Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bogra Rizala - Madhur Jaffrey

The name of this dish doesnt give anything away really... it doesnt sound like the name of any curry Ive ever had, and doesnt sound particularly Indian. Well its not "Indian", it is more specifically north Bengali, and its not reeeeally a curry. Its the Bengali version of sweet and sour chicken, and it doesnt actually contain any spices at all. I was tempted to add some while cooking, but I followed my rule of not changing a recipe the first time making it, and Im glad I did :) Heres the recipe, you really should have a go at this dish! MJ describes it as "gently sweet and sour (combining sugar and aromatic lime juice), it has a scrumptious dark sauce made entirely without spices that is rich with browned onions and cooked down yoghurt.". It really is delicious, rich, creamy and so tasty!

Sweet and sour chicken "rizala" (Bogra Rizala)


2 small onions, chopped
5cm/2inch piece fresh ginger (I left the skin on)
4 cloves garlic
1 chicken, skin off, cut into serving pieces (about 1.75kg) (I used a 4 boned thighs)
6 tbsp natural yoghurt
1.5 tsp salt
6-10 whole birdseye chillies, with small slits made in them (I used 2 lge green chillies)
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
crispy fried onion slices, crumbled (see recipe below - uses about 3 small onions)
4tbsp oil reserved from cooking the onions
1tbso ghee or extra oil


1) Put the fresh chopped onions, ginger, garlic and 3-4 tbsp water into a blender and mix until you have a smooth paste.

2) Put the oil and/or ghee in a pan on a med/high heat - when hot pour in the contents of the blender, stir fry for about 5mins or until the paste is lightly browned.

3) Add the chicken pieces and continue to stir for a minute, and over the next 5mins, add 1 tbsp of yoghurt at at time and keep browning the chicken. Add 175ml water, the crumbled onions and salt, stir to mix and bring to a simmer.

4) Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 20mins, turning the chicken every now and again. Add the chillies, sugar and lemon/lime juice - stir to mix and continue to cook for another 10mins.

I served this with white rice and S had mountains of coriander on his! I really enjoyed this dish, it was rich, creamy and way tastier than I expected! I think I needed to cook this down a bit more as I think the sauce is meant to be darker.. I loved it, it was very moreish, I think this is exactly what you want to sit down to after a long day of working hard! This isnt something youll eat often, it is quite fatty... I spooned a decent amount of fat out of the dish before I served it, so for the more health concious, add less oil, and use low fat greek yoghurt. This isnt very curry-ish, but dont let that stop you. Its delicious!

Crispy Fried Onion Slices

3 med onions 425g or equal amount of shallots
corn/peanut oil for shallow frying (I used rice bran oil)

1) Cut each onion in half lengthways and then slice it evenly across into thin slices. Line 2 plates with a double layer of paper towel and leave aside.

2) Pour enough oil into a large pan about 3mm deep and set over a medium heat - once hot, add the onions and stir fry for about 8mins till they begin to brown. 

3) Reduce the heat to med/low, and stir fry for another 2mins or so, then turn the heat down to low and continue to cook until theyre reddish brown, which should take about 15 mins.

4) Remove from the pan onto the paper towel, spreading them out and leave them for 5mins, then move them onto the 2nd plate of paper towel, and allow them to cool completely.

These onions can be kept in a lidded jar or a ziplock bag in the fridge for weeks. When I made these onions, I wasnt as strict on times etc as this recipe, and I didnt put them on the 2 plates, I just used one. Youre basically making crispy (not burnt), thinly sliced onions... So use your experience to decide how well you follow the recipe!


  1. This looks like something my family would love! But, I too, would be so tempted to add spices....

  2. It would be really nice with spices added, even just garam masala - but do try it once first by the recipe, its really tasty!