Tuesday, 14 March 2017


Well this is a modified version of a rice-lentil-chicken-vegetables hotch potch that I used to prepare for my son back then as I did not wish to be Cerelac dependent for long. This modified version is just perfect on a week day night, we get every thing on a plate that is required for our body..... essential nutrients from dal, rice, chicken and good veggies. Yesterday, I was too lazy to cook a three to five course meal, moreover I was eager to have a "telepathic" conversation with someone, then I see quite a few number of "someones" who deserve accolades one way or the other... rose, orchid,  lily, marigold, sunflower ..... all together giggling in that cut glass vase. Around 3 pm I feel an urge for an afternoon nap, that is by default been a Bengali. Just then, someone appeared and said .... I use Johnson, do you? I was totally floored, you know why?... come on that was how Imran Khan asked in the Cinthol ad "I use Cinthol, do you? That was in the 80's and you know well my answer. So, I said .... for you I can buy a box full of Johnson..... happy? yes, it will make you feel nearer to me. I asked, how come your parents let you travel all along alone to me?.... Well, they went out on a romantic movie date and said... you can go and spend some time with the old lady. You know you are no so old as they say.... Is it? What else do they say?.... that you have a habit of intruding in other's home... I say if we knock a door with a good purpose, it is called treaty, building relationship and not intrusion. I have not come alone, some of my friends have come too.... they sing, dance, cook, paint. Come in angels... the old lady says.... They say .... the strands of silver make you look graceful... do not worry. Smiling at them I say, however good you are to me, there will be no hunky... junky party today... let us have something wholesome..... and we all dance and play together..... " sarey ke sarey... gama ko lekar gaate chaale"......

That is when I woke up, while the Johnson-y- smell lingered on. This dish of rice-dal-meat-veggie was learnt from a friend.... sweet and sleek Smita Banerjee.... wife of a bad, old, demon.... but he cooks well. Smita is a certified Rabindra Sangeet singer... their daughter Ditsha Banerjee paints and cook too..... she said she will never marry my son who used to beat her so much then. This makes my senior sad as his eyes are always stuck on Smita's bank locker. As of me, I will go with my son's wish.... this again I have learnt from my man .... we are here to guide our kids and not decide their life. Let me stop talking too much and cook together with you a wholesome plate of Chaale Daale Murgi. Yesterday, it happened to be my parent's marriage anniversary too, they are rice eaters, hence a toast to them. I had it with yogurt and salad... you may too....

Chicken : 8 pieces [medium cut]
Rice : 1/2 big cup
Chola / Chana Dal : 1/2 big cup [split Bengal Gram]
Potato : 2 medium
Broccoli : 4-6 floret [we can use cauliflower, carrot, long bean, french bean, green pea]
Onion : 2medium
Dry red Chilli : 3-4 [halved]
Green Cardamom : 3
Clove : 3-4
Cinnamon Stick : 3-4 one inch length
Bay Leaf : 2small
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1tsp[optional]
Lemon Juice : 3-4tbsp
Oil : 2tbsp
Ghee : 3tbsp + 2tbsp [clarified butter]
Garnish as you wish, I love doing with pomegranate kernels and chopped coriander

Wash the rice and cook till 60% done in enough water. Drain water, keep aside.

Soak the chana dal in hot water for 2 hours and pressure cook up to 1 whistle at low heat using one big cup water. Let cool.

The chicken pieces have to be marinated for 2 hrs in turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice.

Peel,wash and cut each potato into halves. Heat oil in a wok. Apply little salt in the potato pieces and fry till light brown.

While the potatoes are cooking, we will microwave the broccoli florets in some water for 5 minutes and drain the water.

Take out the potatoes. Temper oil with halved dry red chilli, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms, cloves and bay leaves.

Peel,wash and slice the onions and add to the wok, fry till golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the cumin, coriander, salt, turmeric powders and fry for a minute. Add the marinated chicken pieces and stir at high heat for 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat and cover.

Open cover every 2 minutes and stir. After 10 minutes, add the potatoes and cook further for 8-10 minutes with cover.

Remove cover, add the parboiled broccoli and rice, fold in gently. add the boiled lentil and fold in gentler. Cover and cook at low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add sugar and rest of the ghee, stir gently.

Transfer to a plate, garnish as you wish and serve hot with raita and salad.