaks about the legend of this unique dish. Among all the article that I have come across, food historian Pritha Sen’s The legend behind Goalondo Steamer Chicken is an excellent read. And while the scholars have already drafted facts, I am not going much to the history, rather, would love to talk about the dish itself.
When I first learned about the recipe, the simplicity caught my attention. And then when I got to taste it I was awestruck by the taste. The fact that it is cooked with minimum ingredients made me salute those boatmen for this massively creative dish. No powder spices are used in the recipe, neither whole spices. Only onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and the magic is created. The dish is cooked with absolutely no water. The moisture of the chicken and onion are enough to do the job. Also, I took the liberty to add little turmeric powder just for the colour though it is completely optional. Goes amazingly well with steamed hot rice, here is how to cook this amazing dish.
- 500 gm chicken
- 5 standard sized onion, chopped
- 10 garlic clove, minced
- 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
- 5 green chillies, chopped
- 7 dry red chillies, coarsed into pieces
- 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (optional)
- 3 table-spoon mustard oil
- salt, according to taste
- Marinate the chicken for atleast 2 hours with all the ingredients mentioned in For Marination section.
- Heat an wok (I used iron wok) and add the marinated chicken.
- Cover the lid and cook over low to medium flame until the chicken is well cooked.
- Your Goalondo Steamer Curry is ready to be served now.
Serve this amazing dish with piping hot rice and don’t forget to squeeze a piece of lemon to enhance the taste.
Enjoy this rustic chicken curry and do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.