Bangladeshi inspired Chicken
The best thing that I like about New York is that it is home to people from all over the world and that also reflects in the variety of food that you get to try here. We have a couple of friends from Bangladesh and in almost all of their celebrations, we found one common dish which is “Biye barir chicken roast”. Although, called a roast, this chicken is not really roasted per Western standards. It is fried and then cooked in a blend of simple spices and nuts making it lip-smacking delicious and rich. This dish is a little bit on the dry side with a thick gravy and is a little sweet. The difference that I have found between Indian and Bangladeshi style cooking is that the Bangladeshi version does not use a lot of spices and that the food is a bit on the sweeter side.
This version that I make at home is just customized to our taste buds. I do not deep fry the chicken or add the extra bit of sugar. The sweetness imparted by nuts, raisins and yogurt is plenty for us. I also like to leave a bit of gravy to scoop up with some roti or just eat it with rice. And of course, because this is just a home version, I do not go the extra mile to garnish the dish with fried onions and such but feel free to do it if you want to!
- Whole Spices - 4 Cloves, 4 Cardamoms, 2 inch cinnamon stick, 5 Peppercorn, 1 Bay Leaf
- Onion - 1 big, chopped
- Ginger - 1 inch grated
- Garlic - 4 cloves, minced
- Oil - 1/2 cup
- Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon or to taste
- Kashmiri red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon (Optional, for color)
- Cumin powder - 2 tablespoons
- Salt - to taste
- Green Chillies - 4 whole, stem removed
- Water - 1.5 cups, hot
- Chicken drumsticks - 8, skin & fat removed
- Turmeric - 1/2 to 3/4th tspn
- Salt - 1 tspn
- Cashew nuts & raisins - 1/4th cup each, soak in water for 10-15 minutes
- Yogurt - 1/2 cup (Plain, whole milk - try not to use sour)
- 1) Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is well heated, add the chicken in a single layer and let it fry for 5 to 8 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan. We do not want to boil the chicken. After 5 minutes, turn and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes. The color on the outside should change. We are not cooking the chicken fully here. Transfer to a plate.
- 2) In the same pan, add the whole spices and let them sizzle a bit. Add onion, ginger & garlic and let cook until the raw smell goes away.
- 3) Add all the powders, salt to taste and mix well. Let cook for about 2 minutes.
- 4) Add water and mix well.
- 5) Add the chicken to the pan and cook covered with a lid for about 10 minutes.
- 6) After 10 minutes, turn on the other side making sure not to break the chicken and cook covered for another 10 minutes.
- 7) Add the ground paste and the green chillies, mix gently and cook covered with a lid on low flame for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked completely.
- Serves: 4-8
- Use the green or yellow variety of raisins. Do not use the black ones. I personally used green.