Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bengali Chicken Curry with a flavor of fennel

It’s a simple chicken curry that I used to cook in Bengali style but this time I tried to give a little twist. chicken Curry has always a special appeal but roasted fennel powder adds a new flavor to this dish. I was wondering how should I cook today's chicken and it was a coincidence that I came across the's Fennel-flavored chicken curry. Thanks to Soma to come up with this idea !  This little change gives a nice aroma to this dish.

It’s a medium hot and spicy chicken dish, little soupy and just perfect for Sunday afternoon lunch with a plate of rice. Though it’s not a hot dish, actually Kashmiri chili powder, caramelized sugar and mustard oil give a nice red color. These days If I cook something very spicy, nobody in my family would touch except me. But this one was appreciated by both the boys of my home. It’s not very new or unique to add fennel to any curries. I added it many times to veg dishes, sometimes to fish curry but this is the very first time with chicken.

When I was a kid, mostly the Sunday had a special attraction, because my mom used to cook Chicken / 'Murgi r jhol' on this day for lunch. But things have changed so completely today !! Since my hubby and my son both love fish over chicken, I have to cook chicken for myself at least 2 to 3 days in a week. And whenever I cook this kind of Bengali Chicken curry, I end up eating extra because of their soupy gravy and  all the dieting or calorie goal goes for a toss. Not only me, I noticed the same with others too J
So a small suggestion to my diet conscious friends, if you want to serve this dish with rice, cook rice little more than regular J But if you have already crossed all the limits, you can try with Indian flat bread or normal toasted bread which would also go well with this chicken curry.

Recipe of Bengali Chicken Curry with a flavor of fennel : Serves 5

Ingredients :

Chicken- 2 lb to 2.5 lb skinless but with bone cut into medium sized pieces.
Lime juice - 2 tbsp  
Yogurt - 3 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp 
Kashmiri Red Chili Powder - 1 + 1  tbsp as per taste 

Potato - medium sized 3 
Red Onion- medium sized 3 (finely chopped)
Ginger- ( grated or paste )1-1/2 tbsp 
Garlic - 2 tbsp paste 
Tomato - 1 medium size (chopped)

Pepper Corn - 5-6 
Whole green Cardamom - 3
Cinnamon stick - 2 inches 
Bay leaves - 2

Sugar- 1/2 tsp 
Oil - preferably Mustard oil - 5 to 6 tbsp 

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tbsp 
Coriander powder - 1 tsp 

Method :

1. Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry. Add the lime juice, salt, turmeric powder and kashmiri red chili powder with the chicken. Toss it and mix it well, put it in a big Zip lock bag and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Then add the yogurt and rub it well on the chicken pieces and allow it to marinade for an hour or so, If you are not in hurry, overnight is better.

2. In a pan take the cumin seeds and fennel seeds, dry roast them till they are fragrant. Let it cool down first, then grind them into powder and set it aside

3. Peel the potatoes and cut into halves. Wash it well, pat dry and sprinkle some salt on it. Take 1 tbsp oil in a big pan, heat it up and fry them till they are golden brown. Remove it from pan and keep it aside.

4. Add rest of the oil in the pan, add the sugar and caramelize it on medium to low heat. Sugar will slowly melt down to golden brown in color. Add the pepper corns, cardamoms, cinnamon stick, cloves and bay leaves. When they are aromatic, add the chopped onion, cook the onion, once they start browning, sprinkle some salt .

5. Add the garlic paste and grated ginger or ginger paste, cook them along with onion, until the raw smell goes off. 

6. Add the the chicken pieces to the pan and save the marinade. Cook the chicken pieces till they are light brown on all the sides.

7. When the chicken pieces are well coated with cooked onion- ginger - garlic mixture, add the roasted cumin and fennel powder, add the coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder to the pan. Stir it, mix it well cook until oil starts to separate.

8. Add the chopped tomato and the marinade into it. Again toss it, mix well and in this process chicken will be half-cooked. Give it some good stirs until tomatoes are soft, all the spices are well cooked and oil coming up from all the sides. At this point add the golden fried potatoes to the pan and let it cook with the whole thing for few minutes more.

9. Sprinkle the salt, mix it well add 2 to 3 cups of water as per the desired consistency.  Cover it and let it cook till potatoes are soft and chicken pieces are just about separating off the bones.

10.  Check the consistency, check the seasoning. If you like, add some chopped green chilies. Turn off the gas and serve hot with steamed rice or any Indian flat bread or with some toasted bread. 


  1. simply awesome .. I will try this soon...

    1. Thanks Moumita! :) Try it once, very simple, but has a nice flavor!

  2. Love the spicy gravy. Pl visit me too.

    1. Hi Kitchen Queen, welcome! thanks for stopping by! yeah, will definitely visit you. :)

  3. fantastic recipe...looks sooo tempting! will definitely try!!! :)

  4. Awesome...simple and yet so desirably yummy... :)

  5. I made this last night, didnt have the yoghurt but it was liked immensely by my fussy 5yr old.
    Thank you so much

  6. Innovative ! Tried it ....appreciated by all 4 of my kids .thanks !! 😊