Murgir Jhol (Bengali Chicken Curry with Potato)
Back home, Mom used to cook Murgir Jhol every Sunday. This was kind of customary to mark the weekend. I remember, we used to keep waiting for Sundays only to have Murgir Jhol. Sunday mornings used to start with watching Rangoli. Back then, Doordarshan really took care of our weekends 🙂 My Mom used to scream saying “Sokal bela onno barir baccha ra porashuno kore ar amar ghore ekta Cinemar gaan dekhe” (in other families, kids study in the morning but mine one is watching film songs) 😛 All these screaming could never actually restrict me from enjoying my Sundays. Rangoli followed by Chandrakanta, Shaktimaan, Potli Baba Ki, Jungle Book, Duck Tales and what not… By the time I complete my quota of television programmes, my Dad used to go to the local market and come back home with deshi murgir mangsho (country chicken) and Mom, continuing here screaming, used to start cooking her Sunday special dish. In the afternoon, we all used to sit together for this special weekend feast – Murgir Jhol and Gorom Bhat (hot steamed rice). I miss those Sundays so badly 🙁
Far away from home I always try to relive the memories. I can’t bring back my childhood or Rangoli or Jungle Book, but what I definitely can is to try to recreate my Mom’s kitchen magic. As I cook this magical dish, a part of me always wanders down the memory lane.
With that said, here’s my recipe of Murgir Jhol (with step-by-step pictorial representation) inspired by my Mom’s recipe.
- 500 gms curry cut chicken
- 2 potatoes, diced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 5 green chillies, slitted
- 1 handful of garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 1 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 5 green cardamom (elaichi)
- 5 cloves (laung)
- 2 star anise (chakra phool)
- 2 bay leaves (tej patta)
- 1 tea-spoon cumin powder (jeera)
- 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder
- 3-4 table-spoon mustard oil
- salt (according to taste)
- Wash the chicken pieces properly and rub some turmeric powder and salt. Shallow fry the pieces and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and fry the potato pieces with little turmeric powder and salt. Once they are golden yellow, remove from the pan and keep aside.
- Heat some more oil and add bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, star anise, chopped onion and crushed garlic. Sautè until the onion turns translucent and the mixture starts spreading aroma.
- Now, add grated ginger, green chillies and tomato. Stir till the tomato becomes soft and mushy.
- Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and required salt and stir for 2 minute on medium flame.
- Now, add the fried potato and mix well.
- Add 3 cups of warm water and bring it to boil.
- Now, add the chicken pieces and cover the lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes on low flame.
- Open the lid and check if the chicken is well cooked and the consistency of the gravy. There should be enough gravy in the curry.
- Once the chicken is well cooked, turn off the flame and remove it in a serving vessel.
- The Murgir Jhol is ready to be served now.
Serve this hot with hot steamed rice and make your Sundays delightful. Have it with your loved ones and build memories. Do drop me a comment telling how you like this recipe. Happy eating!