Dak Bungalow Chicken Curry was very famous and popular during the period of the British rule in India. Dak Bungalow is an inn or house for the travellers along a dak-route. Dak means "mail" in hindi. The British Officers used Dak Bungalow to collect taxes.
Duk Bungalow was equipped with a kitchen, bath with hammam ,bedroom. Its kitchen had a furnace(bhatti) made of clay to burn wood. Bhatti allowed the Khansama ( A male servant who cooks and often is also responsible for taking care of the house and organising other servants) to cook while standing up.
While the British Officers visited these dak bungalows the khansama made various non veg foods for them. Usually , in the morning , fresh water fish from local pond was fried in a skillet and served with hard boiled eggs. Otherwise chicken was butchered. The chicken curry was made according to local practice known to the khansama. With time the chicken curry became very famous and known as Dak Bungalow Chicken Curry.
It was a thick onion-ginger-garlic-tomato based gravy which was made with chicken on bone, whole eggs and potato with garam masala.
But to be very honest, I didn't have any idea of the recipe before I saw my dearest friend and sister Sanchita's post. Though I collected all the informations about this dish from here and there but the entire recipe I got from her only. I did some minimum variations of her recipe but the result was absolutely heavenly.
- Chicken:750-800 gm.
- Potato:2 Large ( large dice)
- Egg: 3 ( Hard Boiled)
- Whole Garam Masala: Cinnamon Stick(1), Cloves(3-4), Green Cardamoms(3-4).
- Bay Leaves:2
- Onion: 4+1 (Medium size, 4 for making normal paste with ginger and garlic and 1 for making paste separately after frying)
- Ginger: 11/2"
- Garlic:7-8 cloves
- Turmeric Powder:2 tsp.
- Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder:2 tsp.
- Cumin Powder:1 tbsp.
- Coriander Powder:1 tbsp.
- Green Chilli: 2 (chopped or paste),(Optional)
- Tomato:2 medium sized (paste or finely chopped)
- Sugar:1 tsp.
- Salt: As per taste
- Garam Masala Powder: 1 tbsp.
- Unsweetened Yoghurt: 1/2 Cup (whisked in 2 tbsp. of water)
- Oil:5-6 tbsp.(preferably mustard oil, in absence you may use vegetable or sunflower oil.
- Ghee (Clarified Butter): 1 tbsp.
- Warm Water: 1/2 cup(optional)
- At first peel and dice the potatoes. Fry them until golden yellow in color with salt , turmeric powder and little oil.
- Hard boil the eggs. Shell them and fry until yellow with salt, turmeric powder and little oil.
- Now make a smooth paste with 4 onions, ginger and garlic and keep them aside.
- Then finely slice the remaining one onion and fry them with little oil until brown. Make an another paste of the fried onions.
- Now wash the chicken properly and mix it with half of the onion-ginger-garlic paste , salt , turmeric powder , 2 tbsp. of yoghurt, 2 tbsp. of oil and little garam masala powder and marinate it for atleast 1 hour.
- Now heat the remaining oil in a deep bottomed vessel or kadhai.
- Add the whole garam masala first. When nice aroma comes out add the sugar and fry it until brown.
- Add the rest of the onion-ginger-garlic paste and fry it for 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile make a smooth paste of the coriander, cumin and red chilli powder and the turmeric powder with 2 tbsp. of water.
- Add this spice paste into the kadhai now and stir .Cook until the oil comes out from the sides.
- Then add the chopped tomato and salt. Cook until the tomato become mushy and oil starts to release from sides.
- Now beat the yoghurt properly and add to the kadhai.
- Now add the marinated chicken ,cover the kadhai and cook it on a medium flame.
- Cook it atleast for 10 minutes and then uncover it. This time add the fried onion paste.
- Mix well and add the fried potato.
- Usually you don't need to add water as the yoghurt itself contains water and helps to cook the chicken and potato but still I added 1/2 cup of warm water at this time to make it little fast.
- Cover it again and cook until the chicken and the potatoes are done.
- Uncover and add the hard boiled eggs and check the seasoning. If required add little salt or sugar.
- Cook it for another few minutes until the gravy becomes thick .
- Turn off the flame and fry the garam masala with the ghee in a separate pan and pour it into the curry.
- No doubt it's a very delicious curry which is usually served with steaming hot rice, naan, paratha, luchi or roti.
Enjoy Your Food...!