Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Jasha Maroo: Bhutanese Minced Chicken

I am hooked to Bhutanese food these days. I make a bowl of Ema Datshi or Kewa Datshi, every second day and I have been rummaging through recipes of Bhutanese delicacies. Fortunately, I have friends who are from Bhutan and those who have connections with the beautiful mountain kingdom. And they are always ready to help.

Now I have restrictions on the kind of meat I can cook at home. I stay with my parents still, and I only find it fair to respect their rules and reservations. I have been craving to cook all that pork-y deliciousness and savour it all, especially a dish called Phaksha Paa - succulent pieces of pork cooked with fiery red chilies, mostly with radish and bok choy. Cured dried pork is also added to the dish to give it
a unique flavour. And I read about a version of the dish which adds to it  hentoe, buckwheat dumplings, quite like momo, and usually with a filling made of wilted greens or cheese like datshi. Slurp!

But I have to do with for a chicken dish. And I found just the one that would make me happy. The thing about Bhutanese cuisine is... it is high on heat. And I love heat. Jasha Maroo is nothing but  minced chicken (diced actually) cooked with onions, ginger, garlic, tomato and loads of green and/or red chilies. You must be wondering what's special about it since the ingredients seem just like what we use in our cooking. Now I believe how and when you use an ingredient is critical to how the dish will taste. I think that works here. And yes the fact that you use only fresh ingredients and absolutely no spices gives this dish a refreshing flavour. By far it's the simplest recipe I have made. I think. And it's on my favourites list.

One of m Bhutanese friends, T, shared the basic outline for the recipe and then I checked a few recipe books and websites. And made my version. Give it a try. Traditionally it is had with Bhutanese Red rice, which has that nutty texture and the closest I could get to it was good old brown rice.

Boneless chicken (diced into 1 inch cubes) - 500 g
Chopped onions - 1 large
Finely chopped garlic - 2 tbsp
Grated ginger - 1 tbsp
Chopped tomatoes - 2 small
Chopped green chilies - 4 tbsp
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
Chicken stock - 1 cup

Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions and saute until soft and translucent. Add the chicken and fry for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Now add the chopped garlic, grated ginger, tomatoes and chilies. Season well.

Cook until chicken is tender and the liquids have reduced, tough a little liquid should be left.

Remove from heat and serve with red/brown rice. You may add some some chopped cilantro on top, but I prefer the dish without it.

So Turn Up The Heat


  1. yumm yummm....looks delicious and easy... thanks...

    here is my blog-

    1. Thanks a ton! You have a lovely blog yourself!

  2. Sensational Dishes. Heard about your blog from a friend, its really worth it. Will take time and look at all your dishes. This particular preparation is of interest to me as it looks pretty clean and healthy,( yes iam a fitness addict). Will definitely try this

    1. Thank you very much for the encouragement! And to your friend for sharing about my blog. Please keep visiting! And yes this dish is pretty healthy, and I love how the flavours are fresh and clean. Hope you enjoy cooking and eating it..Lemme know how it goes will you?!

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  4. i am almost a regular reader of ur blog... great work pd!! proud of u darlin!! love ur recepies and follow it religiously... as soon as i shift to my own place will start cookin all ur recepies for sure..they r lovely easy and interesting!! will keep waiting for more n more..

    1. Thank you so much Gunja...coming from a chef's wife this means all the more no? Can't wait for you to try one of my recipes. Happiness to you!