Today we talk about chicken curry, not the one with gravy though but dry, spicy chicken curry, the one which is the signature recipe of Bengal, Chicken Kasha. The kind of sinful bengali chicken kosha which is slow cooked with a heavy doze of pure fragrantly pungent mustard oil and the right balance of garlic, ginger, tomatoes and onion along with whole garam masala and as much whole dry red chilies as you fancy. Fiery chicken kosha curry is the authentic chicken recipe which has been perfected over decades and generations of Bengali home cooks to the point where there is little scope of improvement. So I have decided to stick to the original traditional chicken kasha which is cooked by Bengali thhakur or chefs for any kaajer bari or social functions with may be a tad bit less oil. We are marooned in snow. First there was no snow for the greater part of this year’s winter and then boom! The mega snow storm of the year, Jonas has arrived with 5 feet of snow and growing, with a wind speed which has tipped fully loaded trash bins effortlessly upside down (eeeks!!). We began the weekend with some hearty chicken soup and endless mugs of milky tea. List of Ingredients [scroll down for recipe]
1. Chicken with bone (1.5 Kg)2. Mustard oil 3. Onion puree (500 gm)4. Ginger (2 inch pc)5. Garlic (6-7 cloves)6. Tomato (1 large)7. Potatoes (2 large pcs)8. Plain yogurt or tok doi (1 cup)9. Garam Masala Powder (1.5 tspn)10. Whole dry red chilies (6-7 pcs) 11. Cinnamon (1 inch stick)12. Cloves (5-6 pcs)13. Turmeric Powder (1 tspn)14. Red Chili Powder (1 tspn)15. Bay leaf or tejpata (2-3 pcs)16. Sugar (2 tspn)17. Salt (to taste)But by Sunday morning when even visibility through the glass windows and doors reduced to NIL due to accumulated snow, the alert flashed on our phones that there may be a power cut for 4-8 hours. Hmm so that meant there would be no heater, no hot water, no internet and no everything while the temperature is well below the ZERO. We got the firewood ready for the fireplace, filled up some drinking water, made a flask of hot coffee and informed every one who cared to listen over phone, watsapp and FB about the situation. We so love providing our unsuspecting parents in Kolkata with some drama for their morning cups of tea whenever we can manage. We took care of all these in 10 mins and then had about 3 hours and 40 mins to kill. So the left over time opened up the natural instinct of every bengali foodie before a crisis, THE NEED for a good helping of some jomati bangali khabar (read soul stirring bengali food) at hand in case the prospect of freezing to ahem came up. Bong survival strategy 101 in a snow blizzard is established hence forth to cook some jhal jhal kosha murgi or bengali special spicy chicken kasha. Umm let’s make that mishti holud pulao (sweet yellow rice) that goes so well with it too while we are at it. While cooking chicken kasha only requirement is to use chicken pieces large and chunky enough to withstand all the koshano or slow frying which results to reduction of the sauce of gravy. Pray we make it through the storm before we make it through the chicken kosha. And as always: Good luck in the kitchen! RECIPE for Murgi Kosha or Calcutta style Dry Chicken Kasha. Serves: 5-6 Cook Time: 2 hrs Prep Time: 15 mins Calories (per serving): unknownSTEP 1 : Here is a look at the primary ingredients for cooking the bengali recipe of murgi kosha. Scroll up for the detailed list of ingredients and their amounts . The chicken needs to be cut in chunky pieceswith bones and needs to be marinated overnight or at least 2 hours. Make a paste of the onion, garlic and ginger.
STEP 2 : Lets go ahead and prepare the marinade for the chicken. Beat the tok doi or dahi or plain yogurt with some salt and 1/2 tspn of the garam masala powder. Then add that to the chicken along with some turmeric and mustard oil. mix well and let it sit in the refrigerator or a cool spot in your kitchen for minimum of 2 hours and maximum of 12 hours.
STEP 3 : Once you are ready to cook, heat some mustard oil on high heat till the smoke comes out from it. This helps to proof the mustard oil such that it tastes less pungent and just glorious. Add in the whole garam masalas after reducing the heat. Then add in the onion-ginger-garlic paste. Add in the sugar, garam masala powder and some salt. Cook covered for 10 mins on medium high heat, keep stirring every 3-4 mins.
STEP 4 : While the onion mixture is getting cooked, take 1/3 cup of water and the dry whole red chilies or shukno lonka in a small pan and heat on high heat. Let it cool down and make a fine paste along with the tomato. Add this puree to the chicken and mix well. Cook covered for another 5 mins.
STEP 5 : Add in the chicken along with all the marinade. Peel the potatoes, cut them in halves and add in. Add more salt to taste. Let us now begin the stage of slow frying of the masala also known as ‘koshano‘. On medium high flame keep stirring the chicken every 1-2 mins and keep cooking in this manner for 10-20 mins without covering. Some of the liquid will evaporate and the chicken will brown a bit by the end of the ‘koshano’ phase. This cooking technique is what makes bengali kosha chicken or mutton kasha recipe so unique. A light smoky flavor gets added to the chicken. After koshano is done, cover the chicken kasha and let it cook for 15 mins without adding any extra water. In case your chicken kasha has more gravy than required or is too liquidy then cook on high flame without cover till the gravy is thick and sticky.
STEP 6 : Your chicken kosha curry is ready add in a dollop of ghee at the end too if you fancy. I like the smoky mustard oil flavor too much to care. Enjoy your chicken kasha with simple steamed rice or roti. Instead of chicken you can also try my popular mutton kosha recipe. If you like this recipe don’t forget to leave your comments below.