Doi murgi – Bangladeshi yoghurt chicken curry

This Bangladeshi yoghurt chicken curry has to be considered as the best comfort food out there; slow-braised juicy chicken thighs are flavoured with over ten different spices in a rich and creamy yoghurt sauce. Chillies add a complementary warming heat and crispy onions finish off the curry perfectly with a bit of crunch. Make up a large batch and don't worry about leftovers: the curry is possibly even better the next day!

First published in 2020
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This classic chicken dish is popular in Bangladesh and a real treat on days when you feel like indulging or just require comfort food. Doi, or yoghurt, adds a delicious creaminess and the layering of spices ensures the dish is flavourful throughout. Large chunks of marinated chicken are added to a base of spiced, caramelised onions. One of the reasons this recipe is special is that it is cooked with mustard oil, which is a staple in the Bangladeshi kitchen and imparts a unique aroma and taste. Because the dish is rich and creamy it is best served with plain boiled rice and a wedge of lime on the side.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Chicken marinade

Sauce

To garnish

Method

1
Place the chicken in a bowl with all the ingredients listed for the marinade. Mix together well and chill in the fridge, preferably overnight or at least 2–3 hours. When you are ready to cook, remove the marinated chicken from the fridge and set aside
2
Heat the mustard oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, bay leaves and whole spices and cook until golden brown (around 10 minutes)
3
Add 125ml of water and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
4
When the onion mixture is soft and caramelised, add the ground spices. Turn up the heat to medium and sauté for a minute or so, to cook out the spices
5
Take the pan off the heat and add the 6 green chillies and marinated chicken mixture, stirring everything together. Add another 50ml of water
6
Set the pan back over a low heat and cover. Cook for 35–40 minutes, stirring occasionally. You should end up with a fairly thick gravy, with a little oil rising to the surface. Divide into bowls, scatter with crispy shallots and a split chilli. Serve with steamed white rice and lime

Dina Begum a cookbook author and writer who is passionate about highlighting the recipes and food traditions of Bangladesh.

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