Friday, April 11, 2014

Hara Mircha Murgh (Adapting Priyadarshini's recipe)

Hara Mircha Murgh

(Adapting Priyadarshini's recipe) 

(Kacha Lonka Muri / Green chili chicken) 

The truth is that,  there are some people who cook up a storm in the kitchen and Priyadarshini from Lets Talk Food is one of them. Keeping in mind that taste is subjective I find her dishes tempting enough to want to try them out the moment she posts about a dish. One of the other reasons why I personally love her recipes is that even though I personally love elaborate preparations and do not mind spending hours in the kitchen as a freelancer the concept of a sudden rush of work with approaching deadline is a common factor in my life and recipes which are quick and simple yet amazingly tempting are my soft spot. It had began when I had prepared her sesame black pepper chicken as I call it or Golmirch murgh as she calls it and ever since that day I religiously look out for possible updates from this lovely person. Yes we have met in person and I must say that she is not only a brilliant cook but a warm person whom you can be friends with in a jiffy.

It was just last week when she had posted a bout this tantalizing dish called  'Kacha Lonka Murgi' which literally means chicken cooked in Green chilies. Now here is the thing about hot food and my personal experience. Growing up I was hardly given spicy food. I did grow up in Calcutta but in our home we have a very subtle way of cooking and since I was quite fussy and anti-spicy-food, in the years of growing up I hardly ever tasted spicy hot food. In my late teenage years I developed a sudden love for hot spicy food and suddenly I was the terrorist in the kitchen. I mean I would cook robust Punjabi dishes and other than my father most members would find it way too spicy and hot for their palate and then came the time when I started digging for old long lost Bengali dishes. For some reason chicken cooked in the Indian style would always end up getting prepared in the Awadhi style or the Calcuttan Chinese style or Punjabi style at my home and so when I cooked a 'sorshe posto murgi' at my place it somehow didn't quite connect with anyone else but myself and so a dish which is hot hot hot with chilies alone was out of the question for my home. Over the years I have also developed a soft spot for green chilies for the amazing flavour it imparts to dishes and many a times I have made a paste of ginger with an added green chili for the flavours and so a dish prepared entirely with chili paste sounded exotic. You see , at my home when it comes to Bengali cuisine we are more fishy than anything else since even a quarter century ago chicken wouldn't enter most households in Bengal.

I wholeheartedly thank Priyadarshini for having introduced me to a dish the existence of which  I did not even know about. I did follow her recipe making some tiny changes here and there and since madam herself has said that every cook has her or his own version of this delightful dish  the result overwhelmed me even with the few changes.For instance I swapped the ghee for mustard oil for in my mind green chilies and mustard oil are the best of friends and I added a dollop of that delightful browned cow ghee (clarified butter) which one gets in Bengal alone on the steaming rice when serving. It was fantastic with hot steaming rice, a true delicacy indeed. The recipe needs the minimum of  ingredients and gives you amazing flavours.

Before one begins one has to keep in mind that the type of Green chilies one uses makes a huge difference to the dish as does one's personal spice quotient. We both used the same number of chilies and while she has described her preparation as 'too hot to handle' mine turned out beautifully flavoured yet not hot enough to leave you teary eyed and sniffling while enjoying this lovely dish. Of course the addition of one ingredient in my preparation could have made the difference as well.

Here is what you do :-

Serves 3 to 4

Chicken 750 gm
Smooth garlic paste 1 tbsp
Smooth ginger paste 1 tbsp
Green chilies 20 -de-seeded + 2 whole made into a smooth paste + 3 for garnishing
Salt as per taste
4 tbsp mustard oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1.5 cup of water

I marinated the chicken in the lemon juice salt, 1 tbsp green chili paste  and 1 tsp ginger paste and one 1 tsp garlic paste so that it makes cooking faster and yields soft pieces of chicken and adds flavour.

Now simply heat oil and add the remaining ginger paste,  garlic paste  pieces of chicken and the remaining chili paste and cook on high heat  for 5 minutes stirring now and then to seal the juices and then simmer it till the oil separates and then add the water and bring to a boil and then simmer covered for the next 15 minutes or till it is soft enough to melt in the mouth. Do check from time to time to ensure that the chicken doesn't stick to the wok. If you have enough liquid like gravy when the chicken has been softened simply increase the heat and cook till you get a dry gravy where the gravy sticks to the chicken yet some thick gravy  is left in the pan. Serve with hot steaming rice with a dollop of ghee

For Priyadarshini's recipe check her blog

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