Chicken Keema Curry

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Festive spirit is raging high among Bongs with Durga Puja just round corner (only 11 days). There is so much to talk about – Puja Barshiki, history of Durga Puja, Durga Puja in Kolkata, memories of school/college days, Mahalaya hymns, my experience at last year’s Puja at Bangalore and of course the Puja wardrobe, Puja recipes – that I became overwhelmed with to write and what to leave out.

So, here’s the deal.

Starting today, I’ll write a post a day till Puja starts. And in these posts, I hope to cover ‘Pujor Amej’ (Festive Flavour) in terms of food, history and a bong’s insight. There would be occasional touches of fashion trends too.

And some updates on Durga Puja Food Festival too. Hurry folks, the deadline for getting a chance for an entry in the eBook and a prize is 22nd September. Click here for more information.

Puja is almost at the door steps and am counting on the days, just 11 days to go. The first essence of the puja you get in Kolkata is the sale of the Puja Barshikis. At this time of the year the fat magazines is a well known scene at the news paper stalls. I had not yet bought my share of Puja Shankha this time, but just brought back home this month’s edition of Anadamela. The trigger was the painting of a Durga idol on the cover page of the edition; it said “Pouranik Galpe Debi Durga” (Mention of the Goddess Durga in mythology). I’ll let you all the stories in the corresponding posts, so be patient.

Durga Puja

There had been several stories about the inception of this autumn festival, which became the most important festivals among Bengalis, and for that matter Hindus. My most fond memories of Durga Puja are the dawn of Mahalaya. Mahalaya is said to be the day of the inception of the goddess. This day also marks the last week on countdown for the pujas, and so it is so special. With the cracking of dawn starts the radio program for Mahalaya. When I was a kid that was the only source, these days every Bengali channel shows their version of Mahalaya, but still listening to the hymns sung by Virendra Kishore Bhadra in a half-awake state is my favorite.

What I thought of posting today has nothing to deal with Mahalaya or Durga Puja, but with less than a fortnight to go before the festival starts and as I have missed the last year of Durga Puja celebration in Kolkata, I am looking forward for this year. When it’s autumn, the air, the blue sky with the fluffy wet white clouds, the bamboo structures getting ready for the puja, the crowd at the shops – everything just compelling me to talk about the goddess and the way these four days is spent.

In my previous posts I had written about a lot of chicken preparations, but this time I just shifted a little and prepared with minced chicken. Those of you, who are fond of mutton or lamb, can also prepare it with minced meat.

Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 15 – 20min


  • Minced chicken (Murgir keema): 300gm
  • Potatoes (Aalu): 2 medium sizes, cut into quarters
  • Sour curd (Tauk Doi): 2 tablespoons
  • Onion paste (Peyaj bata): 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger-garlic paste (Aada-rasun bata): 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder (Halud guro):  ½ teaspoon
  • Chili powder (Sukhno lanka guro): 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 4 tablespoon


  • Clean the keema  in a colander and keep for sometime for the water to drain out
  • Heat half the oil in a wok and half fry the potatoes and keep aside
  • Pour in the rest of the oil and let it heat
  • Add in the onion and ginger-garlic paste and sauté
  • Add the half-fried potatoes, sour curd, turmeric powder, chili powder and salt ; and stir till the color changes a shade darker and it becomes dry
  • Put in the keema and stir again
  • Pour in water and let the keema cook till tender
  • Take out of flame and serve with warm rice

Chicken Keema Curry

Further reading: Kheema Recipe, Keema in Naan

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Malabar Chicken

From my childhood I always wished where ever I am I should be at my home in Kolkata for the Durga Puja. We have a century old tradition of worshiping the deity. But, this time it’s a little different. I am away from home for the first time in my life during the Durga Pujas. I am missing every bit of this gorgeous festival.

If you are in Kolkata we’ll never be able to ignore the arrival of this festive season. With the start of September you can feel the Puja is nearing. All the markets and for now the shopping malls are flooded with people to buy new clothes, shoes, and house hold articles. As the big day nears, the foot paths are barricaded with bamboo pillars to control the heavy crowd. There are big hoardings of advertisements on every nook and corner of the city. With all these grandeur and pomp comes our idol. I miss those lazy afternoons sitting at my neighborhood Puja pandal chit chatting with my friends. All my relatives come to my place to worship the deity. O, I miss everything about Kolkata.

There is nothing more I can do but to think about the by gone days of living in Kolkata during the Durga Pujas. So, just to make myself a little happier than I am right now, I thought of adding some special recipes for this occassion.

Living in the Southern part of India, these days I come across a lot many South Indian cuisine. Every region in South India has got its own style of cooking. Malabar region is in the South-western part of India, facing the Arabian Sea. Lots of spices like cloves, coriander, cardamom, black pepper grow in the hilly terrain of the Malabar Coast. All their cuisine is done with these spices. The Malabar Chicken is just one such example of the rich cuisine of this coastal region.

Serves 2


Chicken (Murgi): 500gms

Onion paste (Peyaj bata): 2 tablespoons

Desiccated coconut (Narkel korano): ½ cup

Coriander leaves (Dhane pata): 1 tablespoon

Green chili paste (Kacha Lanka bata): 1 ½ tablespoon

Garlic-ginger paste (Ada-rasun bata): 1 tablespoon

Red chili powder (Sukhno Lanka guro): 1 teaspoon

Tamarind paste (Tetul bata): 1 tablespoon

Coriander powder (Dhane guro): 1 teaspoon

Clove (Labango): 5 to 6

Black pepper (Gol morich): 10 -12

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste


For preparing the tamarind paste:

  • Take out the pulp of 5 or 6 tamarind pods and dip in water for ½ an hour.
  • With a sieve separate the pulp from the tamarind water, and keep the tamarind water for later use.

For the curry:

  • Heat oil in a wok. Throw in the ginger-garlic paste, onion paste, black pepper, green chili paste and tamarind water, sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add red chili, coriander and turmeric powder along with the desiccated coconut. Fry till the coconut turns brownish.
  • Add water and cook for 5 -7 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and add water till necessary.
  • Cook till the chicken becomes tender, adding water if required.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
Malabar Chicken Curry

Malabar Chicken Curry

Serve with just cooked rice and enjoy the taste of the Malabar chicken.

Sending this sensational side dish to Ruth’s Sensational Sides Event.

Also sending over to Aartee’s Sapadu Ready Event

Sending this recipe to Pallavi’s Yummy Festival Feast- Diwali.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

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