Monday, August 22, 2011

Some more memories and a recipe

Time is flying past, from 24 hours it is now nearly a month since mum left us. Recently I came across Sharmila Tagore’s interview in ‘The Times of India’ and as I read it I missed Ma very much, why? Well I came across two poems written by Rabindranath Tagore describing Sharmila Tagore’s mother; not being brought up in Bengal, understanding Tagore’s poem was always a problem besides most of the English translations did not appeal to me, I therefore did not take much interest in his poems but mum would have none of it, she took it upon herself to explain to us the finer nuances of the poem and the Bengali language. Later I discovered or should I say rediscovered Tagore when I began learning German, the German translations were far superior.  I have fond memories of how one morning we were discussing Tagore, I had the German translations in front of me and mum had her Sanchayita (a collection of Tagore’s poems) in front of her.

I can go on and on with such memories. But I have a job at hand, today’s recipe was the one I was planning to publish on 25th July, it was in the draft so here is what I wrote when mum was working in the kitchen that morning.

Chicken with Onions 
The name of the dish is a little confusing, I am sure the immediate thought which crossed your mind was  what is so extraordinary about chicken with onions? Isn’t chicken cooked with onions? You are right but once again I had a problem, what do I call this dish? This is a sort of family recipe; my maternal grandmother used to cook in this manner, from where she got this recipe I have no clue.My mother made some minor alterations to my grand-mom's recipe . When my mother cooked it recently I knew I had to share it with my readers. But I still haven’t answered the question Why do I call it chicken with onions? As you will see from the following recipe you need to use both chopped onions as well as onion paste.

  • 800 grams chicken
  • 4 big onions
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 4 cloves garlic ground to paste
  • 3 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons coriander and cumin powder mix
  • A little turmeric powder
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder (to taste)
  • 3 cloves
  • One green cardamom
  • One small stick cinnamon
  • Salt to taste

  • Clean and chop chicken into pieces of your choice.
  • Finely chop two onions.
  • Grind the remaining two onions into a paste
  • Add yoghurt and the onion paste to the chicken. Mix well and leave aside.
  • While the chicken is marinating, heat oil in a vessel of your choice.
  • Add the chopped onions and fry till golden brown.
  • Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander and cumin mix powder, turmeric powder,and red chilli powder. Stir and fry the spices well.
  • After the masala (spices) have been fried well add the marinated chicken along with the marinade that is the chicken along with the yoghurt and the onion paste.
  • Stir well add water and salt to taste.
  • Cover and cook – stirring occasionally -- till done.
Serve hot. Try it I am sure you will enjoy it.


  1. the chicken looks delicious...everything tastes heavenly when cooked by Moms.

  2. this looks absolutely delicious, great chicken recipe..i am sure ur mom is watching you and will always shower her blessings..

  3. Moms curries are always special and delicious and their blessings are always there.

  4. nice recipe....always kudos to mom's....they are no matter great cooks....even when they do simple recipes it tastes lot better.....

  5. Though I can cook many restaurant kind of dishes today but still I'm a stickler when i want to enjoy some of my Mom's special dishes....Amio Sunday times er Sharmila r interview porechilam...'The Tagore Connection'...Chicken curry looks awesome..

    Hamaree Rasoi

  6. This looks too good....Yummy one...Thanks for the recipe

  7. I remember noticing that Sharmila Tagore interview, though I wasn't feeling well that day, and couldn't summon up the energy to even read through it...

    The curry sounds delicious. My mum makes something similar.

    (PS. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but you do know that a Bhojohori Manna has opened in Mumbai, don't you?)

  8. Chicken looks really awesome and delcious...

  9. even I liked the write up in TOI.....nice recipe Shilpi

  10. @dustedoff: Bhojohorri Mannna has opened in Bombay? I did not know it, thanks for the info, do you know where in Bombay?

  11. Glad all of you loved the recipe, it tastes real good just try it.

  12. @Shilpi: Here is the address for Bhojohori Manna:

    Reliable Business Center,
    Oshiwara, Near Om Heera Panna Mall,
    Off Link Road, Mumbai - 400102
    Phone: 022 6599 3385
    Free Home Delivery Numbers: 92231 73135

    Bon appetit!

  13. Looks soo tempting, yummy and delicious....:)

  14. Looks good. Will it be a good idea to add some coconut milk to it ?

  15. @Ash: You could give coconut milk a try, might taste good.