Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Chicken Dak Bungalow ~ An Anglo-Indian Delicacy

The name itself takes you back to the British colonial era, you can picturize a quaint loghut with British architecture amidst a dense forest. The Dak Bungalows or the bungalows on the postal (dak) route served as rest houses during the hunting trips or long journeys to the remote places for the British officers who spent some days in the serenity of the woods and enjoyed country fowl curry whose more popular Bong term is ‘Bon Murgir Jhol’ cooked by the caretakers or the ‘Khansamas’ of that bungalow. This special curry was cooked with the elementary spices freshly ground, potatoes and boiled eggs.

Chicken Dak Bungalow

Chicken Dak Bungalow was long lost within the kitchen walls of the Anglo-Indians but thanks to some restaurateurs of Kolkata who again revived this brilliant recipe in their menu charts and made this popular.

I had the fortune of tasting this awesome curry on my trip to Ghatshila, with my parents at a very tender age. It is a small town situated among the lush green forested hills of Jharkhand, on the banks of river Subarnarekha, a favorite tourist spot of the Bengalis. After so many years I still remember the taste and how we used to devour our lunch or dinner of Bon Murgir Jhol and plain hot rice each time during our stay there, absolutely divine.

Chicken Dak Bungalow

The recipe…


  • 1 kg chicken with bone
  • 5 onions sliced
  • 11/2 inch ginger
  • 8-9 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large tomato pasted
  • 5 whole red chillies
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves/tej patta
  • 3 javitri (Mace)
  • ½ jayphal (Nutmeg)
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 2 large potatoes diced in quarters
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter/ ghee
  • 200 gms yogurt
  • Salt n sugar to taste
  • Mustard oil as per requirement

Chicken Dak Bungalow


Step 1:

Make a smooth paste of ginger, garlic, whole red chillies, javitri and a half of jay phal together with a little water.

Step 2:

Marinate the chicken with yogurt, the paste, turmeric, kashmiri red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, mustard oil and salt for an hour.

Step 3:

Heat oil in a skillet and fry golden the boiled eggs and potatoes. Take them out and keep aside.

Step 4:

Add ghee to the remaining oil and splutter the whole garam masalas and bay leaves. Add the sliced onions and fry them golden. Add the tomato paste, sauté for a few minutes. Now add the marinated chicken. Continue stirring until the chicken pieces are well sealed. Add the potatoes and add half cup of water. Let it simmer with a lid on until the chicken is almost done.

Step 5:

Add the boiled eggs and let it simmer again for five minutes more.

Chicken Dak Bungalow

Step 6:

Garnish with slit green chillies and serve with steamed rice.

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