When you see beautiful daffodils blooming and swaying to the nippy morning breeze near your vicinity, you know for sure that spring has arrived again. Basant as in Hindi and basanto as in Bengali is a beautiful season one can reckon with, colorful flowers in beautiful and well kept gardens or parks are a splendid sight. And not to forget, that corner courtyard mango tree must be all laden up with beautiful mango blossom. What magnificent sight it procures into our eyes and as it says beauty lies in the eyes of beholder. Well, as the feeling is, what is important, that the feeling of surrounding ourselves with nature’s bounty and the pleasure then it bestows upon us. I would say now that is priceless.
|Chicken curry with home-made spice powder|
As I was doing some spring cleaning, hope its not that early though, and what better way to start, than to start with the kitchen first. As I was cleaning the kitchen cupboards, I found a half used packet of dried anar dana/pomegranate seeds and a packet of desiccated coconut. Now usually I would have used them separately in our everyday vegetable stir/fry- sabzi/torkari or non-veg or pulses preparations that we often do, but then there was something at that very moment, was prompting me to try a new spice powder. The idea was to use both the dried anar dana /dried pomegranate seeds and desiccated coconut simultaneously. Not to mention I was even running short of whole coriander seeds which I do, mostly dry roast and then make home-made coriander powder (dhone goron).
|Home-made spice powder|
What started as a spring cleaning spree, never realize can lead to a new home-made spice powder, a new flavor and all that more, plus point it’s being home-made, kind of I am telling you a secret.
I hope it’s no more going to be a secret any more, now that it’s out in my blog. But then that’s the peril of keeping a blog, the moment you find something new, any exciting recipe that you make in your own kitchen , you feel like sharing it with your readers.
|Chicken curry/Murgi jhal-jhol with mishti pulao|
Now to the recipe
Chicken curry with home-made spice powder- Murgir jhal-jhol
800 Gms of chicken
2-3 medium size onions
5-6 fat cloves of garlic
½ inch ginger root
1 medium size tomato
2 medium size potatoes( optional)
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of salt or as per taste
½ cup of mustard oil
2-3 tbs of Greek-style thick yogurt
2 tej patta
handful of curry patta(optional)
For the spice powder
5-6 tbs of cumin seeds
5-6 tbs of panch phoron
2-3 tbs of dried anardana
3 tbs of coconut powder
½ cup of desiccated coconut
10-12 small dry red chilly hot ones
5 green cardamoms
2-3 strands of mace
Clean chicken pieces, trim off the skin and fat if any. Now marinate this with 3-4 tbs of mustard oil, red pepper powder and salt. Add in 2-3 tbs of yogurt and mix well. Keep it this marinating for about 2-3 hrs.Meanwhile make a smooth paste with onions+ginger+garlic.
Now make the spice powder
Dry roast cumin seeds+panch phoron+cardamom+mace+cloves+dry red chilies for about 1-2 mints, just to heat them up. Now dry grind these spices with dried anar dana/pomegranate, desiccated coconut and powder. You can use fresh coconut instead of dry and desiccated coconut but the shelf life is reduced then and also it is advisable to store them in fridge.Otherwise, use grated “gari” or desiccated coconut what ever is available. The small dry red chilies which are somewhat more hot is used in this spice-mix, which makes it very hot, so be careful while adjusting red pepper powder later on , in the gravy.
Now make the chicken curry
Let a saucepan heat up properly, add in mustard oil. Now add in potatoes and fry well if you are not using them then skip it completely. Take them out and keep aside.
Now add in dry bay leaves or tej patta.Add in a tsp of sugar+ fresh curry patta to this. Add in the masala paste of onion+ginger+garlic.Stir/fry it for about 3-4 mints.
Keep on stir/fry for a while; add in turmeric powder, salt and 3-4 heaped tsp of the home-made spice powder. Add in slit green chilies if you want it even spicier.Sprinkle some water.
Add the marinated chicken pieces with the juices that came out while it was marinating.
Now splash some water and mix well. Keep on stir/fry for 10-15 mints at medium to medium –high flame, hob mark 7 or 8. If required and it’s getting little dried up, splash/sprinkle more water.
Now add in 2 cups of water and finely chopped tomato and fried potatoes if using them , taste and adjust seasoning if required, can add more spice powder mixture at this time.(You can replace plain water with coconut water for a more coco nutty flavor).
Put the flame to low, cover it and let it cook for about 40-45 mints slowly depending on the chicken. Switch off when all is cooked well. Let it sit there for about 2-3 hrs. This resting phase adds up to the flavor.
At the time of serving sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves.I like to name this chicken curry as Murgir Jhal-jhol, as it some where in between those parameters.
|Chicken Curry - Murgir Jhal-Jhol with Mishti Pulao|
Use this spice powder as a base masala for preparing any other stir/fry recipes. Even can make zucchini/squash/lauki with this spice powder. Vegetarian can have it with paneer/tofu as well.
Happy Cooking Friends