Chicken Dak Bungalow

Chicken Dak Bungalow 

Dak bungalow is the old wooden bungalows situated on the mesmerizing hill stations, where travellers used to take rest while on their long trips around the hills. The Dak Bungalows are specifically popular in Darjeeling, the most beautiful hill station of west Bengal.

 Image source: Google

Chicken dak bungalow is a very old and almost forgotten recipe of west Bengal which sadly survives only among the Anglo Indian and khansama communities. It is a one pot dish which is equally healthy and mouth watering and goes perfectly well for lunch or dinner. Again I made my own version of chicken dak bungalow to satisfy my appetite for this particular dish.
 With the mesmerising beautiful hills spread around, chirps of unknown birds and the most beautiful sunrises, dak bungalows seems to be a dream for me since childhood.

Image source: Google

Once in my childhood I read a horror story (sadly forgot the name) about dak bungalow where the traveller after a long journey on the hills, took shelter in a spooky dak bungalow. There was only one person except him, the care-taker. There the traveller was served with chicken dak bungalow along with ghee, egg boiled and hot steamed rice. I forgot the content of the story but till now I remember his dinner menu and since then it’s my dream to stay in a lonely dak bungalow in Darjeeling with my family and enjoy the scenic beauty of mother nature, roaming through the pine woods, picking up wild flowers, listening to roving birds' chirps and having an exotic traditional dinner with chicken dak bungalow along with hot steamed rice by the bon fire. But sadly this dream is still a dream for me. Hope it will be fulfilled someday!  
So when I grew up I tried this recipe, after rounds of trials and errors I think now I perfectly expertised in cooking Chicken Dak Bungalow.

Now let's start with the recipe.

Prep. Time: 5-6 hours.
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes


1. Chicken – 500 gm, cut in medium pieces
2. Onion – 2 medium sizes, made into paste, 1 medium- chopped finely.
3. Tomato- 1medium , chopped
4. Ginger- 1 ½ ” piece, made into fine paste
5. Garlic- 10 cloves, made into paste
6. Lemon juice or vinegar – 1 tbl spoon
7. Red chilli powder- 2 tsp
8. Green chilli- 5-6 made into fine paste
9. Coriander- 2 tsp, heated and made into fine powder
10. Cumin- 1 tsp, , heated and made into fine powder
11. Turmeric powder- 2 tsp
12. Cardamom pods- 2pc
13. Cinnamon- 1” pc
14. Bay leaves- 2
15. Mustard oil- 3-4  table spoon
16. Water 3/4 - 1 cup
17. Salt, sugar as per taste
18. Potato- 2, cut into four pieces
19. Egg- 4 hard boiled(optional)
20. Coriander leaves- 1 handful, chopped finely.


1. Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry.

2. Now mix the chicken with lemon juice.

3. Marinade with the pastes made of onion, ginger, garlic & chilli and mix well.

4. Now add all the powdered spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin and chilli powder and coat the chicken pieces well.

5. Now mix salt, sugar and 1/4 the mustard oil into the chicken and finally keep it over night into the refrigerator.

6. Next morning heat the oil a handi or big pot and fry potato pieces and keep aside.

In this recipe I skipped the eggs but you can use eggs at this step. Fry the eggs after frying potatoes.

7. Next pour remaining oil in the same pot.

add the whole spices one by one and let them sizzle until the fragrance is sensed. Now pour the onion and fry, after 2 minutes add the tomatoes.

8. 3 minutes later add all the marinated chicken pieces along with the marinating mixture.  Toss and turn 5 minutes over high flame.

9. Pour fried potatoes and egg (if you are using) and stir well.

10. As it is a one pot dish pour boiling water and cover with lid.

11. Lower the flame and let it cook for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile do not open the lid. Let it simmer.

12. After the prescribed time, open the lid, check whether the chicken pieces are cooked or not. If it is not cooked, then cover again.

13. If it is well cooked check seasoning and the consistency of the gravy. It should neither be too runny nor too dried up. Finally sprinkle the coriander leaves mix well and cover with lid again. Switch off the flame.

14. After 5 minutes serve chicken dak bungalow with hot steamed rice or paratha and onion salad.

Chicken Dak Bungalow with rice

1. Do not pour excessive water as it will spoil the entire dish.
2. Cooking chicken dak bungalow over wood-fire makes it more delicious and distinct in flavour.

Chicken Dak Bungalow 

So try this lip smacking chicken dak bungalow dish and let me know how it tastes!

Thank you for stopping by.