In our previous post on Gajorer Halua, we had already shared about how Mughlai cuisine influenced the cooking styles in the ‘Kayastha’ (the employees who worked as scribes in the Mughal Darbar) households. The chicken keema recipe also comes from the Mughlai kitchen, which found wide acceptance among the Bengali scribe class or the Bengali Kayasthas. History says that the Mughlai Chicken Keema was first mentioned in the ‘Ain-i-Akbari’ (The detailed document on Emperor Akbar’s administration).
Although our North Indian brothers and sisters prefer the Chicken Keema with Paranthas, Naan or Roti, we Bengalis went a step further. We fused the Chicken Keema preparation with our traditional Bengali style Motorer Ghugni, as fillings in Shingara, Potoler Dolma or Bengali ‘Chops’ (a delicious cousin of fritters).
For the Chicken keema balls recipe, Check out Megha’s Kitchen – the YouTube page for quick and tasty recipes.
We would be sharing here the Bengalized version of the Chicken Keema dish.
Here it goes.
Ingredients for preparing Chicken Keema:
- Minced Chicken (Keema): 300 g
- Onion (1 large and 1 small): Finely chopped
- Ginger (chopped): 1 ½ tsp
- Garlic (chopped): 5-6 pods
- Green Chilli (chopped): 2 tsp (or according to preference)
- Fresh coriander leaves (chopped): A handful
- Tomato (1 medium): Finely chopped
- Whole Cumin Seeds: ½ tsp (Can be omitted if you don’t prefer the cumin flavour in chicken)
- Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
- Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp (for the rich red colour)
- Cumin powder: ½ tsp
- Coriander powder: 1 tsp
- Garam Masala powder: 1 tsp (You can also use freshly roasted and grounded garam masala powder instead of store brought one)
- Mustard or Refined Oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt: According to taste
- Water: Half Cup
Preparation of Chicken Keema:
- Heat the oil in a flat, heavy-bottomed pan or wok.
- Add the whole cumin seeds. You can omit this step and start by adding chopped onions if you don’t prefer the cumin powered taste in your chicken keema.
- As they start spluttering, add a bit of chopped garlic and 1 tsp of green chillies.
- After a minute, add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt.
- Sauté till brownish. Add the half chopped tomatoes. Stir well, cover and let it cook till the chopped tomatoes turn mushy.
- Now add the chopped ginger and the remaining portion of the chopped garlic.
- Mix well.
- As the raw smell goes away, add the cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and Kashmiri Red Chilli powder one by one while blending in the spices.
- Stir occasionally and cover for 5 minutes.
- Add the minced chicken and the remaining part of the chopped tomatoes.
- Mix the chicken and the chopped tomatoes well with the spices, stir gently, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add half a cup of water. Mix gently. Put the flame on high.
- As the chicken starts getting tender, add the chopped coriander leaves.
- Stir well for 5 more minutes till the water dries up.
- Cover the pan. Serve after a standing time of 10 minutes.
The Chicken Keema goes best with Roti or the traditional Bengali triangular Porota. You can also use it as a filling for your homemade chicken roll, homemade sandwiches, Shingara, Patties or Potoler Dolma.
Cook on low flame for best taste.