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Recipe | Bengali Chicken Curry

Salaam girls! (and guys who want to learn how to cook this), I have had loooooads of request from friends, colleagues & others for a chicken curry recipe Bengali style! This is probably one of the only curry's I can cook so here goes. There are many ways you could cook this, this is my mums recipe which I tweaked slightly (just added some vege's to it) today I will show you how we cook it (=

For this recipe you will need:

-1&1/2 baby chicken (the soft one)
-Oil (I use olive oil)
-4 & 1/2 medium size onions (see pic below)
-2 bay leaves
-2 cinnamon sticks (about 4-5cm long)
-3 or 4 cardamom pods
-Turmeric powder
-Curry powder (mixed massala)
-Chilli powder
-Half a pepper
-2 medium sized tomatoes
-Ginger & Garlic (blended together)
-Fresh coriander

Before I start I will warn you, Asian cooking is usually done by guesstimating I never measure anything out but for the sake of this tutorial I did try to measure things =S but the quantities might not be exact and usually you adjust the amounts to the taste that suits you.

Step 1: 

Wash you bay leaves, cinnamon sticks & cardamom pods. Chop 4 and half medium sized onions.

Step 2:

In a non-stick saucepan which is deep enough to hold all your ingredients, pour in some oil (enough to melt your onions in), add roughly 2 teaspoons of salt and your bay leaves, cinnamon sticks & cardamom pods.

Step 3:

Stir with a wooden spoon & cover. Leave this on a medium-low heat so the onions melt but be careful to check they're not burning and stir occasionally.

At this point whilst your onions are melting you can wash and chop your chicken into smaller pieces also remove the skin & fat.

Step 4:

Once the onions have melted you will need your powdered spices & blended ginger & garlic.

Step 5:

Add roughly a third of a teaspoon of turmeric powder.

Step 6:

Add roughly 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of mixed massala (curry powder), this has a mixture of spices such as ground coriander and other things.

Step 7:

Add half a teaspoon of chili powder (or however much you can handle), if it's too less the colour of the curry will be more of a yellowy light orange colour rather than a reddish orange colour.

Step 8: 

Stir the powders together in the pan with the onions and add a heaped teaspoon of garlic & ginger blended together (you can add fresh garlic & ginger, but we usually blend a lot together and keep it in a jar in the fridge)

Keep this on a really slow heat because once you've added all the spices it is more likely to burn leave the spices to blend in together and with the onions for about 5 minutes stirring so it doesn't stick (if it starts to stick add a little water. This forms the base of your curry.

Step 9:

I usually do this step before hand because I want to keep an eye on my curry, but you can get someone else to do it. Basically just wash & chop the 2 tomatoes and half the pepper (remove the seeds).

Step 10:

Add it to your saucepan and stir all the ingredients together. Leave on the slow heat for a couple of minutes until the vege's start to soften. Remember to keep stirring so they don't burn.

Step 11:

Wash thoroughly, drain & add your chicken to the saucepan.

Step 12:

Stir until all your chicken is mixed well with the other ingredients in the pan. Cover the saucepan and leave on a slow/medium heat for the chicken to cook.

Step 13:

Whilst the chicken is cooking you have enough time to chop your fresh coriander

Step 14:

Stir occasionally to ensure the chicken doesn't burn (it shouldn't do at this point but still check. The juice of the chicken and vege's will be released, once it does it should look a little like this...

Note: no water was added this was naturally released from the chicken & vege's, you might have to wait a while for this stage.
Once the water is released, uncover the pan, turn the heat up and wait for the water to evaporate. A way to tell if your chicken has cooked is to look at the bone marrow (it sounds gross I know, but just look at the middle of the bones of the chicken), once it has gone from a pink/red to brown your chicken has cooked.

Step 15:

Once the water has evaporated until its reached the consistency you prefer (a little dry) then you can add your fresh coriander...see the image below of how it should look after the water has evaporated.

If you want the curry to look like the image above you can add your coriander, pick the saucepan up by the handles & swivel the contents around (I prefer not to stir the coriander in) and turn the heat off.

Step 16:

But my family prefer there to be a lot of sauce and almost stew like, so for this you would add some pre-boiled water to the curry (however much you prefer, but too much water will make the curry runny) Again once you add the water just swivel the contents around in the saucepan and don't stir, I feel that if you stir it at this point it becomes runny. Turn the heat up to full.

Step 17:

Add the coriander to the curry.

Once the bubbles around the coriander have gone (looks a bit frothy like in the image above) you can turn the cooker off and voila you are done.

I would recommend you wait till the curry cools down a bit before serving it with some rice (=

Hope that was clear =S sorry if it wasn't makes perfect sense in my head....let me know how you get on =D

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