Robibarer Murgir Jhol (Sunday Special Chicken Curry)

2:08 AM

Is it a shame that in spite of being Bengali I only have one chicken recipe so far in my blog? I never realized this unless my brother (yes, again that notorious little soul) pointed it out.  He said that am actually ruining the reputation of Bengali cuisine, as anyone visiting my pampered little space would think that Bengalis are very health conscious and survive only on vegetables and sometimes fish. He even told me to look around in other Bengali blogs where non-vegetarian dishes rule at least half of the total recipes. I wanted to retort but he didn’t give me any chance. Being a non-meat eater in a family of serious carnivores, I have always been bullied like this by my two brothers. The situation was worse before, when I didn’t even eat fish and often was called ‘a Big Bong Joke’.

Actually my family’s love for non-veg is almost legendary. They can have chicken for all four meals of the day. Maa seldom cooks any vegetable dish without any non-veg addition. Her shaak charchari, Panchmisheli or ghanto will never come to the table without some kucho chingri (small prawn), Macher matha (fish head) or macher tel (fish oil). You dare to serve my elder brother any vegetable dish, and you will get a stern look with the reply ‘Baghe ki Kakhano ghas khay? (Do tigers ever eat grass?). Yes, in this respect we have many Royal Bengal tigers in our family. Between what does that make me look like? A goat may be :-(

But here the situation is poles apart. Hubby prefers fish over meat and after eating chicken twice every week in office he does not want to have it on weekends. As a result I seldom get to cook meat dishes, mostly when friends or families come over for meals. This chicken curry was from the day when my cousin came for lunch with her husband and 5 years old son almost a month back. But back home its different. Every Sunday is a funday in all-Bengali families as this is the day when they sit and enjoy their most leisurely meal of Mangsho’r jhol (chicken/mutton curry) and bhat (steamed white rice). The day being special the chicken is also cooked in a special way with all its real glory and by that I mean mustard oil being poured generously to fry the chopped onions on low flame till they are golden brown and then the sautéing of the marinated chicken for a long long time to cook it in its own juice. The dish is not only rich in spices, garam masala or taste but is also loaded with love, care, affection and patience of the women who cook it for their beloved. They never hurry in making this, as they know that the way to their man’s heart is through this ‘Sunday special Chicken curry’.

In Santiniketan, Sunday being the full working day I hardly had lunch on this special day. Going to school on Sundays felt like punishment. Not only I missed India’s most cherished TV serial Ramayan and Mahabharat but also those rare occasions of Baba (father) being home and the gathering around him. Some days when Maa invited my two Kaku (uncle) for lunch she would allow me a day off from school. After completing our morning study session and finishing a heavy breakfast of luchi(poori), alur tarkari (Potato curry) we all sat in the drawing room in front of the TV to watch the serial. The curtains were closed and the room was dark and we absorbed each and every scene and dialogue.  After the serial was over Maa would enter the kitchen to cook the meal. While she peeled the potatoes and chopped the onions her bangles would make a soft tling tling sound. I loved that tone and often entered the kitchen to enjoy that moment with her.  Soon the house would be filled with a heady aroma of fried spices and marinated chicken and with that same fried spice she would cook a paneer dish for me too. At lunch over that delectable chicken curry and white rice many leisurely moments would be spent over adda (gossip), tarko (debate) and galpo (stories).

Still Maa cooks chicken curry on Sundays, still my brothers scrape their plates clean and still they enjoy this iconic meal with lots of adda but am not there to enjoy those moments of togetherness.

Mangsho’r Jhol

Chicken: 1 Kg, cut in medium size pieces
Onions: 3 big
Ginger paste: 1 tbsp
Garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Green chillies: 4-5
Tomato: 1 medium
Curd: 4 tbsp
Oil: 3/4 cup (I use mustard oil and saffola gold in 1:1 ratio)+2tbsp mustard oil
Potatoes: 4 medium
Red chili powder: 11/2 tsp
Whole clove: 5-6
Cinnamon: 1" piece
Black pepper: 8-9
Sugar: ½ tsp

Wash the chicken pieces and marinate it with curd, chopped tomato, half of the ginger-garlic paste, green chili paste, salt, 1 tsp red chili powder and 2 tbsp mustard oil.

Slice the onions in half moon shape and keep aside.

Peel and cut the potatoes in half and smear with little salt and turmeric.

Heat the rest of the oil and fry the potato pieces till golden. Drain and keep aside.

In the same oil add the cloves. Cinnamon and black pepper. Once they splutter add the chopped onion. Fry this on low till they change colour to a light brown.

Add ½ tsp sugar, rest of the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another minute.

Pour the marinated chicken, salt, turmeric and red chili powder. Now comes the lengthy part of Kashano or browning the meat on low heat. And this process is like stir and cover and again follow the same. This will take almost 15-20 minutes till you see the oils are separating at the sides and the meat pieces are becoming dry. Check by poking your spatula in a big chunky piece of meat. If it easily goes through that means you are good to go for the next stage.

Once you see the meat pieces are 75% cooked add two cups or more (depends on what texture you need, if you want it runny add more water. 2 cups are enough to give an end result with thick gravy) of warm water and the potato pieces. (Maa says never add cold water to any non vegetarian curries, not only the taste deteriorates but also the meat will come off from the bones).

Mix thoroughly and check the seasoning. Cover and let it simmer till the meat pieces are cooked.

Sprinkle some garam masala on top and serve piping hot with warm rice and salad.

Your delectable Sunday lunch is ready. Eat this over fun and gossip with ample amount of time in hand as the meal will make you sleepy and by the time you are finished with the rice you will look for a quite place for your siesta.


A Homemaker’s note:

If you want kasha mangsho (chicken curry where no water is added) then keep on browning the chicken without any water. To do this you will have to constantly stir the chicken as otherwise it will burn at the bottom. If needed you can sprinkle little water at times. Also add the fried potatoes with the marinated chicken. 

Vegetarians add lightly fried paneer or potatoes or cauliflowers to it. you would get a rich and spicy finger licking vegetarian dish.

sending this to Venessa's A Taste of holidays at Sweet Artichoke.

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  1. Bagher jonno chicken ranna kore chho Sayantani ...:)

    I can understand as i always prefer veggies to any kind of meat though i am not averse to non veg food.

    I love all you vegetarian food but this chicken curry look great too.

  2. Dear Sayantani
    Cant wait to make this dish!! I havent developed taste for chicken yet but I cook for others and taste too. But few bong Chicken jhole I certainly eat. I am going to try it in a day or 2.
    I take note of your Garam masala, looks great..I only use, freshly, wet ground ( sil NoDa) and a combo of small cardamom and cinnamon and some times 1 or 2 cloves also.
    Your one will be a new flavor for me..
    Bhalo theko

  3. Haha thanks Sangeeta. wish could have cooked for the tigers too.

    Ushnishda, thanks. try kore janaben kamon holo.

  4. Yummy chicken curry, truly very tempting and spicy..

  5. Khub shundor...aamio kalke kosha murgi banalaam. Aami chicken e alu aad kori na. But my husband loves potatoes in his chicken curry.

    P.S. ekta jaiga ki tumi bhul kore "Mangsho’r Jhol" likhecho? Coz Mangsho for us is paathaar mangsho, chicken ta murgir mangsho hobe ki?

  6. wow...this looks delicious...and u have a lovely blog dear...m ur happy follower...o try n participate in my on goin event...

  7. Spicy and yummy chicken..looks so tempting,had this chicken once at a friends place..will now try this at home..thanks for sharing

  8. i love this type of gravy, it looks so good and spicy too...

  9. thats one lovely curry...About the not eating non veg is surprising for me too because what your brother says is right!!! Bengali are crazy abt non veg stuff but I feel that they make few of the most amazing veggi preparation too on earth!

  10. Sundays are always associated with gr8 food :) And a vegetarian Sunday is un imaginable for a family of carnivores like mine.

    The jhol looks gorgeous ......

    Cheers n Happy Cooking,

  11. Too bad I am a vegetarian but I can tell it is really very well brother loves chicken n he will definitely gobble it up :)

    US Masala

  12. Chaliye Jao Sayantani. Tomar Lal Jhol ta dekhe mone hocche je kobji dubiye khai. BTW 2nd October Bangalorer Bloggers meet. Are you free at that time. Pavitra has informed me about it. Do let me know.
    Hamaree Rasoi

  13. aaj wednesday, kintu ei muhurte amar stove e robibar er murgi r jhol hochey, exactly this way :-)

    (about the soil: this is store bought potting soil - texas e soil is desert kind of soil, sandy; so i have mix up these potting soil)

  14. Aha..ranna ta dekhei jiv diye jol porchhe...ami kicchutei erokmo ranna korte parina..prothomoto ami bhishon oil conscious aar jhal amra keu khai na.....shoshur bari gele tao ektu erokom ranna khaoa hoe pashe mishti niye boshe....:)
    darun ranna korechhish re....

  15. Photo ta dekhe khuuub khide peye gelo...Nice write-up..Bari'r kotha mone koriye dile !!

    Best Regards

  16. aami chicken khaee-na kintu banaie. ki aar korbo...aajkal sobai chicken bhalo bashe aar murgir mangsho kae-uu-ee bole na... ha ha ha...
    Sayantani, daroon dekhte hoyeche.

  17. chicken curry looks very delicious ...specially the gravy ..yummy


  18. Wow...the curry looks yummy! You've got a treasure trove of Bengali recipes. Will try some from here :)

  19. Loved your write-up, Sayantani...This curry looks so delicious and tempting..In fact all your recipes are tempting and I have bookmarked almost all of them..Will surely try them soon and let you know..Thanks for sharing :)

  20. gorgeous looking curry...
    love the writeup...

  21. @Satrupa, Aipi thanks buddies. Aipi guess the same repeats to you too.

    @Deepa, amio mail peyechi. will call you soon.

    @Soma, thanks for the clarification. check kore dekhi ekhane alada kore potting soil paoya jay kina.

  22. @Sulagna, thanks.

    @Gouridi, amaro tai abostha go. khaina tabe banai. cheleta amar khub bhalobase khete. amra boli Mamabarir dike geche :-)

    @yummy team, feels great that you liked the write up.

  23. Mangshor jhol ta eto sundor hoyechhe dekhte je ekhoni ichhe korchhe khete. Darun baniyechho r eirokom mangshor jhol diye puro ek thala bhat khawa jai. oshadharon hoyechhe r sheirokom sundor presentation.

  24. @Pree, amar husband ato mangsher alu bhalobase je ami anek beshi kore alu di. next day te o oi alu ar jhol die bhat khay.thik bolecho je chicken ta murgir mangsho tabe ami to dekhi chicken , mutton, lamb, duck sabkichukei Mangsho bole. ar ajkal mutton ato kam hay je mangsho bolte oi chicken i ache.

    @Chaitrali, thanks dear. love your blog and your name.

    @suja, Akila, Susham, thanks

    @Tanvi, yes you are right, you heardly get veg eating Bengalis. good that you love the veggie preparations made by them.

    @Babli, than ks a ton dearie.

  25. Sayantani, when you do make that canopy---please remember to share the pictures with us! :)

    I'm going back to ogle at the recipe, the chicken looks delish!

  26. @Gagan, dont know when that will happen, the best part is we have bought the plot of land in Kolkata all we need now is to make our mind and go back. may another couple of years. but will do that for sure.

  27. One more lovely post and a delicious recipe, that I will try for my sweet Royal Bengal Tiger! You really have a talent for writing! I could recognize some Bengali features! :-D
    thanks for sending this yummy recipe to A Taste of Holidays. Could you please send me the details and picture at I did not receive it! :-(

  28. Ki re amake akta thanks janali na....hehe....ust kidding..Jonmodiner onek onek shubhechha roilo...thik din e wish korlam ki???noile advance..:)

  29. So mouthwatering dish, great click too..

  30. hi...i liked your write up and the recipe too...the snap is really inviting...

  31. Hi Sayantani,
    You have a very nice blot. It is like taking a peek into bengali culture. Very nice :)

  32. Your chicken curry looks awesome ! You make such an amazing curry and dont eat it ??? I have bookmarked 2 chicken dishes from other blogs, and bookmarking this too, now the menu for the next 3 sundays is fixed !!!

  33. Usually I also make chicken during weekends :). I loved you chicken masala. i will try this out some time soon.

  34. i am so hungry right now after seeing this delicious looking chicken curry

  35. mangsher jhol ta darun dekhte hoyeche, Sayantani......really robibar special, age rabibarer janya wait kare thaktam maer hater mangsher jhol khayar janya..ekdom amar maer mato dekhte hoyeche

  36. if i ever miss anything here in my hubby's place it's non veg food!..I am drooooling over the curry!

    Sayantani, i got your mail just now..yet to go thru..I was kinda in and out as mom was feeling she is alright..and I am packing off for a holiday tommorrow ...gimme some time to think over it..k? :)

    Admire your patience! :)

  37. Sayantani di,
    tomar ei mangshor jhol gotokal baniyechilam. darun hoyechilo. tomar blog regularly pori, kintu kokhono comment kora hoyni.
    Thanks for sharing,

  38. Thanks everyone.

    @Swagata, shune khub bhalo lagche je tomar bhalo legeche ei recipe. you made my day.

  39. Rushed to Calcutta due to some emergency. So cldn't peep into your sweet world.
    Seeing your 'Robibarer Mangsho'r Jhol'I'm almost bloated with nostalgia. My parents are no longer in this world but this Mangsho'r jhol revives all my golden memories of Sundays.

  40. @Seema, first thanks for your comment and am glad that you liked the recipe. there are many ways to prevent curd from breaking.
    1. always try to use fresh curd for cooking.try not use curd thats been in the fridge for a long time.
    2. beat the curd still its smooth and grain free.
    3. while adding curd to the hot spice mix decrease the flame to min or if you are not sure then switch of the gas, mix the curd and then switch it on again.
    4. if nothing works then mix 1 tsp of besan or chickpea flour to the whipped curd and cook as mentioned. this is a sure shot way but as you know besan acts as a thickener and for that reason am not very fond of this method.

    I generally use fresh curd and beat it real smooth (it almost looks like thickened milk) and cook with it.
    hope this helps

  41. Thanks for this lovely recipe being bengali & out of country after marriage I was missing maa er haath er mangsho raana but ur recipe is exactly taste like her. It is really awesome .

  42. This is a simple yet tempting gravy here..!!
    can you please tell the recipe for bengali garam masala as well..!!
    Sorry but I relly want an authentic bengali if I add a store bought masala it will go in some other direction...!! Please help.

  43. @Utsav. The garam masala recipe link is already provided in the ingredient section. just hover your mouse on the Garam masala and click you will be directed to a page that I created with all the how to's of a Bengali kitchen. in short Bengali Garam masala needs 2 parts cinnamon, 1 part green cardamom and 1 part clove. This is for Non veg dishes. for pulaos etc you need to add one or two bay leaves to it.

  44. Just made it today, awesome recipe. Also enjoyed your write-up about the sundays we used to have while growing up, felt very nostalgic!

  45. Sayantanidi asadharon simple but tasty 😋. Amar barite sobai kheye mukdho. Thanks for the recipe.


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