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My First Bengali Pop-up in Mumbai and the Recipe of Shorshe Murgir Jhol

[Mustard-seed paste has to be freshly made every time, otherwise it turns rancid. So that my paste doesn’t turn bitter, I use a combination of white and black mustard seeds, salt, a few drops of mustard oil and a whole green chilli while making the paste. The mustard sauce called Kasundi is salty, so take extra care not to go overboard with salt. I used the commercially available Kasundi here.]


  • Chicken drumsticks: 8
  • Chicken curry cut: 1 kg
  • Curd: 3 tbsp
  • Bay leaves: 2
  • Cinnamon stick one inch: 1
  • Green cardamoms: 8
  • Black cardamom: 1
  • Cloves: 8
  • Peppercorns: 8
  • Freshly ground mustard seed paste: 3 tbsp
  • Kasundi a sour mustard paste available in Bengali stores: ½ cup
  • Salt for the gravy: according to taste
  • Salt for marination: 2.5 tsp
  • Green chillies halved: 6
  • Sugar optional: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Onion chopped finely: 2 cups
  • Garlic paste: 2 tbsp
  • Ginger paste: 1.5 tsp
  • Warm water: 3.5 cups
  • Mustard oil: ½ cup + 2 tbsp for marination


  • Marinate the chicken for 4 hours with 2 tbsp mustard oil, curd, turmeric powder, 2.5 tsp salt and half of the ginger-garlic paste.
  • Heat oil in a deep-bottomed kadhai or wok. When the oil starts to give out smoke, reduce the flame and add the bay leaf, cinnamon, green cardamoms, black cardamom, cloves and peppercorns.
  • After a minute, add the rest of the ginger and garlic pastes mixed with 2 tbsp water. Sauté continuously. After a few seconds, add the onions and 1 tsp salt. Sauté for around 20 min, or until the onions are very soft and lose their crunch completely.
  • Now add the marinated chicken pieces, minus the marinade.
  • Cook first on a high flame for around 10 min. Then reduce the flame and cook covered, until the oil leaves the edges of the kadhai: this takes around 20 min.
  • Add the mustard seed paste and the kasundi. Keep sauté-ing for around 3 min on a low flame. Add the sugar and the green chillies. Sauté for 5 min.
  • Add the warm water and stir the Jhol. Let it come to a boil. Now check the seasoning. If needed, add the salt at this stage.
  • Cover the Jhol and let it boil on a simmered flame for 10 min. Give the dish a standing time of atleast an hour for best results.