As a true Assamese, my favorite thing to have in any curry is potatoes! Fellow Assamese people will understand what I mean. And Bengali food also uses potato in all its glory, which is why it is one of my favorite cuisines as well. But chicken dak bungalow is all the more special because it has chicken, potatoes and eggs, all in one curry! Sounds like an Eastern dream to me.
Do not get intimidated by the name here. Chicken Dak Bungalow is a heritage recipe from the British era. Dak bungalows refer to the rest houses in the British era that were used to host government officials and other travelers. During these visits, the khansama or the steward would make delicious food using local ingredients for the guests using meat and other vegetables.
As for my story, I was used to having it at some of my favorite restaurants serving Bengali food. That helped me explore more about this dish and make it for myself at home. It is a simple chicken curry at the end of the day to be very honest. But the key to a delicious chicken dak bungalow lies in its marination. And before I go ahead and share it. I would clearly like to state that this is my own version that I have come to develop from my own understanding of this recipe and my own limited knowledge of food. All I can be sure of is that it is one tasty curry!
Here’s a look at the ingredients and procedure.
Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cook time – 30-40 minutes
Serves – 4 people
For the marination:
- Chicken, 1 kg
- Thick curd, 150 g
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tbsp mustard oil
For the curry:
- 1 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 potatoes, cut in four cubes each
- 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces. Make sure they are dry before you marinate.
- In a bowl, add curd, cumin powder, coriander powder, ginger paste, garlic paste and mustard oil with the chicken pieces. Use your hands to mix it all well, ensuring each chicken piece is thoroughly layered with the curd mix.
- Cover with a plastic sheet and marinate for at least three hours. Overnight marination works best, but do not marinate for more than ten to twelve hours, otherwise, the chicken might get too soft.
- Heat mustard oil in a wok. Add salt and sugar to the oil and give it a light stir. Fry the boiled eggs and potatoes on medium heat till they turn golden. Set aside for later.
- In the same kadhai, add some more mustard oil. Once it gets hot and starts to smoke add the onions. Saute for five to eight minutes on medium heat till onions get translucent and brown.
- Once the onions are fried well, add the marinated chicken to the kadhai. Gently stir everything together. Continue this till everything comes together really well.
- Let the chicken start cooking in its own juices for about ten minutes. Keep the flame on medium and keep stirring from time to time. Ensure the chicken does not stick to the kadhai. Add a little hot water if required.
- Once the chicken is cooked halfway, add the fried potatoes to it. Add hot water, cover and cook on medium heat for ten more minutes till the potatoes and chicken are done.
- Reach your desired consistency and add the boiled eggs. Serve hot with rice or pulao.
I hope you do try this simple, mouth-watering chicken dak bungalow recipe. It is a perfect option for guests coming over, or if you want to whip up a feast for your family on a special occasion (or just a Sunday).