Food and nostalgia go hand in hand together.Just the smell wafting from the kitchen is transporting me to those childhood Sundays when my Bappa ( father) would religiously leave the house early in the morning with a bag to the fresh produce market to grab the best,fleshy,tender chicken and to avoid the long queue at the butchers.In his opinion the more the crowd at the butchers the less wasthe chance to get good quality meat.With the Mahabharata blaring in the TV set in the drawing room my mom would marinate it with curd and spices, to be cooked in an hour. It's funny how nostalgia clouds the mind.The mere sight of the spicy, colourful,bubbling chicken curry on the stove is all that's needed to recall positive,childhood associations you would rather hold on to.Every Odiya household had a chicken or mutton curry sizzling in their pots on Sundays for their larger than life Sunday lunch....infact I call it Sunday style Chicken Curry.
The nostalgia inducing chicken curry or Kukuda Jhola in Odiya is a rich, spicy gravy with big chunks of potatoes and curry cut chicken.It tastes best when pre marinated and the authentic taste comes from the mustard oil used for preparation.Back in our household in Odisha our house help grinds the spices and masalas on a heavy grinding stone called Sila Bata or Sila Pua.I have always felt that
traditional ways of preparation of recipes imparts much better flavours and taste to the dishes.This
Jhola goes very well with steamed rice and an Indian salad of cucumber, tomato, onion rings sprinkled with rock salt, pepper and lemon juice.What beautiful, chicken filled, delicious memories!!
1kg Curry cut Chicken
02 Potatoes,cut in big cubes
03 big Onions ,grated or ground
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds or jeera
2 slit green chillies or according to your taste
1 tsp each cumin,coriander and garam masala powder
2 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp mustard oil
3-4 green cardamom or choti elaichi
1 inch pc cinnamon stick or dalchini
3-4 cloves or laung
2 bay leaves or tej patta
1 1/2 C hot water
For the marinade
3/4 C curd
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp mustard oil
Salt to taste
- Marinate the chicken with the marinade for at least 1-2 hours before cooking.
- Heat the mustard oil in a wok till smoking point and lessen the flame.
- Fry the potatoes in the oil till light brown and keep it aside.
- Fry the cumin seeds and the whole garam masalas in the remaining oil till it splutters,add the sugar and let it brown.This gives a nice caramelised colour to the curry.
- Add the grated onion,fry till transparent.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes away.
- Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the oil separates or till the masala attains a nice dark brown colour.
- Add the marinated chicken to the masala and cook on medium heat for 3-4 mins and then add the potatoes and fry for 1-2 mins more.
- Sprinkle the coriander and cumin powder and mix thoroughly.
- Add the hot water to the chicken and potato and cover the wok and cook for 5-7 mins more.
- Lastly sprinkle the garam masala and give one nice boil to the curry.
- Turn off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander.
- Serve with steamed rice and enjoy.