Mar 13, 2008

Country Captain and Khichuri-Bengal Cuisine..

Country Captain, as the name suggests is an Anglo-Indian chicken dish which originated in Calcutta and has stayed there. This is an easy to prepare dish which disappears even sooner. Serve it with plain rice, or rice khichdi, it tastes just excellent. I served this with the Khichuri ( Khichdi), a nourishing mixture of rice and moong dal. Both of these dishes are taken from the book, ‘Flavors of India’, by Madhur Jaffrey in her section of West Bengal cuisine. This post is my contribution to RCI-Bengal, hosted by Sandeepa of 'Bong Mom's Cookbook'.

For Country Captain


Chicken, skinned and cut into 2 inch pieces – 2 lbs
Onion, finely sliced – 1 medium (original recipe calls for red onions)
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Sugar – ¼ tsp
White vinegar – 1-2 tbsp (original recipe uses white wine vinegar)
Ripe tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces – 2 large
Hot green chillies, small slit at one end– 5-6
Green bell pepper, cored and seeded – 1, finely sliced.

For the paste:
Ginger, roughly chopped – 3 inch piece
Garlic cloves, peeled – 4
Red onion, roughly chopped – 1 small


- Put the ginger, garlic and onion for the paste into a blender and make a fine paste. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in a large, wide and preferably non-stick pan over high heat.
- When hot, add half of the sliced onions and fry till they become soft.
- Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 8-10 minutes until browned.
- Now, reduce the heat to medium and add the ground paste, chilli powder, salt, sugar and vinegar to taste. Stir and fry for another 15 mins until the chicken is tender and the raw smell from the paste goes away. The sauce should be thick enough that it coats the chicken pieces.
- Now, add the remaining onions, cut tomatoes and green pepper and green chillies.
- Stir and fry for 3-4 mins so that the flavors blend in but the peppers remain green and crisp.
- Ready to serve.

For the Khichuri

Moong dal – ½ cup plus 1 tbsp
Basmati rice – 2 cups
Preferably ghee – 3 tbsp. Can use vegetable oil also
Bay leaves – 3
Cloves – 4
Cardamom pods – 3
Cinnamon stick, 1 inch piece – 1
Red onions, finely sliced – 1 medium
Salt – approx 1tsp


- Wash the moong dal in several changes until water runs clear and keep soaked in water for 3-4 hrs. Drain.
- Wash the rice in several changes till water runs clear and soak in water for about 30 mins. Drain.
- Heat ghee in a heavy, medium sized pan and add bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. Stir for few seconds, then add the onions and fry till they get browned.
- Add the rice and moong dal and stir for a minute.
- Add 2 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Cover tightly, reduce heat to very low and allow to cook for 20-25 mins or until rice is done. Stir gently before serving.

Print this recipe


sowmya said...

khichuri looks delicious.. looks very similar to our vennpongal.we dont add the spices though...

Purnima said...

Maya, bhaari chanda dista chickena color..very inviting! The khichuri too looks great combo!!

Asha said...

Excellent combo for Bengal. I read that there is great influence British or Anglo Indian cuisine in Bengal since Calcutta was the capital for British.
Khichuri and country Captain look perfect, good job sweetie!:)
See you on Monday.

Happy cook said...

Love the country captain, it is like the dish from the Raj period

Shilpa said...

Country captain...thats an unusual name Maya. I will definitely try this, it looks great.

Sandeepa said...

Lovely entry...I had read the "Country Captain" recipe in a Bengali Mag but haven't tried it yet.
Both look superb. Thanks

nicisme said...

OMG, I love this kind of cuisine. I'm going to spend a happy few hours looking at your recipes and photos!

Cham said...

The country captain wonderful entry/recipe , looks delicious combo.

Maya said...

Sowmya, Yes, I think its similar to most khichdis that we make :)..

Purnima, Thanx..Vhayi, with khichdi was a great combo.

Asha, Thanx so much..Yes, I read too, and some of their ways of cooking and recipes just stayed back with us, isn't tht great ?? Hope you are enjoying planning the kids parties..

Happy Cook, do try it, ya, funny name hanh :)..

Shilpa, yes, do try it..Ya, its the name tht made me go backand read the recipe again, :)..

Sandeepa, glad you liked it and am happy I could participate in your event.

Nicisme, thanx for visiting my blog and hope to see you often :)..

Cham, thanx so much..

Divya Vikram said...

The chicken and rice combo looks good..Nice entry..

Dhivya said...

looks yummy and tempting