May 17, 2012

Bengali Chicken Stew

Bengali Chicken Stew

Last year when we were in Kolkata for a wedding, there was all kinds of delicious, spicy and elaborate menu planned for the days, Ilish Macher Jhal, kosha mangsho, mishti doi etc. Of course, the meal plan was executed by the cook hired for the few days.

And then there was a special meal plan for my uncle who wasn't too well. And one of the things they cooked for him was this chicken stew. It was so delicious that Aswin soon took to eating this chicken stew with him. I asked the chef, one of my cousin's most trusted cook, how to make it and have been doing it since I came back home.

Every time I make it, there is a different medley of vegetables depending on what is available, the spices vary a little bit here and there, but the taste of chicken cooked with vegetables just gives this curry the unique flavor.

We've had this Murgir stew with nan, roti, and rice and it goes well with all. And if you add an Indian style salad (in this case onions and cucumber), the taste multiplies.

Bengali Chicken Stew

2 lbs chicken
2 medium carrot - cut in cubes
2 potato - cut in cubes
1 zucchini - cut in cubes
1 onion - chopped thinly

2 tspoon ginger - freshly grated
2 tspoon garlic - grated
1 medium tomato - chopped
2 bay leaves 
2-3 green cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon
2-3 cloves
5-6 black pepper whole
2 green chillies
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1 tspoon turmeric powder
2/3 tspoon coriander powder
2/3 tspoon cumin seed powder
1/2 tspon garam masala powder
2-3 tbspoon yogurt
handful fresh cilantro - chopped
1 1/2 - 2 cups water
salt to taste
4-5 tbspoon oil

Marinate the chicken with yogurt, garam masala, 1/2 tspoon turmeric powder and salt and set it aside. Marinate it for at least a couple of hours.

In a deep saucepan, add the oil and temper it with cumin seeds and green chillies. Immediately after, add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and cloves. Saute for a minute till you can smell the aroma. Add in the ginger and garlic and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

Then add in the onions and let it saute for 3-4 minutes till the edges start to turn brown. Now add in the vegetables, tomato and the coriander and cumin seed powder along with the rest of the turmeric powder.

Cover and let it cook for 4-5 minutes till the vegetables release the water. Now add in the chicken and cook for another 4-5 minute till you know how much water is released by the vegetables and chicken.

Then add the salt, water and cover and cook on low heat for another 10-15 minutes till it all combines well.

Bengali Chicken Stew

Sprinkle fresh cilantro and serve warm.

More Info:
Bong Mom's Cook has a similar recipe for her kids.
And you can also try my Kerala chicken stew.


  1. That is one delicious pot of goodness. I have never actually cooked any other vegetables with chicken other than potato.

  2. sounds delicious and simple too... i make it for kids, but never add spices... i think it will be great with the spices...

  3. I can have this anytime :)

  4. Simple inviting, super delicious chicken stew,looks flavourful.

  5. Yummy... I dont believe this. My next post is also Chicken Stew! Sid loves chicken stew, the way my Ma makes it. Onekta similar to your stew, but Ma does not add any turmeric, and spice bolte only ginger-garlic pate. She finishes with a dash of butter, which I naturally avoid. Sudhu Sid er serving e ektu diye di. Tomar version looks Yummmmm... Cha khete khete tomar blog porchi... ekhon khide peye gelo.

  6. THis is really COMFORT food...its a hit anyday anytime....
    Thanks for the recipe.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This turned out to be very good. I had boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and sweet potatoes (instead of regular potatoes). Perhaps because of that (and the carrots) the color came out gorgeous as well. Thanks!

    1. So glad to hear it. Thank you for sharing.


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