Banjara literally means Gypsy. Banjara Murgh is cooking the chicken in gypsy style where the spices are not ground into a smooth powder but pounded coarsely using a pestle. This dish is heavily influenced by the Nomadic way of lifestyle . The freshly pounded spices gave it a real authentic flavor. The dish is simple, easy to make, has a nice thick gravy, and really tasty. I have made a lot of changes in the recipe and made it very simpler for anyone to adopt. The specialty of this dish is that you donot have to stand and cook. This is a one pot chicken dish where everything is mixed together in raw form and cooked on a slow fire till done.
This particular dish is a modern adaptation of a traditional style of ODIA cooking called BATIBASA which literally means putting everything in a earthen bowl called BATI in Odia and cook in the slow fire of the chullah which is just sufficient to cook the dish. This method of slow cooking gives the dish a smoky flavour that it is hard to replicate in the modern kitchen . Once put in the fire the dish is never stirred .
Batibasa can be done with any vegetables, small fishes and it is usually cooked with mustard and chilli paste. But as per our modern day to day preferences I have changed the traditional cooking technique to suit our modern palette.
- 4 whole green chillies
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2-3 pieces mace
- 1 black cardamom
- 2-3 green cardamom
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 8-10 black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste or you can crush them
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder or you can roast and crush
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder or you can roast and crush
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoons red chilli powder
- 4tbsp hung curd
- salt to taste
Let’s Learn how to make Banjara Murgh:
Wash and clean the Chicken pieces and keep aside.
- You can crush the ginger and garlic separately and keep aside. But if you want to use ginger garlic paste , you can use it.
- In a Pan add the chicken pieces along with the sliced onions, tomatoes, bay leaf, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt, chilli powder, green chillies , mustard oil and hung curd. Mix well with your hands.
- Now put this pan covered on a slow heat for minimum 20 to 25 mts or till chicken becomes tender and the gravy thickens.
Garnish with freshly ground Garam Masala and serve hot.
You can use Ginger Garlic Paste in place of crushed ginger and garlic. Here is a simple guide to make Ginger Garlic paste. Take equal quantity of Ginger and Garlic and remove their skins and wash them properly.
Grind them in a grinder without adding water till smooth. The ginger and garlic released their own juice , so it will not be difficult to grind them. But if you want you can add a tsp of water to it.
This paste can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight jar upto a week.