The partition of Bengal has also a lot of influenceon the food of West Bengal.The Partition of Bengal in 1947, part of the Partition of India, divided the British Indian province of Bengal between India and Pakistan. Predominantly Hindu West Bengal became a province of India, and predominantly Muslim East Bengal (now Bangladesh) became a province of Pakistan ,now Bangladesh.Many people in West Bengal were refugges who had to migrate during the partition.You will notice the curries are cooked with potatoes or vegetables.It is because Bengalis are primarily non-vegetarians and after the partition of Bengal, during their stay in the refugee camps and living the hard way they had learnt how to make curries economical and filling and flavorful even with less amount of meat in it.
- 1 whole country chickens curry cut(or any chicken)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 large red onion
- 1/2 inches ginger, peeled
- 5 to 6 cloves of garlic
- 2-4 green chilies
- 1/4th cup mustard oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tspn bengali garam mashala(roughly ground cinnamon 1 inch,cloves 3 to 4,green cardamom(2 to 3))
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- Potatoes (3 to 4)
- 2 cups hot water
- Wash and cut chicken thoroughly.
- Add the juice of half a lemon and a little salt and turmeric powder to season the chicken and marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into halves.Marinate with salt and turmeric powder.
- Now add the potatoes and fry them
- Slice one third of the onion fine.
- Grate the rest in the grater
- Blend the ginger, garlic and green chilies to make a smooth paste.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the bay leaves and garam masala.
- Add the sugar and the sliced onion and fry until onion is brown .
- Add the onion-ginger-garlic-chili paste and stir fry till all the water has evaporated from it and oil floats on top.
- Add all the spices except the salt and stir for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chicken and fry in the spices until evenly coated and then fry some more (5 mins).
- Now cover the pan, turn down heat and allow to cook for 20 minutes, stiring occasionally.
- Next add the potatoes and the salt, stir and then cook the same way until the potatoes are done.
- You can add up to a cup of hot water when adding the potatoes.
- Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro.