Sunday, December 2, 2012

Reviving Old Dishes

কেচাপ দিয়ে মুরগী

Chicken Ketchup Curry

My first attempt at the curry

This dish is one of my earliest food memories. When I was about four, we lived in Hong Kong, and I remember one day mom made this chicken with ketchup combo so that we'd eat something a little different. Mom used to experiment with food quite a lot back in those days, and unfortunately I get the feeling she doesn't quite have that kind of time any more. This dish actually disappeared from our table almost a decade ago, but I called her up and pestered her for the recipe. I've since made it a few times and served it to other people, and the feedback has been positive. A Bangladeshi friend did mention though that quite a lot of Bangladeshi families have versions of this dish - so maybe it wasn't as original as I thought!

  • 1.00 onion
  • 1.50 tablespoon of garlic paste
  • 1.50 tablespoon of ginger paste
  • 6 to 7 cardamoms
  • 4 to 5 2.00 cm cinnamon sticks
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I'd use 1.50 tablespoons because I love black pepper)
  • Chilli powder, to taste
  • 1.00 kg of chicken on the bone, cut into appropriate pieces
  • 7 to 8 pieces of fresh green chilli
  • 2.00 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
  • Salt, to taste

        • Heat some oil in a pot, chop up the onions and fry them for a few minutes on medium heat until they soften and go translucent. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside. 
        • In the same pot add the ginger paste, garlic paste and chilli powder and fry for 5 to 6 minutes, adding a little boiling water to the mixture now and again when it starts drying out.

        The garlic, ginger and chilli mixture

        • Add the chicken to the spice mixture along with cinnamon sticks, cardamoms, black pepper powder and salt, stirring to mix everything together thoroughly. 

        I didn't cook chicken on the bone when I took
        these photos. See the additional info section 
        for changes to the method

        • Turn the heat down to medium low and cook the dish uncovered for 15 minutes. When it starts to dry out, add 2 cups of boiling water to the pot.

        The dish gets very dry, hence the water added at this step

        • Turn the heat down low and partially cover the pot and cook for a further 30 minutes, adding the onions previously set aside at the 15 minute mark.
        • After that add the fresh chilli and continue the cooking for anther 5 to 6 minutes.
        • Finally add the tomato ketchup and keep the dish on heat for another 5 to 6 minutes.

        The dish as its almost done,
        though I've let it dry out a little too much

        Additional Info
        • Spice amounts get tricky when not all spices have the same strength. I've realised that a lot of spices bought from supermarkets are pretty pathetic. So the amounts specified above aren't always enough. Check how the dish smells as your cooking it - if you only smell cooking chicken and not fragrant spices, add more cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper little by little till you do.
        • If you're cooking chicken breast as opposed to chicken on the bone, reduce the long 30 minute cooking step to 20 minutes, and reduce the amount of ketchup to 1.50 tablespoons. 


                    1. Well, I believe my mother had a similar 'original' recipe. Though clearly it wasn't as original as I'd assumed. Still good to see online since I've attempted to make this a few times with less than stellar reaults

                      1. I've since found out that experimenting with "new" ingredients like ketchup was an early 90's thing - that's probably where this dish comes from!