Kancha Lanka Murgi/ Green Chili Chicken/ Murgh Hari Mirch Recipe with Step by Step Pictures

We Indians are known the world over for the diverse spice profile and the variety in our cooking. Talking about Bengalis, specifically Bangals, (a name given to people from eastern part of undivided Bengal, now Bangladesh) are known for their love of spice. Though being a hardcore Bangal staying in central Calcutta, our family had a very subtle way of cooking. Yes, we indulged in hot, spicy food once in a while, especially while diving into a bowl of Kosha Mangsho on Sunday noon, but that too had its limit of hotness.

But in the years of growing up, I got accustomed to the tantalizing taste and fragrance of green chilies, they kind of enliven my soul…and no, I am not exaggerating. Now chilies are an important part of whatever I cook. Today’s dish, Green Chili Chicken or as we like to call it, Kancha Lanka Murgi is a Bengali style chicken recipe where as you can already guess by know, the green chilies shine through. The recipe includes just basic ingredients that are present in our kitchen. I was introduced to this dish by Sharmistha Guha Roychowdhury, a fellow blogger and a person very close to my heart, way back when I was in college. Staying away from home, during those years as a paying guest, cooking became my escape; the place where I could get rid of my boredom and make things better. The mixing of colors and flavors soothes me and I derive immense pleasure out of it.
Before you start reading further, note that today’s dish is uncompromisingly hot. Obviously you can change the quotient of hotness as per your taste, but the specialty of this dish lies in its sizzling, mouth numbing heat.
Green Chili paste (I used around 30 green chilies, you can use as per your personal spice quotient)
Sliced onion
Finely chopped garlic
Grated ginger
Potatoes, cut in halves (How can a Bengali meat dish be complete without its fair share of potatoes)
Salt as per taste
Sugar as per taste
Mustard Oil

The original recipe didn’t include onions and used garlic and ginger paste. I prefer adding medium sliced onions and chopped garlic and grated ginger instead. I love the texture these three give the dish. And also red onions enhance the overall taste profile.


Clean the chicken pieces. I have used chicken leg pieces mainly and would recommend you to use thigh and leg pieces as they remain soft and tender after cooking. However if you can manage time for marinating, then you can go with breast pieces as well.
I skipped marinating, but if you want to, you can marinate the chicken pieces in lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a spoon of green chili paste.
Add oil to the kadai. I chose mustard oil, simply because I believe no other oil on earth can come close to mustard oil in enhancing the taste and aroma of a Bengali recipe. However, that’s my personal thing and you can obviously go for sunflower oil, soya bean oil, rice bran oil or canola oil as per your choice.
Add half of the chopped garlic to the oil once it becomes hot. Now, I prefer adding half of the chopped garlic at first, even before onions, sauté a little till they start changing color and add the rest of the garlic after stirring in the meat. I don’t know why I do that. But it is my psychological block that refrain me from adding the garlic all together.

Once the garlic turns golden, dunk in the sliced onions and sauté till they become golden brown. Mine today were in the verge of turning into crispy fried Onion Barista. And no, it was not accidental. I deliberately fried them a little more than usual so that the onions hold textures and don’t melt away while cooking.

Next add the grated ginger and the rest of the garlic and the chicken pieces. Cook on high flame for about 3-4 minutes to seal in the juices.

Now add salt, sugar. Sauté till oil separates.

Add green chili paste and the fried potatoes, stir a little and add warm water. The quantity of water depends on how much gravy you are thinking of ending up with.

Cover and cook on medium heat.

Once the gravy thickens, check the seasoning and serve with piping hot rice. 

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