Monday, September 14, 2009

Festive food of Durga puja - Chicken Shahi Korma

In the beginning of Autumn season, when the sky looks beautifully blue in bright sunshine, kash flower sway with wind, sweet scent of white 'shiuli' flowers fill the air, it's the time to celebrate bengali's most beloved festival of the year, "Durga Puja", which is just 10 days away. Even though, nowadays, the scene has changed quite a bit for last few years, the sunshine part has vanished and Kolkata is under threat of T-strom and heavy rain from one month before the puja starts. But it can't shatter the mood of bengalis they get into with the onset of Autumn season.

If you're wondering, what's shiuli flower, check this out, shiuli phul is also known as Parijat flower
(image source :

 Image of beautiful Kash phul(flower) dancing with the wind under the blue sky
(image source :

"Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Saktirupeno Sangsthita,
Namastasyayee, Namastasyayee, Namastasyayee Nama Namaha!!"

Durga, in Sanskrit means "She who is incomprehensible or difficult to reach." Goddess Durga is a form of Sakti worshiped for her gracious as well as terrifying aspect. Mother of the Universe, she represents the infinite power of the universe and is a symbol of a female dynamism. The manifestation of Goddess Durga is said to emerge from Her formless essence and the two are inseparable.

Info source :

The festival can never be complete without good food. Bengalis do not need special occasions to have a delicious lunch or dinner. To them, having food with friends and family members itself is a big occasion. And when special occasions come, Bengalis appetite knows no bound. Kitchen in all Bengali houses remain crowded day and night with women, who put their best efforts to prepare delicious dishes for their family members and relatives. During this time, all the delicacies are cooked at home from fish to meat, veg. dishes to dessert or sweet.
Today, I'll share one such chicken recipe My mom used to make during this festive time or on some special occassions.........

Chicken Shahi Korma
(Korma, is a term of cooking, where meat is cooked  in yoghurt based sauce in ghee, instead of oil, shahi means Royal, as some royal food items like almonds, safforn, kewra water are some key ingredients of this recipe-very simple but yummy )

Ingredients :
Chichen : 1(whole)
Onion : 4-5(medium)
Ginger-garlic paste : 3 tblsp.(2" piece of ginger and 6-7 cloves of garlic)
Curd or yoghurt : 1 cup
Turmeric powder ; 2 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2-3 tsp.(as per taste)
Garam masala powder : 2 tsp.
Kewra water : 1-2 tsp. ( can be found in Indian grocery stores)
Saffron Strands : 1 tblsp.
Whole black peppercorn : 10-12(grind into powder)

Almonds : 12-15 pcs.

Bay leaves : 2-3 pcs.
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp.

Ghee(clarified butter) : 4 tblsp.(I combined2 tblsp. oil and 2 tblsp. ghee)
Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method : 
  • Cut the chicken into pieces and apply salt and 2 tsp. black pepper powder, keep aside for 1/2 an hour. Chop the onions and beat the yoghurt with 2 tblsp. of water and keep aside.
  • Soak almonds in water and take out the skin and grind into powder. Soak saffron strands in kewra water. If you don't get kewra water, soak in 1 tblsp. milk. After 10 minutes, make paste.
  • Heat ghee in a pan, add the bay leaves and 1 tsp. of sugar, add onions before bay leaves turn dark brown. Saute till onions get soft and transculent. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for few more minutes. Add turmeric, red chilli powder and rest of the black pepper powder. 
  • When oil seperates the masala, add the chicken pieces, mix well with the masala paste and saute for 10-12 minutes. Add 2 cups of hot water and let it cook covered with lid.
  • When chicken is 2/3 done, add beaten curd, almond paste, sugar, garam masala and mix well. Season with salt. Let it cook for another 5 minutes.
  • There should be no water left, it's a dry gravy based dish. Lastly add saffron paste. Mix well with the chicken, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
Serving Suggestion :
Serve with Pulao(Bengali sweet Pulao) or any Indian bread like puri, paratha etc.
Check out my last year posts on Durga puja :
1. Dura puja is on our doorstep - know all the rituals of bengali durga puja
2. Pujor Diner Khabar(festive food of Durga puja) - Part 1 and Part 2

Sending this entry with above mentioned older entries to be featured on Durga puja Food Festival, organized by Sudeshna of Cook like a Bong


Sharmila said...

I'll have it with polao Indrani. Shall I come over? ;-)
I lack this patience to write in detail about anything... nice write up. :-) Koto din shiuli dekhini.

Indrani said...

ami-o anekdin dekhini dekhe sakh can come over anytime, it's not too far, Pl. come

LG said...

Durga Pooja ...I miss my hostel days :D I love Parijat flower for its delicate fragrance and the color combo of the flower itself!

Parita said...

Lovely clicks :)

Sunanda said...

I too miss those days when I used to get up early in morning and feel the fragrance of Shiuli phul all around... Chicken korma looks tempting dear..

durga puja greetings 2009 said...

Hi Indrani.. this site have beautiful durgapuja greetings.. just check this out

and a happy and blessed durga puja to you and your family

Orkut scraps said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lissie said...

what an authentic recipe! korma looks so tempting!

plz collect your gifts from my blog..

Tulip said...

chobi gulo dekhe mon kemon korche :( ei niye porpor dubochor kolkatar pujo miss hobe ... er pore aro koto k jane !! chele-meyera samne na thakle Ma Baba-dero mon kharap !! amader ekhane pujor ek week pore weekend-e pujo hobe...sekhanei jabo. daarun dekhte hoyeche tomar korma ta :) said...

among all our festivals i love dussera i used to have lot of bengali friends missing all those delicate moments ...
nice write up and lovely chicken curry

Chitra said...

Lovely curry !

Sudeshna said...

Hi Indrani, You have really caught the essence of this autumn festival, everything seems so great about this time of the year.

Thank you so much for the entry, just wanted you to know, that I haven't yet received your mail so if you can just have a look at your sent mail whether the mail id was
Thanks and regards,

PreeOccupied said...

The Shiuli phool and all that Durga Pujo talk makes me nostalgic and its still few months before we welcome Ma Durga again.

Your chili chicken and fried rice recipe and photo was yum.

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