Chicken with Fennel – Mouri Murgi

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This post goes out to my friend ‘Appy’. I should have posted this a long time ago, but I just never got to click the pics. Usually on weekdays I cook regular stuff for lunch and anything ‘good’ for dinner. And I like to click mostly in daylight, the lighting in my kitchen is not that great so evenings don’t work for me. Weekends are, therefore, the best time when I cook elaborate meals for lunch and have the perfect light for the shots. The only problem is that I never seem to get much time for the shots as we both are eager to devour the food rather than wait for the perfect shots. So most of the times I have to be satisfied with the ‘not-so-good’ clicks and try to make it up with post-processing.

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Appy gave me this recipe a long time ago and since then I have made it innumerable times and served it with parathas or various rice preparations. And every time I have sent a short note of thanks (silently) for this wonderful recipe that we have come to love so much.  If I remember correctly she had told me this was originally a recipe for mutton. Since we hardly buy mutton and its mostly chicken for us, I never tried out the mutton version of this, but if anyone out there tries it out do let me know how it turns out to be.

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Now, I must tell you about this friend of mine, as this post is actually her recipe. When I ventured into the world of cooking she played a very significant role in inspiring me. I have gathered so many recipes and tips for cooking from her kitchen. We have shared so many discussions about cooking and kitchen + home management. I had also envisioned us cooking together like Hetal and Anuja from Showmethecurry – hah..! Guess that will have to wait for some other time – maybe – when we both stay close by and that does not seem very likely to happen anytime soon. Till then I am very happy with my blog and that I get a chance to compile all the recipes which I can pass on to someone someday….

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I was not sure what name to give to this recipe, so I just named it the first thing that came to my  mind. But feel free to suggest some good name for it, if anyone can. Also since we Bongs love to have aloo/potato with chicken I often add it. It up to you, go ahead and add some potatoes if you want it, or skip it if you don’t.

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Hope you try this recipe and like it. Look forward to your feedback and suggestions.

Bon Apetit!

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Ingredients:

  • Chicken – 600 gms (approx). I used half of a whole chicken
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Black Peppercorns – 1 tbsp
  • Yogurt, well beaten – 1/2 cup
  • Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Onions, thinly sliced – 1 large or 2 small
  • Green Chillies, slit length wise – 7-8, adjust according to your preference. Can also add red chilli powder if you want.
  • Bay leaf – 1 large
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Green chillies finely chopped – (optional) to garnish
  • Lime juice – to garnish
  • Cilantro, finely chopped – to garnish

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Method:

  1. Dry roast fennel seeds and black peppercorns. Let them cool down and then grind to a powder.
  2. Marinate chicken with well beaten yogurt, ginger garlic paste, and half of the ground spice powder. Keep the marinated chicken in the refrigerator for anytime between half an hour to 10 hours. The more you marinate, the better.
  3. Heat oil in a deep pan.
  4. Once hot, add a bay leaf and the onions. Fry them with a pinch of salt.
  5. As the onion starts browning add the remaining ground spice powder and mix well.
  6. Next add the marinated chicken and fry on high for a couple of minutes.
  7. As the chicken starts browning reduce the flame to a medium and cover and cook. Keep stirring in between and if required add a few drops of water. Usually I don’t have to add any water as this is not a curry dish and there will not be much gravy.
  8. Adjust salt and if required add red chilli powder. I usually add a lot of green chillies.
  9. Once the chicken is completely cooked garnish it with lime juice and finely chopped cilantro. Add some extra chopped green chillies if you want it to be extra hot.
  10. Serve it hot with Paratha (Indian bread), or rotis or with pulao.

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Lehsuni Murg

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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  • 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.