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Chicken Dak Bungalow

Prep Time: 20 mins I Marinating Time: 3 hrs./overnight for best results I Cooking Time: 1 hr. (approx.) hr. I Serve: 3 - 4

Dak Bungalow Chicken Curry OR Chicken Dak Bungalow dish was made popular by famous Bengali restaurant Bhojohori Manna in the first decade of the 21st century. The restaurant made it a signature dish and gave it a uniqueness by boiling eggs, sauteing it and adding it to the gravy. This is a comforting and original Chicken Curry carrying its roots from the Britisher's era and the dish was a famous on the bungalows across the hill stations of India. These bungalows were known as Dak Bungalows. Dak in hindi means a mail and these bungalows were built to give the mail carriers or passing British Army officials some rest along a Dak (mail) route. The bungalows were used by passing travelers for a stop over for the night which would often include a meal. This dak Bungalow chicken was prepared by the Khansamas using the local ingredients. The addition of boiled and fried eggs and potato chunks is the specialty of this recipe. It is not a classic recipe but one of the most popular chicken curries in India.

Ingredients :-

For Marinating :- 1 kg/2.2 lb. Chicken leg piece (washed thoroughly & pat dry) 1 cup/240 g. (approx.) Curd/Yogurt 1 tsp. Turmeric Powder 1 tsp. Red Chili Powder 1 tsp. Salt ½ tsp. Cumin Powder ½ tsp. Coriander Powder ¼ tsp. Sugar ½ tbsp. Mustard Oil For Curry :-

5 tbsp./75 ml. Mustard Oil 3 Potatoes, med size (peeled, cut into quarters & washed properly) 4 Eggs (Hard Boiled & shelled) ½ inch Cinnamon Stick 3 Green Cardamom (whole) 3 Onion, med-size (thinly sliced) 2 Red Chilies (whole & dried) 2 Bay Leaf (cut into half) 1 tbsp. Garlic & Ginger (minced)10-12 Garlic Cloves + 1 inch ginger piece 1 tsp. + ¼ tsp. Turmeric Powder(divided) 2 tsp. Red Chili Powder ½ tsp. Coriander Powder ¼ tsp. Cumin Powder Salt to taste + ½ tsp. (divided) 1-2 Green Chilies (whole & stems removed) OPTIONAL 2 tbsp./30 ml. Water 1 tsp. Sugar 1 cup/240 ml. Hot Water ½ tsp. Garam Masala Powder Fresh Coriander (finely chopped) ¼ tsp. Chat Masala Powder

Method :-

In a large bowl add chicken + all the ingredients mentioned under the marinating ingredients list to the bowl one by one. Mix well until all the leg pieces are well coated. Cover it and set aside for at least 3 hours or overnight for the best results

Heat 5 tbsp of mustard oil in a pan/kadai on low medium flame. Once it gets hot and starts emitting smoke, lower down the flame and add potatoes + ¼ tsp. turmeric powder + ½ tsp salt to the pan. Stir for 1-2 mins. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes on low-medium flame. Check and stir in regular intervals

When the potatoes are completely cooked and the colour changes to golden brown, turn off the flame. Dish out the fried potatoes and set aside for later use

To the remaining oil add boiled eggs and stir continuously for 3-4 minutes on low-medium flame. Once the outer layer changes to light golden in colour, lower down the flame. Dish out the eggs on a plate and set aside for later use

To the remaining oil add cinnamon stick + green cardamom & sliced onions. Sauté for 3-4 minutes on low-medium flame. Next add bay leaf + red chilli(whole) + minced ginger & garlic to the pan/kadai and stir continuously for next 7-8 mins on low medium flame

Once the onion colour changes to light golden brown then add turmeric powder + red chilli powder + cumin powder + coriander powder + salt & green chili to the pan/kadai. Mix well & stir for 1-2 mins on low medium flame

Add 2 tbsp of water to deglaze the pan. Stir for 1-2 mins on low med flame

Next add sugar to the pan/kadai and stir for 1-2 mins. Once the oil starts separating from the masala add the marinated chicken along with the marinade mix to the pan. Mix well with the masala and roast the chicken for next 5-7 mins on low medium flame. Stir continuously to avoid burning of the masala

Next, add the fried potatoes to the pan/kadai. Mix well and stir for another 2-3 mins on low medium flame

Add hot water to the pan/kadai and stir gently. Cover and let it cook for 20-25 minutes on low flame. Stir in regular intervals

Remove the lid and check if the chicken has cooked properly or not? If the gravy has thickened and the chicken is cooked properly then, switch off the gas. Lastly add garam masala powder to the pan/kadai

Transfer the prepared dish to the serving bowl and garnish with the fried boiled eggs (cut into half), freshly chopped coriander and a pinch of chat masala powder(optional)

Time to Taste :)

Enjoy this dish with bread of your choice like Plain Chapati, Garlic Naan, Laccha Paratha, Tandoori Roti, pickled onions etc.


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