Curry chicken… Bunjal chicken

Bunjal Chicken

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…

You can buy boneless chicken thighs from the supermarket, but if you would like to make your own, here are a few easy steps. 1. Turn chicken thigh flesh side down.2. Using a knife, cut along the thigh bone and away from the flesh, until bone is completely free from the flesh.3. Cut flesh into 1 inch chunks.

You can buy boneless chicken thighs from the supermarket, but if you would like to make your own, here are a few easy steps.
1. Turn chicken thigh flesh side down.
2. Using a knife, cut along the thigh bone and away from the flesh, until bone is completely free from the flesh.
3. Cut flesh into 1 inch chunks and season with1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like extra spiciness)

Next, dice up a large onion and saute in 3 tbsp of oil until brown. Make a curry paste by mixing together  1tbsp madras curry powder, 1 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp paprika, t tsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp ground cumin (geera) and 1/2 cup of water. Add curry paste to browning onions and cook until most of the water evaporates.

Next, dice up a large onion and saute in 3 tbsp of oil until brown.
While the onions are browning, make a curry paste by mixing together 1tbsp madras curry powder, 1 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp ground cumin (geera) and 1/2 cup of water.
Then add curry paste to browning onions and cook until most of the water evaporates.

Once the curry paste thickens (once most of the water evaporates) add chicken, stirring until all the chicken is coated with the curry.Cook for 15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. You may add 1/2 cup of water if the chicken starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. This will also help to deglaze the pot and thicken the curry sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce cooks down and becomes really thick.

Once the curry paste thickens (most of the water evaporates) add chicken, turningg until all the chicken is coated with the curry.
Cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. You may add 1/2 cup of water if the chicken starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. This will also help to deglaze the pot and thicken the curry sauce.
Continue cooking until the sauce cooks down and becomes really thick.

Bunjal Chicken

Ingredients
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

Directions:
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.

Bunjal chicken, bahgie, dhal and rice.

Bunjal chicken, bahgie, dhal and rice.

Happy Cooking!

(check down below for the other two dishes shown in the meal above)

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9 thoughts on “Curry chicken… Bunjal chicken

  1. Vitri Ann says:

    bunjal style eh, lol. Gyal you is a real real Guyanese coolie 🙂

  2. schadah says:

    hi dear. Thank you for your recipes. I love reading them. Reminds me so much of home. Mek meh Chowmein recipe last night. lol. Was wondering if you could add an email icon to your blogs. Sometimes I like to share recipes with my friends who are learning to make Guyanese foods and many of them are not on facebook or twitter. But your recipes are just as good and since you’ve taken your time to write, I would just like to point them in the direction of your recipes. Thanks!

    • Metemgee says:

      Great idea. I’ll look into it. In the mean time if you click on the recipe title it will take you directly to that recipe page and you can copy and paste that link in your email to your friends. Will let you know as soon as I figure out how to add the email this recipe link. Thanks for the love and that’s for sharing. How yah chowmein taste sweet. 🙂

      • schadah says:

        gyal meh chowmein was good. I was even surprised. lol. I didn’t see your recipe until after. But where I live I don’t have guyanese kind chow mein noodles… so i improvise a lot. And i use a kind of marinade blend that I store in the fridge. It has casareep, soya sauce, hoisin sauce, five spice and some other ‘chowmein-friedrice’ ingredients. But it was great. Will try your Bunjal this weekend!!!

      • Metemgee says:

        Yum, yum. Sounds good. And you know Guyanese ppl like their mix up fridge stored seasoning. If you have an Asian Type store where you live, they usually have chowmein in the fridge somewhere in the store. 🙂

    • Metemgee says:

      So I added the email tab, as well as print if you need to print anything. Thanks again for the suggestion. And as always, happy cooking.

  3. gator02 says:

    its always good

  4. […] found this chicken curry recipe from metemgee.com and love it for it’s accessibility (READ: I’ve heard of all the […]

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