Wednesday, 12 December 2018


Palong Shaak / Spinach / Palak and Donepata / Fresh Coriander / Hara Dhania is a childhood love. I remember, early November the Dum Dum Bazaar used to get green with young leaves of coriander and spinach which was too much of a favourite with the daddy and me specially. Palong eating ended early March with "shish palong er chocchori or ghonto".... I feel irritated not being able to blog on half of my favourite dishes due to unavailability of the right ingredients.... However, I discovered "byne, samudrer kekle o bhola maach" here.... if only my men were as excited as me having them. However, I force them to eat "choto-majhari sizer tatka rui".... fresh, smaller or medium sized Bengal Carp that comes from our neighbours.... if you can visit the Bangladeshi shops at night or the Indian wet market on Saturday or Sunday mornings, you get them. They make very good light curries.... our families are not used to garlic and onion in fish curries. I told the husband to manage it until we visit Kolkata and if I debone, the son eats. I simply love, though scared to have "khoira or folui".... If I feel lethargic, I get very fresh seabass and either batter fry or cook it with cauliflower & potato or chilli-mustard paste. I just cannot have salmon, snapper every other day .... when they have it, I get "kechki maach" for myself.... I have not even blogged on "kechki maacher bora" as yet. You need fresh pumpkin or bottle gourd leaves for that.... how do I call myself a Bengali Blogger then? The conversation with the mother goes like this .... "Mani, you always say that people of Comilla use coriander paste on curries during winter, but I have seen people blogging on dhone pata bata shim belonging elsewhere".... I will cross over the fence and kiss them at times because they take me on a nostalgic tour, gets me onto the grandmother's lap, because I do not have or care for name, fame, followers! Success obviously tastes good but laid backs like me do not care for it either.... I do what I wish to! Feeding vegetables alluring with chicken pieces like in this PALONG DHONEPATA MURGI [CHICKEN WITH SPINACH & CORIANDER] is one of the few tricks I play on my men. This is not really like the Northern Indian saag meat but as I do most of the time... just use whatever is available in the kitchen.

I love to cook is true, I am a foodie is more than a truth.... the parents perhaps knew from my childhood what disaster I am going to get for my body and health. Last week on the day of the husband's office party I had that big, bad aloo parantha for lunch and then that dinner spread.... imagine! When in vegetarian Indian eateries, Cristine always eats a masala dosa.... I look for variety... appam, chaat, parantha, upma.... I though prefer my drier version of upma which we call nonta suji! On my walks locally, I like getting food from these choice centres...

I so loved this sight on way to my doctor's chamber. Those are spinach / palong / palak. There are few variety of other plants and herbs too. These shops and chambers are on the ground floor of the Government Housings and the residents make full use of the small, open area spaces. I like this concept so much. As of now I am growing flowers and herbs. Fruits and vegetable bearing plants are not my cuppa... that needs knowledge and motherly care.

This may have triggered the urge to blog on this PALONG DHONEPATA MURGI [CHICKEN WITH SPINACH & CORIANDER] or is it something else? I am self centric that is true. When the husband says so I do not leave him either. I retaliate immediately .... who is not? When my father died and my family needed me beside them, your parents called me to come back as early as possible... why? They did not even have to toast a bread for my son.... Cristine was doing it all alone as I instructed.... Ipsita visited almost everyday with food and assistance, Kaushik Neogy and his wife.... a daughter like to them took them out, Sanak Chottopadhay took them to the clinic, paid the bill and never took it back from the husband. Why I was asked to come back? Nah, a married girl's daddy should not hold any importance in her life.... specially if she is not working, she should not. I know my mother has complains on why the brother's wife visits her parents everyday but I never instigate her on this matter. I was hurt when my sister-in-law too told me to go back early... why? I never question her why your mother gets more of your attention & care than your mother-in-law? I digest because they have done good to me too. My mother-in-law creates new laws to shun my side of the family. In an average Bengali family... it is the maternal uncle who feeds the first morsel of rice to the kid... my brother was not allowed to. Unfortunately my sister-in-law or my brother do not have a child.... else you would have seen my husband flown in to be present at his sister's home for that occasion. The real world has gifted me so much of hurts that I do not even look around whats happening in the virtual world. I do have the guts to tell my mother that the rules for a daughter and the daughter-in-law should be the same in a house hold.... I remember, on few occasions when I left my school going son at home with my in-laws ... the grandfather used to prepare 'Maggi' noodles for him... while the grandmother was either sleeping or complaining about me to someone over phone, she however did for few months after he was born. Everything counts in a relationship! Some of my friends still get plate full of food right in front of their mouth from their mother-in-law .... I am not jealous but I do not like what I get to hear or heard about me. Following one to one relationship, I will not take the effort to visit their home anymore ... I will either call them at my home for a cuppa or  at the City Centre 2. I however bagged an appointment with the eye surgeon through his wife Paramita.... only to him I can say that I lost the son's last prescription.... Take it from me... only the cool headed doctors can make it in life. There is an exception called Swati who made it a point to visit my father each time he was admitted in a hospital.... her recently widowed mother awaits a big hug from me... On my priority list is my deceased friend's wife and kids also. Off course, I am not calculative, I will manage a meet with the others if only "they wish to".... its time to know that part more.... are they at all interested or its me who is trying in vain? Everyone knows by now that me and my friend Chandrayee are like "Tom and Jerry".... I cannot leave Kolkata without meeting her.... her father is still alive.... kaku will be extremely hurt to know if I do so.... I was a mere teen when he used to scold her daughters.... look at S, how she comes and cleans your messy rooms.... well that was a job over the weekend! End of my tour I feel exhausted, tired and irritated specially when the husband asks to limit the visit to15 days and stay put in the neighbourhood Swissotel. I tell him that if he thinks he has that much of wealth to waste, he can get me some platinum jewelry! End of the day he is mine, the son "jigar ka tukra".... I could not ask to extend my ticket to 15 more days for them only. I am this way, last year summer, my ticket was only 3 days after my husband's... yet his family had to hurt me... I wished to come back sooner and cook few meals before they go back... but no, they had to hurt me. I could not even fulfil my wish to get my father one more time here. To all those in-laws who treat their daughter-in-law's family in this manner, re-think or feel the lovelessness! I am not trying to impress the brother's wife either.... we have no expectations from each other ... she told me that she does not want anything from anyone, that she is choosy... I did not buy a single thread for her... My efforts has to be appreciated ... "didibhai" will give her some cash to buy things of her choice... Its for her that my mother is enjoying a queenly status .... problem is that we want everything within a lifetime.... Let life take its own course and let us enjoy a plateful of PALONG DHONEPATA MURGI [CHICKEN WITH SPINACH & CORIANDER.


CHICKEN : 1kg medium cut [I prefer country or the kampong chicken]
FRESH SPINACH : 2 bundle or 250-300gm
FRESH CORIANDER : 2-3 sprigs
GREEN CHILLI : 6-7 [adjust yours]
SLICED ONION : 1medium tea cup
LEMON JUICE : 2-3tbsp
CINNAMON : 3-4 two inch sticks
CLOVES : 2-3
SALT : As Required
OIL : 3-4tbsp
BUTTER : 2tbsp


Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly under running water and marinate with salt, lemon juice, 1/2 of the minced ginger and garlic, turmeric & red chilli powder and salt. Keep aside for an hour or little more covered.

Discard the roots of the spinach, roughly chop. Take on a colander and wash thoroughly! Fill a vessel with warm water and blanch the spinach in it.

Discard the roots of the fresh coriander. Chop and wash. Wash the green chillies too.

Take the washed and chopped coriander, washed, chopped and blanched spinach and washed green chillies together in a blender and blend at high for 2-3 minutes with intervals till smooth.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with a bayleaf, green cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, cloves.

Stir and add the minced garlic and ginger. Stir for a minute.

Add the washed sliced onion and stir fry till it is golden brown.

Add the chicken pieces without the marination and stir at high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Lessen heat to minimum and add the marinade to the chicken.

Cover cook at lowest heat for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and check in between to avoid burning at the bottom.

Open cover and add the garam masala powder and a cup of water. Stir and let boil for 5-6 minutes covered.

Open cover and add the green paste, adjust salt and let cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add 2tbsp of butter and stir. Take down and serve with any kind of bread or rice variety!


  1. Soma...I think this is life...but I can totally understand your feelings and really don't know when the world will change to equality...You have done everything from the bottom of your heart and good luck will surely come on your way...This chicken curry looks so flavourful

  2. Thank You Amrita... we need to find happiness in ourselves!!