Monday, December 05, 2011

Kancha Lonka Murgi aka Green Chili Chicken -- Bong Mom's version

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Last year when we went to India my biggest regret was not being able to eat at Oh!Calcutta. I sure must have had other regrets. But 365 days later, that is the one that still haunts me. No amount of Biryani, egg roll, chicken chaap seemed to be able to apply a thick layer of soothing balm on that.

And it is not that we had not tried. We did. I had it all planned out even before the flight so much as landed on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose airport's tarmac. But I had not thought of the logistics that included 2 kids, an extended family and D's home which is a minimum of 184.3 km distance from any Oh!Calcutta location that can be thought of.

Of the few days we managed in Calcutta we had a choice to pick Mainland China or Oh!Calcutta. The seven year old picked the former. "Made in China" is more familiar to her seven year old mind."Mainland China" was beautiful but what about the "Kancha Lonka Murgi" at Oh!Calcutta, I kept telling myself. Things got so desperate that on the day of our flight, D suggested that we have our lunch there. I would have in my before life. But with 6 suitcases waiting to be locked,a 2 year old who needed a good nap before a late night flight and umpteen last minute phone calls to be made I decided to act all grown up and eat "bari'r khabar" instead.

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What is this desperation to eat at Oh!Calcutta you might think.

To me, eating Bengali Home food at any place other than home is a novelty in itself. When we were kids, which seems light years ago, no one ate Bengali Food at a restaurant. The whole idea was so ridiculous that we could be coaxed to believe in life in Mars rather than eating at an upscale Bengali restaurant in 2011.

Bengali restaurants did not exist. Period. I am not including shops that sold Moghlai Parota, Roll, Chop etc.What did was "Bhaater Hotel", small places by busy roads which served maacher jhol and bhaat. We never went there. We feared Cholera and Jaundice and Beri-Beri(ok, scratch that). The only time I had Bengali food outside my home, my aunt's home, my dida's home, my friend's home was at Haridwar, at "Dada-Boudi's" Hotel. And that doesn't count.

Then in 1999 we took a friend visiting from Mumbai to Aheli, Peerless Inn's much talked about new Bangali restaurant in town. It was all servers in red-bordered white sarees, brass plates, fluffy white moidar luchi and very expensive. The Mumbai friend was bowled over. We were awed. But we couldn't fathom paying so much for food that Ma loves to cook and feed every day. So we never went back. That we didn't live in Kolkata justified the decision.

After 10 years of cooking, feeding and cleaning I now realize, I would be only too glad to pay a hefty sum to be served white puffy luchi and sada alu-charchari. At least sometimes.

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So anyway, having not been able to eat the "Kancha Lonka Murgi" at Oh!Calcutta I hallucinated about it. I had no clue about the dish. From one of Kalyan's post I had a vague idea that there was fresh corriander and ginger in there and of course lots of Kancha Lonka aka Fiery hot Green Chilis. Then I found a recipe on Oh!Calcuttas FB page. But the recipe had too much going on in it, mace, nutmeg, cumin, the works.
I did not want that. Yes, I am crazy that way. I did not want the recipe which the restuarnt has and yet I was desperate to eat the dish cooked by them.

I wanted my "Kancha Lonka Murgi" to be all about Kancha Lonka. To be fresh, squeaky clean of any other spices to get the flavor of those green chilis. And then I was inspired by Sig's recipe. This Green Chili Chicken that her Dad makes would put any "Kancha Lonka Murgi" to shame I think. And then again this one, should be what the chef at Oh!Calcutta should actually go for.

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My "Kancha Lonka Murgi" is based on those two recipes. I have Bangla-fied it by "no curry patta" and "add sugar". I have also added dhonepata(fresh corriander leaves) because somewhere Kalyan said so (or maybe he didn't). I have done very little and yet this dish is the only Kancha Lonka Murgi, I might ever want to eat. It is spicy, hot, all about green chili and clears sinuses. My eight year old who is the proverbial chicken-hater in the family, eats it with gusto and gulps of water.

It is hot, hot and hot. But it is also last bit delicious. If you have the fire in you to handle it, go ahead and make it. Perfect for chilly December.

Get this recipe in my Book coming out soon. Check this blog for further updates. 



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Kancha Lonka Murgi -- Bong Mom's version


WARNING: In all I have used about 16 green chili in this dish. If you are not sure of your heat tolerance go with less. Start with 10 say.

Wash and clean Chicken about1 lb of skinless boneless chicken thigh cut in small cubes.

Grind To Paste the following with a splash of water
Coriander Leaves -- 1/3 cup
Garlic Cloves -- 4 fat cloves(6 regular)
Ginger -- 2 tbsp peeled and chopped slices
Lime Juice - 1 tsp
Mustard Oil -- 1 tsp
Green Chili -- 6

Marinate the chicken with half of the above paste and salt for an hour. Keep aside the rest of the marinade

Now heat 2 tbsp of White Oil. Temper the oil with a 2" stick of cinnamon and 4 green cardamom lightly thwacked.

To the Oil and 5-6 green chili slit at the tip and 1 tsp of minced ginger. Saute for a minute


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Add 1 cup of thinly sliced onions. Fry with a 1/2 tsp of sugar for 4-5 minutes till onion is golden brown in color.


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Next add the remaining paste and fry for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken pieces to the frying pan and saute them till they lose their raw color. About 6-8 minutes


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Add salt to taste. Add couple more green chili and cover the pan. Cover and let the chicken cook, stirring in between. Sprinkle some water if the chicken is sticking to the bottom of the pan but don't add too much water. In about 10 minutes the chicken will turn brown and be cooked. If you had not cut up the chicken in small pieces, break it up now and toss nicely with the masala. It is suggested that unlike me you cut up in small pieces at the very beginning itself.


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Serve the hot, hot chicken with white rice or even as a starter dish.

35 comments:

  1. I think it is same like here I never go to a Indian restaurat here. Never had this dish, but by the way you have described has made me salvating for this. Super spicy looking.

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  2. Thank you for reminding me of this dish! I loved it when I ate in at Oh! Calcutta, and the simple mention of it is making me salivate. I will try this out asap.

    The thing that sucks is that I live in Colorado, and there are hardly any Bengali/Bangladeshi restaurants, if any. I long to eat something with any semblance to home-cooked food. Oh well! Anyway, thanks again!

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  3. hey thanks for the mention...i read it as i was about to say that the kacha lonk murgi did indeed look a lot like the one that I had at oh calcutta...using ground chillies for heat the way the Thais and Andhraites do often adds a lot of character to a dish...they can be jhal without moshla heavy

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  4. Sandeepa,
    kancha lonka 16 ta :-O..there is a very subtle flavour of green chilies if added in any non-veg recipes..but adding only green chilies sounds so spicy..how about jalapenos/serrano in place of green chilies..and believe me we never went to those fancy restaurants ..all our friends did..we stick to Armania/Shiraz and Rehmania..can't imagine spending hefty sums for a mere plate of luchi and alor charchari there .. barir ranna onek bhalo ..hugs and smiles

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  5. Once upon a time, chilli chicken used to be red and Chinese. Then we started seeing fried green chillies and boneless - now that I really liked. Your post makes me crave it again - and it's not even 8.30 a.m. I too don't like to eat at Andhra food places, it's like an anti-climax, and they douse the food with so much chilli powder and spice because they think they have to live up to the 'spicy and hot' image!

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  6. Bong Mom, I still feel very weird eating at pricey Bengali restaurants. I just cannot rationalize paying Rs. 70 (s-o-t-t-o-r t-a-k-a!!)for a bowl of bhaja muger daal, which they very fashoinably call, Sonamuger daal.And I also don't get the fuss over serving chingri machh in a daaber khola. keno? thalay dilei to hoy. tobe eta amar nitanto modhyobittota hote pare, ki korbo, palano shokto.

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  7. Ur chicken makes me drool Sandeepa, We love spicy stuff and chicken works quiet well.
    We have a new Bengali Rest. in our neck of wood. Hehe, guess what we buy only sweet :) This one is perfect for clearing the stuffy nose :)

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  8. Sandeepa, will try the recipe, looks lovely :). I went to Kolkata last year and had dinner on Christmas eve and it was awesome. But I am sure your chicken was as good as the Oh Calcutta one :).

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  9. Sandeepa,

    I am floored....Dekhei jivey jal eshey gelo....taai baaniye felechhi aj dinner er jonyo....Thank you thank you...Aami tomaar advice onujaayi aar ektu chhoto korei kaatlaam, rough 1" cube boltey paaro...Bheeshon tarataari daarun holo....Shudhu aami ota ruti r shaathey serve korbo. Hope shabaar pachhondo habey.

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  10. Joto jhaal toto moja ... bring it on. Ektu pyaaj kuchi diye ekta ruti te mure dupurer norom rodey boshe chibote ja laagbe na ... oshadharon recipe ta! :-)

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  11. Chicken curry looks super hot and spicy,inviting.

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  12. ive never been to OH Calcutta. tho there is one in Delhi as well. However, ive made this exact recipe with the same ingredients several times over. never thought of it as "Kancha lonkar Murgi"....i tried this dish as a variant of the hyderabadi korma which basically has the same ingredients but for the addition of posto, Badam, coconut paste....the aroma of the chicken frying in the green paste is to die for...and of course the final outcome is yumm !!!!

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  13. Looks super spicy and super delcious.. I love this!

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  14. Hi Sandeepa, though I stay only 3 mins walking (+ 5 mins climbing the escalators) from Oh!Calcutta and also I have their recipe book at home, I never had the luck to taste knacha lanka murgi there! But reading ur post, now I am determined to cook this. Primarily bcoz my 5 yr old is also a chicken hater. Let me find a way to feed him chicken in a better way than chicken popcorn at KFC. The variation I m going to make is - I will slit the chilis and remove their seeds! Hope that will work. Thanks a lot dear.

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  15. agreed, been to india, n only to arshenal to hv biriyani n chap which my daughter craved, also haridwar and dada boudi's when was in delhi every weekend and really relished dal bhat alu bhaja and rest.now trying ur recipe kancha lanka n murgi-dont know whether in georgia they can stand that hot, though here temp is in minus already and snowing, but made kalalkand as suggested with condensed milk and cheese and all lapped it of -he he not left enough for me

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  16. Get off at Indira Gandhi International Airport next time and I will drive you straight to Oh Calcutta which is half a kilometer away from our place :) Or better still, if you are in Delhi you can have a nice home cooked meal at my place, no?1 ;)

    I love Oh Calcutta - but somehow we never have chicken there. we have to have seafood and more seafood. This is going to be one huge hit with hubby - he loves loves spicy food. I'm impressed with D1 that she managed to have this!

    Miri

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  17. HC

    Honestly I would love to go to a Bengali Restaurant in my current state of being. I also like Indian restaurants which do not serve the same red/orange creamy fare.

    Flaming Nox

    There isn't any where I live either. We do have some Bengali caterers though which is of much help when hosting parties

    Kalyan

    Yeah, moshla heavy I did not want

    Jaya

    Do it with at least 10. It is good. The flavor with Jalapeno will be very different. Serrano, I have not used but Thai chilies should work.

    Sra

    It is the red that is common in Calcutta, green one I had not seen. Now, I like the green one better. At least you have Andhra food Places, sadly Bong ones did not exist before and now there are few. Here in the US, we love to go to Andhra places, better than the regular North Indian one.

    Kuntala

    Na, na, I would love to eat chingri in daab er khola. If I can get to eat luchi without frying them myself, I am all for it. If it is my Mother doing the frying, I can stay home :)
    They had started a Bengali restaurant in NYC, called Babu, chingri in daab and all that. It cost us $200 for 4 people once. That was too much.No doubt that place closed down

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  18. Cham
    really ? We have none :( Bengali sweets we do have

    Mahua

    Next time, i will go to that restaurant straight from the airport, I am telling you !!!!

    BWM

    You are the most accomplished cook, only you don't food blog. Anything you cook, I am sure will be great.

    Sharmila

    Uff pyaaj etc. bole ja korecho na. Wonderful idea

    Priya

    Thank You

    Pilgrim

    I should try that. I did see your comment on Facebook too.

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  19. Spanda
    Thank You

    Aditi

    Your son might like this too then.
    http://www.bongcookbook.com/2011/04/chicken-65-near-perrfect.html. Jhaal ta kom dio

    Sudip
    Thanks, do try this. I am sure you and your daughter will love it

    Miri

    yes, yes, If I am getting out there, I am going straight to your home. I even have the address :)

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  20. I am a Bengali grown up in Melbourne not knowing anything about Bengali food. Mum obviously tried to teach me but was never interested n my dads a chef aswell cooking typically Bengali food. I am now married to a gujurati but I came across ur blog n have just fallen in love w it everything u cook n post my mouth salivates I haven't been able try anything I'm waiting for my leave to start bfr I start trying anything but pls keep posting I love reading what u write n though I haven't grown up in India I love the way u write w so much nostalgia I feel I'm a part of the journey... All the best... Anon

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  21. Oh!Sandeepa. I know.
    This chili chicken looks Oh so good.
    I do not have chicken this minute at home but I am going to try it and let you know.

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  22. I made this yesterday. Oh man it was so good! Stuffy nose? No problem :D

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  23. Thanks so much Aon. Very sweet of you to stop by with kind words.

    Indo, I think you are going to love it.

    Sahil-- thanks for trying and letting me know

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  24. we were talking about oh calcutta's 'kacha lonka mangsho' just a few days ago!! i recommended it to my brother when he went to india this year, but they've taken it off the menu this year. shame!

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  25. This recipe is amazing! Super spicy and wonderful - Im making it again tonight!

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  26. Hi Sandeepa,

    Thanks a lot for this lovely recipe.
    I tried this last weekend...with a bit of my own flavor ... added Coriander paste along with rest of the ingredients and added some more lemon juice to the whole thing while cooking...and it turned out awesome...a bit little tangy...but we loved it.

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  27. Hi Sandeepa

    I have already tried lots of recipes from your blog & friends, family & self loved all. This kancha lonka chicken recipe came out so well...Made all preps for the dish & hubby did the chef act & garnered all the applause !! Really want to let him make it again ..Maybe tonight..Thanx.

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  28. Hello Mam,

    The Kancha lonka chicken recipe was awesome. I tried it over last couple of days and it turned out to be really gr8. Thanks for the wonderful explanation. Will try more dishes from here.

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  29. Hi Sandeepa, have been following your blog for a few weeks now and have already tried several recipes, each one perfect. This chicken was so popular, my husband and I polished it all off in one setting :) I'm not Bengali, but grew up in Calcutta and have a great fondness for bangla ranna...thanks for providing such great recipes and the anecdotes are great too :) -- Medha

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  30. Hello, I follow your blog and tried out a lot of recipes with success and this is the first acknowledgment. The "Kancha lanka murgi" is the second most popular chicken dish in my house after butter chicken. I cooked it umpteen times, but could not see the recipe here today, could you please repost it? Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Mail me at sandeepa(dot)blog(at)gmail(dot)com

      Delete
  31. Where is the recipe?? Am I missing something here?

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  32. Hi Sandeepa, I have tried this recipe twice and have loved it. But when I revisited the page, the recipe is missing. Can you post it again?
    Thanks

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  33. Hi Sandeepa, I have tried this recipe a couple of times ans fell in love with it. But today when I tried to reach the page, I did not find any recipe which used to be below the description of the dish. Ca you repost? Thanks

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