Today I am featuring the third and final recipe in a three dish series. When we (Guyanese people) cook curry, most often we are making some form of madras curry —rich with turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala. Bunjal simply means cooking the curry down until there is no sauce, so that all the curry flavor clings to the protein. Bunjal curry is often paired with dhal and rice because the dhal provides the sauce or gravy, for lack of a more suitable word. Here the protein of choice is chicken thighs (boneless). This dish takes about 30 minutes to make and also goes great with aloo paratha (potato roti).
Let’s get started…
1.5 lb boneless chicken thighs (diced into 1 inch pieces)
1 onion chopped
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp. Madras curry powder
1 tbsp. crushed dried thyme
1 tbsp. cumin powder (may be substituted with 1/2 tbsp. ground geera (roasted cumin) and 1/2 tbsp. garam masala
1 tbsp granulated garlic (can be substituted with 3 cloves garlic)
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. tomato paste
Add salt to chicken thighs and set aside. In a large skillet (or stock pot, which will give you more room for even bunjaling) heat 3 tbsp oil on medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until onions are soft and brown. While onions are browning, add curry powder, thyme, cumin, garlic,paprika, tomato paste to a small bowl and mix together. Add water to form a paste. When onions are soft and brown, add curry paste to onions and cook until all the water evaporates and curry past becomes slightly brown (about 3 mins). Then, add chicken thighs and toss with the curry paste to ensure that the chicken is completely coated. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat (the juices from the chicken should form a sauce with the curry paste, but if this does not happen you can add 1/2 cup of water). After the chicken has cooked for 20 mins, increase the heat to high and cook until the curry cooks down or becomes a very thick sauce (about 5 mins).
Pair your curry with dhal and rice or roti and enjoy.
Tips and Ramblings:
1. I might get a lot of heat for not including any pepper in this dish (Guyanese people love their pepper), but I find the curry spicy enough.
2. You can substitute chicken thighs for chicken breast, or shrimp or any other protein
3. My mom (who is Indo-Guyanese) taught me how to make this dish and her mom taught her how to make it. So I’m passing on a family recipe.
4. I LOVE curry, but be warned the smell lingers in your home (and on your clothes and in your hair) for a while after you’ve cooked it. This could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it.
(check down below for the other two dishes shown in the meal above)