Murgir Keemar Niramish Jhal – Ground Chicken Curry

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I understand you all are wondering about the title of this post. Chicken being the most popular source of meat, how come ground chicken curry be called a vegetarian (niramish) dish, it is like an oxymoron. It is nothing to do with the ground meat in this recipe, but the spices that goes into it. In Bengal, onion and garlic are considered a non-vegetarian item, probably something to do with the rise in body heat after eating onion and garlic. So, whenever a curry lacks these two ingredients we loving call that recipe niramish.

I love everything about chicken, be it mildly spiced chicken curry for a Sunday afternoon or a chicken tikka kebab for a Friday night with friends. Over the years, while spending time in the kitchen I have realized one thing – you can never go wrong with chicken. Ground chicken meat is a very versatile to have in the kitchen, boil it add some mayonnaise and put it in between two breads, and you’ll have a lovely chicken sandwich to gorge on. Add the keema to chickpea curry and mangsho diye ghugni (curried chickpeas with ground meat)is ready. In this recipe you can also top it up with boiled eggs, hard boil the eggs, sprinkle with turmeric and salt and lightly fry in little oil to get a golden brown color on all sides of the egg white.

The chicken keema curry is one of our favorite weeknight dinners. It is a no fuss meal, gets ready in matter of minutes, and tastes heavenly. If you want to get a richer and spicier gravy you can replace the cumin seeds with chopped onions, fry the onions before you add the keema and add a tablespoon of garlic paste along with the ginger paste used in this recipe.

chicken keema jhal

The only tricky part of this recipe is frying the ground meat. If you leave it as it is while it fries, you’ll get a big lump of meat, so keep on stirring while the meat gets cooked in the oil. Once they are cooked they won’t clump together.

Ground Chicken Bengali Curry
Serves 4
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1lb ground chicken
  2. 1 large potato
  3. 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  4. 2-3 bay leaves
  5. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder + little extra
  6. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  7. 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder, or smoked paprika
  8. 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  9. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  10. 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  11. 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  12. 1 tablespoon ghee
  13. Salt to taste
  14. 2-3 tablespoon oil
  1. Peel the potato and cut it into inch size squares, like you would do for aloo posto. Sprinkle some turmeric powder and a pinch of salt. Heat oil in a wok and fry the potatoes till the sides starts to turn a slightly brown in color, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon take the pieces out of the wok, place on a kitchen towel to get rid of the excess oil and reserve for later
  2. In the same oil add the bay leaves and cumin seeds. As the seeds start to splutter in about 30 seconds gently put in the keema. Stir well and keep on stirring till the keema is almost fried and there are no large clumps.
  3. In a small bowl pour about ¼ cup of water and add the ginger paste and mix all the ground spices other than garam masala, give it a good stir with a small spoon to mix everything together and pour it over the keema. Stir to mix the paste evenly. Fry the spice mixed ground meat for about 2 minutes while stirring in between. Add the half fried potatoes and pour in about 2 cups of water, if you want to have a dry gravy pour half cup less. Season with salt.
  4. Cover and cook till the potatoes are fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the garam masala and ghee. Serve hot with naan or roti
  1. This recipe tastes equally good with when served with sandwich bread
Cook like a Bong

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