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.
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.