Sunday, November 29, 2015

Chicken Curry - Traditional Bengali Murgir Mangshor Jhol


One of the most traditional recipes in Bengali cuisine is Murgir Mangshor jhol. Basically it is a kind of chicken curry along with potatoes. This is one of the oldest weekend favorites of Bongs. We grow up with this menu present in all of our Sundays. There are two varieties of it – one with thick spicy gravy (kasha mangsho) and other one is Chicken curry (Murgir Jhol). Here is the lighter version with more gravy – Murgir Jhol. Here is the way you can create this age old charm yourself.

Preparation Time: - 30 min

Cooking Time: - 35~40 min

Servings: - 2~3 persons


  1. Chicken - 250 gm (without skin)
  2. Potatoes – 5~6 medium. The number can vary according to your affinity to it.
  3. Yogurt - 4 tsp
  4. Onions - 1 Large
  5. Ginger paste – 1 ½ tsp
  6. Garlic paste – 2 ½ tsp
  7. Tomato – 1 large
  8. Bay leaf – 2
  9. Green chilly 2 slit or if you want more spicy then Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp
  10. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  11. Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
  12. Green cardamom – 2 nos
  13. Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  14. Coriander leaves – ¼ cup (optional)
  15. Sugar - 1 tsp
  16. Salt - To taste
  17. Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  18. Oil – 4 tbsp. I used a 50:50 mixture or mustard and sunflower oil. You can use your favorite oil


  1. Marinate the chicken with turmeric powder, chilly powder (optional), yogurt and about 1 teaspoon of mustard oil and keep it aside for at least 30 min. The yogurt makes the chicken softer and juicy.

  1. Boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker, cut into halves and peel it.

  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadai in medium flame in a kadai. Fry with turmeric powder and salt. Until they turn golden yellow. Keep aside.

  1. In a non-sticky kadai heat the rest of the oil in high flame and once heated add the sugar.

  1. Once the sugar caramelizes add bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom.

  1. After few seconds, add the chopped onions.

  1. Once the onions turn golden brown add the ginger and garlic paste.

  1. Fry it for about 5 min and then add the chopped tomatoes.

  1. Add the chicken and mix altogether thoroughly.

  1. Now add the cumin powder and stir thoroughly.

  1. Add about 1 ½ cup of water and cover the chicken. Cook it on a low flame till chicken becomes tender, you may add more water if required.

  1. Remove the lid and add the potatoes and coriander leaves. Cook another 2~3 min.

  1. Finally add garam masala and mix the gravy again. Turn off the gas and cover the gravy for the next 5 min.
Now your dish is ready and I can smell the excellent aroma of the same. This gravy goes well with rice but it works with Roti or any kind of fried rice/Pulao also.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bhindi aloo sabzi (Ladies finger/ okra and potato with spice)


Lady finger (Okra) has been a part of Indian cuisine for ages. Its rich fiber content is what mainly contributes to its benefits. Doctors always suggest this vegetable for its effect in losing weight, heart disease and controlling blood sugar levels. It also improves digestion and constipation. But the problem is children do not like it for its slippery taste. Hence in this recipe potato is used so that it becomes palatable for my husband and son.

Preparation Time: - 15 min

Cooking Time: - 30~40 min depending upon how your Bhindi to be fully done.

Servings: - 4~5 persons


  1. Bhindi (okra) – Around 30
  2. Potato – 3 medium size
  3. Onion – 1 nicely chopped
  4. Garlic – 4 cloves
  5. Salt to taste.
  6. Turmeric powder (haldi) – 1tsp
  7. Cumin powder (jeera) – 1tsp
  8. Coriander powder (Dhania) – 2 tbsp
  9. Chilly powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
  10. Green Chilly – 2 silted
  11. Tomato – 1 fine chopped
  12. Sunflower/Vegetable oil – 3~4 tbsp
  13. Whole cumin (jeera) – ½ tsp
  14. Asafetida – ½ tsp
  15. Sugar – ½ tsp (As a Bengali I love sweet).


  1. Clean the bhindi with running water and then chop it about 1 inch long.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them into smaller pieces, wash them in running water as usual and keep them aside in a bowl.
  3. Peel the onions and garlic cloves and then finely chop them,
  4. Take the tomato, chop it fine. Keep all the veggies aside.
  5. Now take a kadai/wok, heat the oil in high flame
  6. Now turn the gas to medium flame and sprinkle some whole cumin, let it splutter.  When it becomes little brown add chopped garlic. It will produce a nice smell.
  7. Add chopped onions, fry them, and sprinkle little salt on it when it is done. They should have turned pink in colour.
  8. Now add the potato pieces and start frying. Stir continuously with your ladle so that it doesn’t get burnt
  9. Add salt, turmeric powder, asafetida and chilly powder. Mix well.
  10. After few minutes add okras (ladies fingers), Now stir and mix well
  11. Cover it and cook in low flame for 10 minutes
  12. Check if it is soft and done - add the chopped tomatoes Cook for sometime in medium flame.
  13. Add cumin and coriander powder.
  14. Add a little sugar to give the dish a good kick
That’s all folks. Enjoy your meal

Pour in a bowl or a dish and serve with any kind of Indian bread (Chapatis, Tandoori, etc) or with rice. It goes along with everything.
As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lemonade - Bengali style


On the other day, my son came back after school - all sweaty due to sports day practice. I gave him a glass full of water mixed with a pinch of salt and sugar to replenish his body fluids. He did not like and wanted a coke instead. But I am dead against to give any soda based cold drinks to children. Then I remember an age old recipe for such  situations - lemonade. Lemonade is a lemon-flavored drink sweetened with sugar. Here is what I have made that day.

Preparation time :- 30 min

Cooking time: - 5 min

Servings:- 4~6 persons


  1. Pure water - 8 cups
  2. Lemon - one big size
  3. Salt - a little bit
  4. Honey/Sugar - as per taste
  5. Spearmint leaves - few
  6. Ice cubes


  1. In a small saucepan, put together sufficient sugar and 1 cup water. 
  2. Boil and stir to dissolve sugar. 
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled. You can use honey instead of sugar if you are in a hurry like I was.
  4. Use a lemon juicer to extract the juice from the lemon
  5. Stain the lemon juice through a skimmer but leave a little bit of pulp. 
  6. In a pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.
  7. Add spearmint leaves and ice cubes.
  8. Garnish with a half cut lemon piece to get a cool look to the drink
Now the lemonade is ready to serve. 

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.