One-Pot Wonders

Wednesday Bengali Chicken Curry (Instant Pot)

October 21, 2018
0 Ratings
Photo by Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

A Sunday chicken curry or Robibarer Moorgi on the Bengali table is a serious affair. The term Sunday, implying slow, relaxed and leisurely. A ritual in some households that began with actually selecting the live chicken to be cooked. We are talking about onions cooked slowly and caramelized, with a gradual addition of spices. The spices cooked until aromatic and then the chicken is well browned in this spice blend. Finally they come together and everthing is simmered to slow perfection with potatoes. The potatoes, in this style of chicken curry are extremely essential since they absorb loads of flavor. They result in a very flavorful curry that is enjoyed with steamed white rice.
I often get cravings of this dish on a Wednesday, the proverbial hump day. It is for these cravings, this dish is born. It also has an instant pot version. Even simpler – as the instant pot traps in a lot of flavor allowing me to short cut the browning of the chicken. Hence this is my Wednesday Bengali Chicken Curry. For a stove top version and more story lore, you can visit my original post.

Note: If you do not want to mess with whole spices, add 1 tablespoon of garam masala, 2 teaspoons each of the cumin and coriander powder. —Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon teaspoon red cayenne powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons canolla or grapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tomatoes, diced (or 1/2 cup canned)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 green Serrano chilies, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Place the chicken in a non-reactive mixing bowl and sprinkle with the cayenne, turmeric and salt and set aside. Turn the instant pot onto saute mode and add in the oil and add the onions and saute well for about 5 minutes. Do this stirring frequently allowing the onion to soften and then turn gently golden.
  2. Add in the ginger and the garlic and continue stirring for another minute or so and add in the chicken.
  3. Add in the bay leaves, cinnamon and start stirring and browning the chicken for another 3 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and the dried red chili in a spice grinder and grind until smooth.
  5. Add to the chicken and mix well. Add in the tomatoes and the sugar and 1/2 cup water with the potatoes and chopped green chilies if using.
  6. Cover and set on 4 minutes of pressure and release the steam after 10 minutes. Add in the green peas and mix well. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve with rice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Michelle Cleeves
    Michelle Cleeves

2 Reviews

Michelle C. November 8, 2018
The text of the recipe mentions potatoes, and there are clearly potatoes featured in the picture, but they are not listed in the ingredient list. How much potato does this recipe call for, and what type of potato is best?
AntoniaJames October 30, 2019
I was wondering the same thing - as well as how much cinnamon. I checked the original recipe online. It calls for 1 cinnamon stick (I would have guessed that) and 4-6 baby potatoes, peeled.

I'd be concerned that the potatoes would turn to mush. I might use slightly larger potatoes, unpeeled; or perhaps not add with chicken. Since I don't usually peel potatoes anyway, I'd cut the unpeeled potatoes into small pieces and cook them in the sauce on saute mode at the end (jumpstarting them in the microwave while the chicken is cooking in the pot). ;o)