This traditional Khulna recipe, originating from the Satkhira district, is known for its fiery flavor, coming from a unique wild pepper known as chui. While traditionally made with red meat, variations with chicken and prawns are also popular in Khulna. Here’s a simple recipe for making this spicy, aromatic dish.
- 1 kg of your choice of protein (traditionally beef or goat meat)
- 250 grams chui jhal (wild pepper), soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 tbsp chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- Vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
Start by soaking the chui jhal in water for about 30 minutes.
- Browning the Meat:
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add your choice of meat (beef or goat) and brown on all sides.
- Sautéing the Aromatics:
Add the onions, ginger, and garlic to the pot and sauté until they are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Adding Spices:
Incorporate the turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and garam masala. Let them cook for about 1 minute to allow the flavors to meld.
- Cooking with Chui Jhal:
Next, add the soaked chui jhal along with its soaking water to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 1-2 hours, or until the meat is tender and cooked through.
- Final Seasoning:
Season the dish with salt to taste before serving.
Serve the Chui Jhal hot, preferably with rice. While roti or chapatis are not traditional pairings, they can also be used if desired.
- Be cautious with the spiciness level, and adjust the amount of chili and chui jhal according to your preference.
- Chicken and prawns can also be used instead of red meat, based on preference.