Everyone needs a go to 3 in 1 meal. Mine is chicken curry, or Patla Murgir Jhol, cooked the Bengali way: a lightweight, flavoursome dish steeped in gentle spices that saves time, heals the belly and nourishes the soul. Did I mention a large pot of this deals with two meals and more? And no one will compain about leftovers either! This recipe is from my little sister's mother-in-law, which is a very close relation in India, I will have you know! She was over in sumer and cooked this for all of us. As we licked our fingers clean, my son squealed: why can't you cook like this for me mummy? Slightly missing the point of my decade of Indian cooking and blogging! So I nabbed the recipe and here it is. Aunty didn't use any chilli powder in this, or a pureed tomato, which would have been usual. But you totally can, adding it with the other spices. It's yours for cooking, experimenting and enjoying.
Coat the chicken pieces with the yoghurt and set aside in a mixing bowl. Bring the oil to heat on high in a large pot, and while it’s warming up peel and chop roughly the onions.
When the oil is hot, add bay leaves, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. As they splutter, add chopped onions.
Saute the onions for five minutes, then add ginger and garlic paste. Saute this for another 5 minutes. Then add chicken pieces and stir through for 10 minutes.
Next, add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, coriander leaves, salt and sugar. If using tomato, puree it or grate it finely and add it with the chilli powder now. Saute for a couple of minutes time. Now add a cup of hot water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
Finish by stirring through the nutmeg and garam masala. Taste for salt and add more if you need to. Sprinkle the chopped coriander and serve the Patla Murgir Jhol with steaming hot Basmati rice and sliced lime.