Farm to Table has been in vogue for quite some time, and now I bring for you - Garden to Table. Or should I specify, Patio Garden to Table. No, I am not rearing livestock in my patio, I have a humble patio garden, with some herbs and spices. Its no secret that I love spicy food. And I am very particular about what spices add to it, or how the heat level shapes up. For instance when I am making an Asian meal, the only chili which works for me, are the Thai Chilies. I have cooked with Jalapenos, and Cerranos,and Poblanos, but they don't have that floral note which is quintessential in Asian cooking. By Asian, by refer to the entire gamut stretching from Thai, to Bengali food.

When I was planning updates to my patio garden, a chili plant was on my mind. I went for a hunt looking for Thai Chili seeds, and finally found it at the garden center of the local Lowes. I had scorged quite a few nurseries and garden centers of Home Depot , Walmart, and Ikea by then. From humble seedlings, I have a full harvest. Needless to say, I am proud and happy.

Chilies are a important part of what I cook. My Machher Jhol(Fish Curry) is always flavored with the freshest of chilies. That aroma of chilies in mustard oil , is unmistakble. I wanted to cook something where my harvest of Thai Chilies would hold center stage. The choice was Indo Chinese style of Chili Chicken or Kancha Lonka Murgi (Green Chili Chicken Curry) . Both are very appealing to the Bengali foodie in me. But where cooking styles are concerned, Indo Cjinese is more my Husband's style and I thrive more when re-creating Bengali dishes. So Kancha Lonka Murgi it was. What recipe do I follow? I have seen it being created by many famous food Blogger Friends, from PreeOccupied  to Bong Mom's Cookbook  . Thank you ladies . Both of you have inspired me.

I knew I wanted the Chilies to shine through. And I wanted a pale looking curry, which packed a mighty punch. I was visually inspired by the Green Chili Chicken of New Mexico, which I had just loved and loved. By pale looking, I mean, not an curry with reddish tones, but not as white looking as a Rezala. Being a TV journalists, I still think in terms of visuals. So I thought of using Yogurt, instead of the sual Tomato, in a chicken curry, or add a dash of fennel powder, to complement the Chilies. These were my ideas, with which I started off, and the rest as they say, is culinary history. I haven't added any turmeric to this curry, and the yellowish curry that I resulted with, has been by stewing the fresh chilies.

It was a super cold Fall night in Kansas City, and my Kancha Lonka Murgi was just the perfect dinner choice. I served it with some store bought flaky Parathas, as break making is not my kitchen forte. We sopped it all up, in no time. The aroma of the chilies shone through, without it being overtly hot. My Mom had always warned me of spicing things to such an extent where you lose all taste. I am glad I didn't make that mistake,while building this recipe. If you want to give it a try, then I have a Step By Step Recipe lined up for you, below . Hope you like, and if you do, please do share it.

Ingredients : 
Whole Chicken : 1 : Skinned and cut in pieces. Please use skinless chicken . If you dont want to use a whole chicken, then make sure you sue, skinless chicken Thighs , as they have more flavor than Chicken Breasts
Potatoes : Optional : 2 to 3. Peeled and cut in halves.
Red Onion : 1 large : Finely chopped
Ginger : 1 inch : grated or ground
Garlic : 1/2 large Garlic : grated or ground
Mustard Oil/Canola Oil
Coriander powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Fennel Powder : 1 tsp
Plain Yogurt : 1/2 cup
Salt : to taste
Green Cardamom : 4 to 5
Bay Leaves : 2 to 3
Green Thai Chilies : 4 to 5 at least .

Finely chop the onions. While cooking Indian food, Red Onion makes a lot of difference in the overall taste profile. Slice the green chilies length wise.

In a heavy bottom pan, add your choice of either Canola or Mustard Oil. Add in green cardamom and bay leaves, and let them crackle. Add in your chopped onions and sautte them. When they start to caramelize around teh edges, add in your green chili.

Next comes in your grated ginger and garlic, or ginger -garlic paste, coriander powder, salt . Mix well and cook it for 5 to 7 minutes.

Add in your chicken pieces and your yogurt. Mix well. Season . Cover and cook.

Add in a teaspoon of fennel powder. I didnt have any ready made poWder , so I ground some fennel seeds.

No Bengali Chicken Curry is complete with its share of potatoes, and I had added mine, when I had added my chicken. Make sure you keep stirring your curry so that it doesn't get burnt. the yogurt and the chicken both release a lot of water, and you might want to cook it down.

Check for seasonings and serve hot with either steamed rice or any bread of your choice.

Bon Appetit !