Chicken Dak Bungalow

Hello everybody !! Its Monday. Wish you a great week ahead !!

Today’s recipe is one of my favorite Bengali chicken preparation of all time. The ‘Dak Banglow’ cuisine is famous since the British colonial times. In case you do not know how this dish got its name here is a small info :

Dak bungalow was a fully furnished and well equipped rest house where the British officers used to take rest while on a journey or during a hunting trip. A khansama (male cook / house steward) used to cook this preparation with chicken / mutton to impress the British Lords. Dak bungalows had their own supply of chicken / goat. Also the animals killed as a part of hunting were cooked and served to the officers.

This dish is quite popular in Bengali restaurants. But if you want to enjoy this meal at its best then book a forest bungalow in your next vacation, have a camp fire set up and relish Dak Bungalow chicken with your friends and family along with rice / rotis and salad 🙂 The experience will be heavenly, thank me later 😀

To keep the authenticity of the dish use country chicken instead of broiler variety. Also it is mandatory to use potatoes, eggs and mustard oil. Do not skip these 3 ingredients.

The preparation can be done with goat meat, beef or lamb also. You can replace chicken with any meat of your choice and follow the rest of the recipe.

Lets get started !!

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Preparation Time :

Prepare Garam Masala Powder :

In a mortar and pestle take 2 black cardamoms, 4 green cardamoms, 3 small cinnamon sticks, 4 cloves, 4 whole black pepper. Crush and grind them until they turn into powder form. This will be used to marinate the chicken.

Chicken Marination : overnight / at least 4 hours before cooking

In a large glass bowl, take the chicken pieces. Add onion paste, crushed ginger garlic paste, yogurt, crushed & powdered whole spices, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and mustard oil. Mix everything well and coat each chicken pieces uniformly. Keep the marinated chicken overnight / at least 4 hours prior to cooking.

Prepare boiled eggs, marinate eggs and potatoes :

Before you start cooking, completely boil 2 eggs. Remove the outer shell and marinate the fully boiled eggs with 1 pinch of turmeric powder and 1 pinch red chilli powder.

Marinate the potatoes with 1 pinch of turmeric powder, pinch of salt and 1 pinch red chilli powder.

 

Cooking Time : 45 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients :

I prefer to use country chicken (desi murgi) for this preparation. It adds a more authentic flavor to this dish. So this is our primary ingredient.

  • Country Chicken – 500g, approx 9 medium sized pieces

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For Chicken Marination :

  • Onion – 2 medium, make a smooth paste
  • Ginger and Garlic – 6 to 8 cloves garlic, 4 inch ginger, crush them into a paste
  • Whole spices – 2 black cardamoms, 4 green cardamoms, 3 small cinnamon sticks, 4 cloves, 4 whole black pepper (use mortar and pestle to crush these whole spices into powder)
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin Powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard Oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Yogurt – 4 to 5 tablespoon

For Gravy :

  • Boiled Eggs – 2
  • Potato – 1, medium, cut into 2 halves horizontally
  • Mustard oil – 4 tablespoon
  • Tomato – 2 medium, make a smooth puree
  • Green Chillies – 2 to 4, slitted vertically
  • Dry Bay Leaf – 1
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves – 4 tablespoon, roughly chopped
  • Clarified butter (desi ghee) – 1 tablespoon, melted (optional)
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – as per taste

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Recipe :

  1. Take a deep bottom pan / wok. You can also use an Indian ‘kadai’. Add mustard oil and let it heat up.
  2. When the oil is completely heated up, add marinated potatoes. Stir and fry them until they turn golden on all sides. Remove them from oil and keep them aside.
  3. In the same oil, add the marinated boiled eggs. Lower the flame. Stir and fry until the eggs are fried on all sides. Remove them from oil and keep them aside.
  4. Now add dry bay leaf to the oil. After a few seconds, add all of the marinated chicken.
  5. Increase the flame. Stir and mix the chicken well. Cover the pan/ wok / kadai with a lid. Keep mixing and stirring the chicken after 2 to 3 minutes interval. Do not let the spices stick to the bottom.
  6. When the spices have started releasing oil, add tomato puree. Mix everything well. Add the remaining spices – turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and salt. Also add the potatoes.
  7. Lower the flame to medium. Cover the container again with the lid. Keep mixing and stirring at regular intervals. Always be careful nothing sticks/ burns at the bottom of the container.
  8. Do not add any water now. Let the chicken cook in its own juice.
  9. You have to continue doing this until the chicken and potatoes are completely boiled. When you see that absolutely no water is remaining in the container, you may pour 1/2 cup of warm water. Again cover the lid and let it cook in the same way.
  10. Do not pour too much water at a time, this preparation will not have runny gravy. You have to let the chicken cook as much as possible in its own gravy. Only pour water when needed.
  11. In case you are in a hurry you may transfer everything into a pressure cooker when the chicken is mixed very well with the spices. Also add the eggs. Wait for 6 to 8 whistles in medium flame. In case you see excess water left in the gravy, transfer again everything in the pan / wok you were using earlier. Let the water dry up  until you have a thick gravy sticking to the chicken pieces.
  12. But if you want to follow the authentic recipe, do not use pressure cooker. Keep the flame a little higher than lowest. Keep following step 9 and 10 until the whole chicken and potatoes are completely boiled.
  13. Add the eggs, coriander leaves and green chillies. Mix everything. Let the gravy thicken up so that it sticks to the chicken pieces.
  14. As a last step you can add clarified butter (desi ghee). Give the dish some standing time.
  15. Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves and green chilli. You can cut the boiled eggs into 2 vertically for decoration purpose.

Serve Chicken Dak Bungalow hot with bread (roti) / rice.

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