Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Radhuni Murgi: Chicken curry with wild celery seeds

পুজো আসছে 

I find the food at Calcutta’s Bohemian restaurant quite interesting. The man behind Bohemian chef Joy Banerjee, knows his food. I think he has successfully given Bengali cuisine, a global-gourmet makeover. And what I love about his dishes is the play of ingredients. The ingredients, traditional bengali spices and condiments, are mostly familiar, but their use is far from ordinary. I have dined at the Bohemian a few times and I have a few favourites I keep returning for. My Bohemian favourites are Bacon wrapped chicken supreme bundles with Aam Kasundi reduction and the Bacon baked Tilapia with Ginger and Fennel served with tossed greens and coriander butter rice.

However, there is one dish I have often stopped at, mulled over, drooled some and imagined a little. The Steamed breast of Chicken with Radhuni enriched curry sauce. It is served with tossed vegetables and Bori Pilaf. But some how I always end up ordering for something else. The lure of bacon is simply irrisistible. However, I had brought home the idea and decided to make a chicken curry with Radhuni as the core spice. Hence was born my Radhuni Murgi Curry.

For the uninitiated, Radhuni often referred to as wild celery seeds, is a unique spice used extensively Bengali cuisine. At home, we mostly make a runny Masoor dal tempered with Radhuni. It is delicious, The aroma out of this world, But I had never tried radhuni is a non vegetarian dish before, naturally,  I was little nervous. The thing with Radhuni is used in the right amount it will transform a dish into anything but ordinary, but too much of Radhuni might ruin your dish.
Anyway, this Durga Puja, if you are craving essentially Bengali flavours and yet  looking for something new, you could try this chicken curry. With piping hot rotis, this is a winner.


Boneless chicken – 1 kg
Yoghurt – 100 g
Tomato puree – 50 ml
Onions – 2 medium
Garlic – 5-6 cloves (large)
Ginger – 3 inch piece cut into smaller bits
Whole red chilies – 6-7
Sesame seeds paste – 2 tbsp
Pearl onions – 200g
Radhuni (ground into a paste) – 1tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Cumin powder – 1tsp
Garam Masala powder – ½ tsp
Mustard oil
Salt to taste
Sugar – 1 tbsp 


In a mixer, blend the onion, garlic, ginger and whole red chilies into a paste.

Now marinate the chicken with the blended masala, radhuni paste, curd, sesame paste, tomato puree, turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt and sugar and keep aside for two hours.

Heat mustard oil in a pan.Once hot add the pear onion, fry for a couple of minutes and add the marinated chicken. Cover and cook on medium low heat until chicken is almost tender.

Now remove cover, add garam masala powder and cook until gravy thickens and oil separates.
Serve with rotis or parathas.

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