Gondhoraj Murgi (Chicken with 'Gondhoraj' lime)

Cusine: Bengali

Duration: 40 mins

Serves: 4

My fear of ghosts was well-exploited by Ma who would tell me all sorts of spooky stories and one such involved ‘gondhoraj lebu’ (the king of limes that has its origins in eastern India and could be considered a distant cousin of kaffir lime).

On one of my school summer holidays, I saw the ‘thakur’ (head cook) plucking gondhoraj lebu from grandfather’s garden and slicing it for lunch. That’s it…I remembered the “shashuri bhoot” (the mother-in-law’s ghost) from Ma’s story and although the divine aroma from the citrus teased me, I preferred to stay away from it.

Fast forward to many years in a distant land – when Mr Husband brings these limes home from the shop, my memories come back in monochrome. 

An extended flavourful and fragrant chicken curry that is a must try with steamed rice. The burst of tangy lime leaves with a hint of heat from green chillies brought back happy scent of long summer days.

     Ingredients

  • 500g chicken
  • 2/3 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste (1/2 tbsp for marination and 1/2 tbsp for cooking)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste (1/2 tbsp for marination and 1/2 tbsp for cooking)
  • 2 tbsp green chilli paste
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp gondhoraj juice
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1″ cinnamon
  • 4-5 cardamoms
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 6 tbsp onion paste
  • 10-12 gondhoraj lime leaves (or kaffir lime leaves)
  • 4 sliced green chillies
  • 1 sliced gondhoraj lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
 

Method

  • Wash the chicken, keep it aside to dry for a bit.
  • Marinate the chicken with yoghurt, salt, ginger paste, garlic paste, green chilli paste, black pepper powder and lemon juice (gondhoraj) for couple of hours.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add black peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves.
  • Then add the remaining ginger paste, garlic paste along with onion paste.
  • Mix it well and let it cook.
  • Add chicken, salt, sugar and water.
  • Add some lime leaves, cover and let it cook.
  • Once the chicken is almost done, throw in sliced green chillies and garnish with lime slices.
  • Enjoy with a bowl of steamed rice.