Lebu Lonka Chicken – Lime and Chilly Chicken curry

Lebu Lonka chicken (Chicken curry with Lime and Chilly) is a simple Bengali dish. It’s super easy and perfect for warm days.

Ideally, it should be made with King Lime (Gondhoraj lebu), however, you can use key lime or kaffir lime for it as well as it’s difficult to find Gondhoraj lebu outside Bengal. It also doesn’t include a lot of spices which helps lime and chilly flavor to dominate the curry.

Here’s the recipe for the chicken curry.

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken, 300 grams
  • 3 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup yogurt or curd
  • 1 onion, pureed
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp green chilly paste, adjust as per your preference
  • 1 tsp fresh ground peppercorn, 8-10 whole peppercorn
  • Coriander leaves
  • Oil, 1 1/2 tbsp
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Hot water, 1 cup
  • Salt as per taste

METHOD

  1. Wash and cut chicken first. I have used boneless chicken for this dish, however, feel free to use leg pieces or curry cut chicken.
  2. In a clean bowl, add 2 tbsp of yogurt/curd, onion paste, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, lemon zest, ground peppercorn, green chilly paste and salt. Mix them well and add the chicken to it. Put it in the fridge and let it marinate for an hour. Do not skip the lemon zest. It adds amazing depth of flavor to the dish.
  3. Once the chicken has been marinated for an hour, take it out of the fridge.
  4. Heat oil in a wok or a pan. Add bay leaves and whole peppercorn. Once the peppercorn sizzles, add the chicken pieces to the wok. let it cook on low for 5 minutes.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, add in the rest of the yogurt to the marinade mixture and ensure there’s no lump. Add the yogurt and marinade mixture to the pan and give it a stir. Put a lid on and let it cook in the mixture.
  6. Once the marinade mixture has reduced a bit, add in the warm water. Add the water only if you need gravy.
  7. Cook it until the chicken is cooked and tender. Add in the coriander leaves. Check for salt.
  8. Serve it with steamed rice.

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