Today is Mohaloya, the beginning of Debi Pokkho or the time of the Goddess. While North India celebrates Nav Ratri the nine days of the Goddess, Bengalis do a shorter four day version.
Sharing a quick & easy chicken curry recipe which I have named Tara-Tari Chicken Curry. Tara-tari in Bengali means quick, once you read the recipe you will realise why it is called tara-tari. This recipe needs a bit of planning and over night marination, but about 10 minutes of prep the previous evening can give you a flavourful chicken curry in about half an hour. This recipe has been inspired by all those kebab marinations that I used to do for our summer BBQs. While marinating the chicken I often used to think that rather than grilling the chicken what if we used it to make a gravy. So I did just that one day and it came out so yum, that this has become a staple in our home. Now a days I am on a healthy eating spree, so I have used minimum oil but if you are making this for guests, go ahead and use a little more oil, or when finishing off the curry add a bit of butter or cream. Of course that would make it tastier.
1. 800 grams of chicken, cut into curry pieces. Ask your butcher, s/he would know what to do
2. 1 table spoon ginger & garlic paste, each
3. 3 table spoons of beaten yogurt
4. Half a cup of chopped coriander & mint leaves
5. 1 tea spoon of roasted cumin & coriander seeds
6. Whole garam masalas~ 2 cardamom pods lightly crushed to open the bark, 2 cloves, half an inch bark of cinnamon and one bay leaf
7. Masala powder~
i. One tea spoon of turmeric
ii. One tea spoon of coriander
iii. One tea spoon of red chilli
8. One medium onion thinly sliced
9. Half a tea spoon of sugar
10. Salt to taste
11. One table spoon of sunflower oil
12. One bag of baby spinach leaves
13. 2/3 green chillies, slit in the middle
How to make the curry:
1. The previous evening marinate the chicken pieces in ginger & garlic paste, yogurt, chopped coriander & mint leaves, green chillies and the masala powders. Mix everything well and put the bag in the fridge
2. Bring out the chicken from the fridge at least half an hour before cooking
3. In a pan, heat the oil, add the sliced onions, sugar and whole garam masalas and fry till the onion turns light brown
4. Add the chicken and the marination. Mix well with the fried onions and fry for 5 minutes more
5. Add salt and one and a half cups of water, empty the bag of spinach. Cover the pan and on slow flame let the curry simmer for 20 minutes or so. Keep checking in between, as the spinach wilts, it will be easier to mix it with the chicken gravy. If needed add a little more water to the curry
6. Check the seasoning and adjust the gravy
The chicken curry is ready to be served, we usually have this with brown rice. You can also have this with fulkas. This is perfect for those busy week nights when you want a home cooked, healthy dinner in a jiffy.
More on Mohalaya & pujo memories here.