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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Achari Murgh - or how to pickle your chicken

I made this really delicious Achari Chicken using Mounika Gowardhan – Cookinacurry’s recipe. I tweaked the recipe slightly, adding green chilis and potatoes (because I’m Bong and must have alu in my curry). It’s an extremely simple recipe which gives such a fab result. Also, I think it would definitely taste better if you cook this a day or two earlier, so that the chicken actually pickles a little bit. Use mustard oil for sure.

  • 500 gms chicken with bone in pieces
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 large tablespoon panch phoron
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (shorshe)
  • 2 dried whole red chilies - broken
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 1 tomato - pureed
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 3 green chilis slit
  • 100 mls water
  • 100mls lightly beaten yoghurt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 large potato – boiled and quartered (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander to garnish (which I didn’t have, so didn’t use)


1.  In a pan, heat the mustard oil. Add the panch phoron. Sauté until it starts to sizzle and pop for a min or so. Also add the whole red chillies, stirring to make sure they don’t burn.
2.  Add the sliced onion and fry until light brown in colour and have softened for about 8-10 mins. To the pan now add the ginger/ garlic paste. Mix well. Stir in the tomato puree, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Cook for a couple of minutes till the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
3.  Add the chicken pieces and the potato cooking on a medium heat to make sure the pieces are sealed and coated in the gravy for 5-7 mins. Add the water and bring the curry to a boil, then simmer covered on a low heat cooking for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through and succulent, stirring a couple of times
4.  At this stage, add the yoghurt and stir, making sure not to let it split and continue cooking on a low heat with the lid on for 5-7 minutes. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Garnished with coriander. 
5.  I served it with pulao.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Chicken Ceylon Curry

One of the best parts of catering food for a living is that I get to cook and eat a lot of delicacies, which I wouldn’t bother to make for myself on an ordinary basis. Last week, I got an order for Chicken Ceylon Curry and was thrilled to bits, because such few people order Anglo-Indian food. This is a wonderful change from the usual chicken curry. It’s tangy and coconut-y and delicious with rice and extremely easy to cook.


  • 1 kg chicken on the bone (do not use boneless chicken because the bones will impart their own flavour, I tend to use chicken legs and thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 4 slit green chilis
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon methi/ fenugreek seeds
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground garam masala powder


  • Place a pan on the gas. Add the chicken, ginger, garlic, green chilis, sliced onion, curry leaves, coconut milk, pepper, coriander-chili-cumin-turmeric powders, salt and tamarind paste. Stir, cover and cook on low heat. No oil is to be added at this stage.
  • After the chicken is almost fully cooked, say for 15-20 minutes, check seasoning.
  • Then take a smaller pan, add the vegetable oil and add the chopped onion and the methi seeds. And cook till the onion is brown. Then add the oil and the onions and the methi into the pan with the chicken and stir well.
  • Cook for 3 to 5 more minutes.  Add the garam masala, stir well and take off the gas.
  • Eat.