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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Goalondo steamer Curry

IMG_9364-EditI see a lot of stories online around the origin of this famous Bangladeshi dish. I do not know which is the real story but I heard the same first hand version from both my mother and father who lived in Bangladesh.

Apparently a common route to come to India (Kolkata) from Bangladesh  at that time was to take a train from Goalondo. To reach Goalondo most folks relied on steamers and other modes of river travel. This chicken curry used to be made by the boatmen on these river routes. Since obviously there are limited resources on a boat/streamer this chicken curry is made with fresh basic un-ground spices. If you make it, you will see the amazing difference that comes with just the fact that the spices are used whole.


  • 1 medium sized whole chicken cut on bones
  • 4 big onions coarsely chopped
  • 6-7 fat cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
  • 1” ginger coarsely chopped
  • 2 – 3 dry red chilies coarsely pound
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 5 – 6 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar (Optional)
  • Salt to taste


Mix the chicken with all above ingredients and keep it for an hour.

Transfer it into a heavy bottom pan and sauté over medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes. Cook it covered till the chicken is tender. The moisture of all the ingredients will be sufficient for cooking, so you really don’t have to add any.

Serve with fresh hot rice.

A similar recipe you might like is Dakbungalow Chicken


Anonymous said...

My goodness, what a coincidence Somtapa di!Since a long time, I have been thinking of requesting you these two recipes (Goalondo Steamer curry and Chittagong chicken), you know so much of bangadeshi cuisine thus I was sure if anyone can do justice to these two dishes and give the proper recipes, it would be you. And even today, I opened your page thinking of asking for those two and vow, here is one already!!Thanku so much, I have been wanting to try this out for years now!!And Sompatadi, please post Chittagong Chicken also please whenever u can!U r the BEST.

Somtapa Brahmachari said...

Thanks Baisakhi. Ami dekhchi Chittagong chicken ta kobe banana jai. Tarpor post korbo.

Deb Bhattacharjee said...

This story brought in so much memories of our travel by steamer from Dhaka Sadarghat to Elasin ( near Tangail). This curry was the staple of the boatmen on those steamers as well as to the passenger who could have this if they wanted to order. On the night of 14th August 1947 I was with my father traveling to Tangail from Dhaka on a steamer and all passengers were treated with this type of chicken curry and rice on the occasion of independence celebration. It was delicious but it was a bit hot for me because I was very young. Thanks for posting this recipe.

Somtapa Brahmachari said...

@Deb Bhattacharjee,
Thanks a lot for sharing your memories with me and my fellow readers. Its an honor for me to have you as one of my readers.

Smita said...

Hi Somtapa! I have recently come across your site and absolutely love it. Many of the dishes you present I have heard of but never had or had and they are delicious but do not know how to prepare them. Your blog is a god-send.
I do have great confusion though, about ingredients, specially onions (even ginger and garlic). The onions in India are quite small. An Indian medium onion maybe 1/3 the size of what maybe a medium onion here in USA. Also I find that the onions in India are drier and so more pungent.
In the recipe above when you say four big onions how much onion is that by weight or volume (after coarsely chopping)? And what kind of onion should I use?
And what weight of chicken should I start with?
This is a special recipe and I want to get it right.

In general a little more detail about some ingredients which can create confusion would really be nice. On some occasions I see you have written in great detail and sometimes I wonder if you have given general guidelines (on measures, weights, ingredients etc) on your website somewhere but I haven't found it yet.

I hope you don't mind my asking you, taking your time, for some extra help. This maybe obvious to someone more experienced, I know!

Thank you for taking the time to prepare and post recipes for all these beloved dishes.

Somtapa Brahmachari said...

Thanks for the feedback. One medium sized chicken is like one kilogram chicken without feather and skin. Four big onions referred here are Indian standard onions. Hope it clears your confusion.