While growing up, I remember, Sundays were always special. It was a holiday for the whole family. As in any Bengali household all special days are celebrated with food, lots of food and even more food. So while there were luchis (poori) being fried for breakfast to accompany the ‘shada alu’r chochori’ (a side dish made with potatoes and no turmeric), somewhere the father would be getting freshly cut chicken and loads of vegetables from the Sunday market, masalas being prepared for the lunchtime chicken curry, tomatoes mashed for the ‘tomato chatni’, while we brother and sister watched our weekly Ramayan / Mahabharat. We could watch cartoons till mom took each of us for our cleaning… yeah it was the shampoo day and we would be scrubbed till our skins were burning, our ears cleaned till the eardrums filled with water and we jumping around to get it out of our ears. Once we had stuffed our selves with the sumptuous lunch and helped mom to clean the table (this was never applicable to my brother) we could do anything we wanted other than watch TV, would occasionally have some ‘mishti pan’ and doz off to sleep. If it was summer we would wake up to have ‘Frooti’ in its distinctive green colored tetrapack that dad always got as Sunday special. Evening spent by watching movies and catching up on studies and in no time Sunday was over.
This was a very long time ago and eventually we learnt to clean ourselves, we would in fact scream with embarrassment if anybody wanted to check our ears, Ramayan / Mahabharat long ago gave way to ‘Chandrakanta’ or maybe no TV at all (specially during high school). ‘Luchi’ was replaced with noodles and idlis, chicken curry preserved its position at lunch table, frootis were replaced with Thumbs Up and Pepsi. What remained constant was the celebration with food.
Now decades later I realise this was a ‘mom-made ritual’ we all had religiously followed without any complaints till we left home.
Times have changed and now we have a 5 day work week. Which means Friday evening marks the beginning of the weekend and lasts till Sunday night. For me and Hubby-B Sundays are lazy days when we lament the end of the weekend, try to hold onto the last few hours before we have to face the week again. Sundays have long ceased to be the Special days being replaced by Fridays. And so I try to jazz up most of the Friday evenings with something special. I too have almost made a ritual out of it, just like my mom. Guess somethings are passed on without our being aware of.
One such Friday, more than a month ago, Lehsuni Murg or Spicy Chicken in Garlic was prepared (courtesy BongMom’s Cookbook) which never got posted till today. Am sure everyone has their own version of Lehsuni Murg and so do I. Hope you like my version. Enjoy!
Have a wonderful weekend!
- Chicken – 800 gms, cut into bite size pieces
- Yogurt – 1/4th cup
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – as required
- Onions – 1 large, thinly sliced
- Garlic cloves, grated or paste – 1 large whole head
- Sugar – 1/2 tsp
- Tomatoes, pureed – 1 large
- Ketchup – 1 tbsp or to taste
- Hot Sauce – 1 tsp or to taste
- Green chillies – 3 to 4 slit or to taste
- Red Chilli – 2 or to taste (you can omit this if you want)
- Panchphoron / Panch puran – 1/2 tsp
- Lime juice – 1 -2 tsp
- Coriander leaves – for garnishing
- Marinate the chicken with yogurt, ginger garlic paste,1/2 tsp turmeric, salt and a few drops of oil.
- Heat a pan and add oil to it. Add the finely sliced onions and fry them on moderately high flame till they turn brown. Do not burn them. Drain the fried onions on a paper towel and set aside for later use.
- In the same hot oil add sugar and let it melt.
- Add the paste of 1 whole garlic and fry on medium flame for a few minutes without burning them.
- Next add the pureed tomatoes with green chillies, salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric . Cook till the raw smell and color is gone.
- As the tomato gravy thickens add the marinated chicken pieces and mix well. Cover and cook on medium flame till the chicken is half way cooked and the liquid released from the chicken evaporates. Keep stirring in between.
- Add the sauces (if desired) and mix well. Cover and cook for couple more minutes till the chicken is completely cooked and the gravy thickens to the desired consistency. This is not a gravy dish so the gravy needs to be thickened considerably, but again it is according to your preference.
- In a separate pan dry roast red chilli and panchphoron. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Sprinkle this powder, lime juice and the fried onions to the chicken preparation and mix well.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with parathas or rotis.