For those who do not know what a ‘Dak Bungalow’ is, it was simply a ‘Traveller’s Rest House in the Indian subcontinent, during the days of the British Raj, originally on a Dak Route.Dak was a system of mail delivery or passenger movement, transported by relays of bearers or horses stationed at intervals along a particular route and these Rest Houses were established or built at various places along the route. These Traveller’s Bungalows or Dak Bungalows later became the Inspection Bungalows for British Officers. The Dak Bungalow Menu in the early days usually consisted of meat or chicken (country fowls), either roasted or grilled or made into a curry, invariably served with baked potatoes, grilled tomatoes, rice kedgeree, or boiled eggs or omlettes and steamed vegetables. Since these Bungalows were situated on the main Trunk Roads with no markets or grocery shops in the vicinity, the cooks stationed at these Bungalows had to be innovative and use whatever ingredients were locally available.
Serves 6 Preparation Time 45 minutes
1 Kg chicken cut into medium size pieces
1 teaspoon all spice powder or garam masala powder
3 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons chillie powder
3 onions sliced
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ cup curds / yogurt (optional)
3 or 4 red chillies broken into bits
8 to 10 curry leaves
½ teaspoon whole pepper corns
To Prepare the Dak Bungalow Chicken
Wash the chicken and marinate it for about 1 hour with the Chillie Powder, Garam Masala Powder / all spice powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, lime juice and curds / yogurt.
Heat oil in a pan and add the onions, pepper corns, curry leaves and broken red chillies and fry till the onions are golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
In the same pan, add the marinated chicken and cook closed for about 5 to 6 minutes on high heat. Lower the heat, add enough water and then simmer on low heat till the chicken is cooked and the gravy thickens and almost dries up. Now add the fried onions, pepper corns, red chilies and curry leaves and mix lightly. Remove from heat and serve with rice or bread.
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