Koldil Chicken

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]hicken is considered taboo in an Assamese kitchen. There are many stories including the mythological that explain this stance. One story is that hens eat all kind of dirty stuff that’s not so good to eat. Another mythological tale talks of the demon Narkasur who wanted to marry Maa Kamakhya. When he proposed to her, she told him to build her a temple overnight. The demon agreed and when Kamakhya saw that he was going to complete the temple within the night, she threw a rooster at the site at midnight, which crowed, falsely indicating the arrival of morning. The demon then chased and killed the chicken at a place still known as kukura-kataa. Since then chicken meat isn’t allowed in Assamese kitchens. This practice still exists in villages and people must cook chicken outside the home kitchen if they feel like eating it. Now with the passage of time, people have started cooking chicken at home, in urban areas. Conversely, pigeon meat is believed to be auspicious and offered to guests as a mark of respect.

Koldil Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1  Mocha / Plantain flower or Koldil, cleaned
  • 800 gm Chicken
  • 1 tsp Turmeric/Haldi
  • 2 medium Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp Whole Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Whole Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp Black peppercorns
  • 1/2 inch Cinnamon or Dalchini stick
  • 3 – 4 Cloves
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Mustard oil for cooking
  • Green chili for garnish, slit (I used one of the small Assamese ones)

Method:

  1. Chop the koldil into small pieces and soak it in water to prevent it turning black.
  2. Soak cumin and coriander seeds in warm water for 15 minutes  and make a paste along with the cinnamon, black peppercorns and cloves.
  3. Heat mustard oil, add bay leaves and the finely chopped onions. When the onions are slightly pink, add the chicken and fry it for a few minutes.
  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste. Stir and fry some more on low heat.
  5. Add koldil and the masala paste with a little water for the gravy. 
  6. Stir and cook covered on low heat till done. Check seasoning.
  7. Garnish with the chili and/or finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve with hot, steamed rice