Since time forgotten, Sundays have a different significance in our lives. It's the only day of a seven days week, when we can take a break from our regular routine works. In our childhood, it used to be a very special day for all of us. Being a special day, it is used to be spent in a special manner.My father was a government employee and so , it was used to be his holiday too. Waking up little late in the morning, me and my brother waited for some special breakfast from Maa's kitchen. Most of the days we enjoyed our breakfast with Luchi and Alur tarkari( Indian deep fried flat bread ,puri and potato curry). Sometimes,in breakfast,Maa prepared something different for us also. But the lunch menu was always the same :Spicy Chicken Curry , Steaming hot Rice and Chutney. It was something which we lavishly enjoyed and without this we couldn't think of a single Sunday.
She made this chicken curry in a very simple way with few ingredients which are available in each and every Bengali kitchen but the taste was something which we never ate anywhere.This chicken curry usually had a thin gravy and a thick layer of oil on the top for which we called it , "tel bheshe otha" ( oil floating on the top) chicken curry also. It is a traditional recipe in our family since a long time. I heard from Maa that she learned it from her mom ,my didama,(maternal grandmother/nani).
After my marriage,since last seven years, I terribly miss those days.So after my baby was born I tried to bring the same ambiance at my present home on Sundays. But I failed (yes simply failed) to prepare that awesome chicken curry which my mom prepared for us during those days or even now when we go to visit our native place. So many times, I tried to follow her each and every direction but somehow the curry which I made was not exactly like her. But this repeated trial and error method helped me to bring the almost similar taste nowadays.
Today,I am going to describe the detail process of making this chicken curry.
- Chicken:500 gm.
- Potato: 2 large(diced)
- Onion: 4/5 (make a smooth paste)
- Tomato:2 medium( chopped or diced)
- Ginger: 2" (make a fine paste)
- Garlic:2 tsp.
- Vinegar:2 tsp.
- Black Pepper Powder:1 tsp.
- Dry Kashmiri Red Chilli:4/5 (make a smooth paste with little water)
- Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp( you may avoid it too)
- Turmeric Powder:2 tsp.
- Salt: As per taste
- Sugar: 1/2 tsp.
- Mustard Oil:3/4th Cup (though that time maa used almost 11/4 th cup oil )
- Water: 2 Cups
- Whole Garam Masala: 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 3 cardamoms( make a smooth paste with little water).
- Wash the chicken pieces with hot water and pat them dry with a tissue paper. Then marinate for 30 mins to 1 hour with 4 tbsp of oil, black pepper powder, 1 tsp. of garlic paste, 1 tsp. of turmeric powder and 2 tsp of vinegar. Don't add salt while marinating the chicken and always wash chicken with hot/warm water.
- Heat little oil in a deep bottomed vessel and fry the diced potato with little salt and turmeric powder until golden yellow. Keep them aside.
- Now in the same deep bottomed vessel heat rest of the mustard oil .Add the sugar and let it fry till brown. Now add the garlic paste. While aroma starts to release and the garlic becomes brown also add the chopped tomato and sprinkle little salt. Quickly the tomatoes will become mushy.
- Then add the onion paste,turmeric powder,kashmiri red chili paste, red chili powder and mix well.On medium flame cook for few minutes and then add the ginger paste. Mix thoroughly and cook for another few minutes. When the raw smells goes off add the fried potatoes and the marinated chicken.
- Mix very well. On medium flame cook until oil starts to release from the sides. At this time you will find a very spicy oily thick gravy is made which coats the chicken pieces.
- After few minutes the gravy tends to release from the vessel. Now add salt and mix. Add water ,cover the vessel and cook on medium flame. Cook until the potatoes and chicken pieces are cooked well.
- Uncover,increase the flame and adjust the gravy according to your choice.If required you may add little hot water into it and increasing flame just give it a boil.
- Taste the seasoning. Add more salt or sugar if required.
- Now pour the garam masala paste( you may use garam masala powder too. but don't forget to dissolve it in water for few minutes).
- Cover the vessel again for a few minutes so that the aroma of the garam masala paste can be captured by the curry.
- After few minutes when you uncover the vessel you will find a beautiful thick layer of oil on the top of the curry.
- Now your Spicy Chicken Curry/Sunday Special Chicken Curry /Chicken Curry with floating oil on the top /Tel bheshe otha Mangsho is ready to serve.
- Serve it with steaming hot rice with a slice of aromatic lemon and enjoy your Sunday lunch.
Enjoy Your Food...!