Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mughalai Murg Mussallam

Autumn brings good weather with itself, the breeze is not that much cold compared to stubborn winter and not much warm and humid like in summer.Sun is gracious enough ,kind and usually shines more or less daily.There is this kind of a sweet smell in the air, a whiff of Shiuli phool (Harsingaar in Hindi/Nyctanthes in English to be precise) , and many other exotic flowers which onset the arrival of Festivals.But with it comes a sudden increase in pollen count also, and all of a sudden,occasional sneezing here and there.
Autumn is a season ,to simply forget about the harsh realities of life, earning bread-butter,maddening cat-race for a career or even a minor illness for that sake.

when I talk about Autumn , how could I forget Durga Puja, I mean , a typical Bengali would simply say anything and everything about it and go ga ga about it , isn’t?

So away from home (I try to carry a small portion of my homeplace in my heart wherever I am), I am planning to wake up early on Friday ,yeah “Mahalaya” is on Friday.This is a Amavasya day falling in the month of Ashwin , a very auspicious day ,Tarpan will be offered to ancestors.More you can read it Here

Let’s see if I can stick to the plan I have made.

Anyways, now we all know Mughlai Cuisine is very exotic and rich in all the way, use of lots of ghee, cream,saffron and spices forms the base of this cuisine.Infact the cuisine is greatly influenced by the Turkish cuisine and the great western frontier Countries , if I am not worng for that matter.There are many recipes out there in net , and most of them ,it’s all about cooking the chicken as whole with spices.Since ,we are a small family , I made four pieces out of a baby chicken and prepared according to the old Bengali book that I have.If you can remember about it I have mentioed it Here….

So everything remains the same but for a little bit changes here and there , as I was just short of some ingredients.Now To the recipe.

Mughlai Murg Mussallam


Baby Chicken whole cut into four pieces

2-3 large onions,4-6 garlic pods,1-2 inch ginger

2 -3 tsp of cumin powder or fresh roasted cumin seeds to be made into fine powder

1 tsp of turmeric powder

4 dry red pepper,2-3 green chilly slit in between,2 tsp of black pepper

3/4 cup of yogurt,Salt as per taste

Mustard oil/vegetable oil ½ cup.


Preparing the paste num-1

Chop half of the onions(peyanj),garlic(loshon),ginger(adaa) very finely and then make a smooth paste with dry red pepper(shokno lanka) green chilly(kancha lonka) ,black pepper(gol morich) also.This paste will be stir/fried with the cleaned chicken pieces later on.

Preparing the paste num-2

Now chop in rest of the onions very finely.Fry them very well in mustard oil,however this book says to cook it with pure ghee ,if you feel you may do so .

Make a smooth paste out of these deep fried onions.Mix in well with yogurt,turmeric,and if required red pepper powder.

Now to cooking Murg Mussallam

Heat up a kadhai/deep bottomed pan ,add oil, temper it with 2 bay leaf, few cloves, cardamom,few strands of mace(jwatri) and few pieces of nutmeg(jaiful) ,these are fresh garam masala.

Add in 1tsp of sugar also.Add in the paste number 1 and fry it well.and then add in cleaned chicken pieces and salt as per taste.

Fry them at med flame till the chicken pieces change colour.Add in 2 cups of warm water and let it simmer at med-low for 10-15 mints .

At this point add in the paste num 2 which is a paste of deep fried onions/yogurt/turmeric/red peper powder.Cover the vessel and let it simmer .

Take out when you feel the chicken is cooked and the gravy is dried up little, in Bengali it will sound like”mansho ta ekto makha-makha hoye jaba”.

I have tried to write the entire process in Bengali also,please bear with me if I may sound weird sometimes.

Aadekta peyanj,loshon,adaa, kancha lonka,shokno lanka r golmorich , eksathe mihi kore mixie te kimba sheel e te paste kore nin.”

“eyibaar baki ta peyanjke mihi kore kete nin, ekta alada patro/kimba kadhai te ,jeta gorom hoye jabe ekto garam anche rekhe, seyitate Sarser er Tel deben, mihi kore kata baki peyanj golo chere din, ekto laal kore besh bhaja-bhaja koron.”

“Eyibaar eyi peyanj ta thanda hole, mihi kore paste turi kore nin, eyitate doi, ekto holod,ekto laal goron lanka diye ,bhalo kore mix koron.”

“ekta boro kara te , sarser tel din baki ta , 2 tej pata, ekto lobongo,ekto elach r , ekto jwaitri, jaiful ,diye phoron din.Parle eyi samay te ekto Chini nischoyi deben.”

“eyi baar paste num1 din r , bhalo bhabhe bhajun,murgir tokro golo ashte kore chede din , abaar narte thakon, murgi rang darle , ota te 2 cup garam kora jol diye din, anch aste kore din r murgir tokro ke sedho hote din”

"ekhon paste num 2 debaar samay hoye esheche, paste ta diye , bhalo bhabhe ekto nara/chara koron.anch komiye din, murgi bhalo kore sedo hoye gele, gravy ta ekto makh-makha hoye othbe.Anch thekhe nabiye garam Bhate'er sathe serve koron”

Note-For better taste and flavour prepare the chicken a day before .Above recipe calls for the use of ghee ,but for healthy reasons ,I have used plain oil. This recipe is adapted from an old Bengali recipe book"Ranna Samagro" written by Vincent Gomez and Bela Dey .It may sound to be a variation from the original/conventional way of preparing Murg Musalam(which is cooking the whole spices stuffed chicken in a gravy of spices and at very low flame)

Happy Cooking Friends, enjoy and have fun.


  1. The gravy sounds delicious, Jaya! Love the look of this. Are you all settled in at your new place?

  2. Everything is fine about this recipe even though it has nothing to do with the original Muragh Mussalam which is chicken stuffed and then marinaded in a sauce and cooked over slow fire.

    Mughlai spices and cooking process lend themselves favorably to ghee or vegetable oil and ghee combo, mustard oil with its pungent flavor tends to not only over power the dish, it would also clash with the spices and light flavor which is the hallmark of true Awadh, Rampuri gharana Mughlai cuisine.

  3. Mahalaya shunchi (cd te ) ar tomar post porchi. :-)
    Darun dekhte lagche murg mussallam .. puro ta abar banglaye likhte holo keno? Pujo khub bhalo bhabe katuk tomar Jaya. :-)

  4. hi Jaya,
    Happy Dusshera to you and your family!!
    The dish looks so comforting :) looks completely yummy and superb!!

  5. Vani,
    thank you and yeah we have :)...


    very true there....but i have tried to follow the old book that I have ...avoided using ghee as its way too rich and yeah next time ,i am going to make it with vegetable oil instead of mustard oil...thanks for stoping by and your valuable inputs...


    I am going to miss listening mahalaya this time :(.....
    eyimani eche holo bangla te lekhbaar ...pujor samay bole kotha :)...

    thanks and yeah it was indeed comforting:)...
    thank you all for coming here
    hugs and smiles

  6. Hi...i have visited your blog quite a few times before...I like it very much...and now I will be following it regularly. samne pujote natun ki chicken dish banano jay vabchilam...ar takhoni tomar ei post ta porlam. eita definitely try korbo :) Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Ah who cares whether it is orignal recipe or not, it looks darn delicious! I've got to try cooking with mustard oil one of these days. I know it takes some getting used to, but I've got to try it.

  8. Jaya,

    Thanks for simplifying this recipe so much, I loved it. Dekhte toh daruun hoyechhei.

    Aaj Friday chhilo aar aaj ii aamar mone chhilo naa Mahalaya'r kotha. :(

    But kaal shokaal ei shunbo!!

    Tomake, Adite ke aar tomar shompurno family ke onek onek pujo'r shubechha jaanalaam...:)

  9. Tulip,
    hi and warm welcome here ....Pujo te bhalo khabar ar baire ghora ta , eyi teyei khob moja...do try and let me how it turn out...

    oh thanks for your kind words there! I am sure you will like food cooked with mustard oil :)....

    believe me ,thats what I thought while makig this dish, simplifying it !!
    ah! never mind , amiO mahalaya Shunte parini , aajke shunbo bodhaye ....tumaye Pujor shubecha janae..

    hugs and smiles

  10. Chicken looks delicious and spicy...

  11. After a lot of searching at last I got this recipe and from a reliable source. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    Wish you a very happy Puja


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