Murgir jhol - Chicken curry for Lonely Hearts

Chicken curry and rice was a Sunday afternoon ritual while growing up in Calcutta. Years later, the rare Sunday chicken curry and rice lunch at home at Mumbai takes me back to those 'Secret Diary of a Teenager' days. Last night I came home to chicken curry and roti and soon forgot the hair tearing moments which happened earlier in the day. That's comfort food for you.

I'd earlier written about how to make rice. Here's how to make a simple chicken curry or murgir jhol as we say in Bengali.


  • 500 g chicken - you can buy portions in Supermarkets or cold storages. This is enough for one person for one meal plus a little extra to make a sandwich with the next day.
  • 1 potato skinned, cut into two
  • Spice mix : mix 1.5 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, jeera/ cumin powder, dhania/ coriander powder, sugar and half teaspoon each of chilly powder and garam masala powder in three teaspoons of curd OR 1 teaspoon of water


  • Heat 1.5 tablespoon oil in a pressure pan. Medium flame
  • Add 1 finely chopped onion
  • Fry and stir till onion becomes brown
  • Add 1 tablespoon ginger paste + 1 teaspoon garlic paste. Stir till brown
  • Add 2 tablespoons tomato puree/ tomato ketchup OR, if not lazy, 1 finely chopped tomato. Stir till it becomes dark orange, bordering on brown
  • Add masala paste. Stir
  • Add chicken and potatoes. Stir till chicken skin becomes a darker colour
  • Add a cup of water
  • Shut pan. High flame.
  • Let three whistles happen.
  • Reduce flame to low. Keep for twelve minutes. Switch off burner
  • Open pan once the cooker cools and steam goes off (you won't be able to open it till then)
  • Garnish with some chopped coriander, split green chilly, garam masala powder

Have it with rice, bread or roti if you can get hold of it.

Here's a more elaborate post of mine on the same curry


Sharmila said…
Ekkhuni Real Good er ekta packet niye ghore dhuklam. I love the simple ghoroa taste in this murgir jhol. Perfect chutir diner lunch with bhaat and a little salad. :-)
Bong Mom said…
Tomake ar Lonely Heart er ranna korte hobe na, you are a good enough cook to feed multi hearts.

Murgi'r jhol sounds byapok when we say "Murgi" and not chicken, doesn't it ?
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Sharmila... and the right 'salad' would be a few slices of onion, tomato and cucumbers with a touch of salt :)

@Bong Mom ... thankfully yes:) But this section is for bachelors, people staying alone - recipes which require little culinary knowledge or skills
Sharmila said…
Ekdom thik Kalyan ... very correct! I can almost smell the air heavy with the fragrance of murgir jhol, gorom bhaat and that salad ... kancha peyaj er gondho ta kirokom mishe jeto shob er shonge tai na?! I love the salty water from the cucumber from that salad. Aha ... barir kotha mone pore gelo. :-)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Sharmila :) Hya that was some salad. Can taste the salty water right now.

Do you remember Robibarer Barbala and Sunday Bandbox and requests of Derek, Brian, Juliet, Neil, Aunt Sara and Grandpa James from Ripon Street for Sacrifice by Elton John for Billy, John and Sara Lee at Sydney?