Murgir Jhol or Chicken Jhol is a quintessentially Bengali dish. In urban families it is a favorite weekend fare. Mustard oil is used in every step of this recipe, and you’ll know that it’s Bengali as soon as you get a subtle undertone of mustard in every bite. This is one of our go-to recipes because the combination of the carbohydrates from the potatoes, the protein from the meat and the zing of the spices make it a perfect dish for a great curry.
The preparation consists of four steps:
First marinate the chicken with spices and oil.
Then you’ll marinate and fry the potatoes.
Sauté the spices and add the potatoes.
Then you’ll add the chicken and cook to completion.
First, we cut and cleaned a whole Cornish chicken, and then separated it into smaller pieces. For marinating the chicken, add the lemon juice, chopped onion, ginger, garlic, red chili powder, salt and mMustard oil. Rub the mixture into the chicken well. Cover that up and set it aside for at least an hour, so that the spices have time to infuse the chicken.
To marinate the potatoes: Add the salt, turmeric and rub them into the potatoes. To a hot pan, add 1 tablespoon of mustard oil. And when the oil’s hot, add the marinated potatoes. Fry them until they take on a brownish tinge. Then take them out and set them aside. Add 1 more tablespoon of mustard oil to the pan. Then add the chicken. Sautee the chicken until all water evaporates and you start to see the oil separate from the spices, which we call the Kosha or bhuna. When that happens and the chicken looks pretty much cooked through, take it out and set it aside for a little bit.
Add 3 more tablespoons of mustard oil to the pan, then add the bay leaf, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns. When these spices start to sizzle, add the chopped onion. Sautee until the onion is golden brown. Then add the coriander powder, chopped tomatoes. And after few minutes, add the chicken. Sautee until the chicken pieces is well-mixed with the spices, about 3 minutes
Then add enough water until you’ve almost covered up the pieces of chicken . Add the green chilies and then the potatoes. Cover and let it boil about three minutes, then check to see if the curry is simmering. Turn off the heat. Add the cilantro for garnish. This completes the chicken jhol preparation.
It takes about an hour to prepare and serves 4-6 people. We like to eat our chicken jhol with rice or chapatti.