“Chirai” aren’t the part of poultry birds like chicken, goose or duck but could be kept in the category of wild birds those are obtained by hunting and hence they are also known as Game Birds. Usually in India, the poultry or game bird preparations are made after fabricating the bird in Indian style which is removing the upper skin and then cooking it up in the gravy, but in Mithilanchal people prefer enjoying the meat with its skin only as it makes the meat to retain its own juice. Now here is the similarity in the fabrication style of bird with English dressing (Continental Preparation), as they also coincide on the same notion. In English dressing, poultry or birds are roasted for a short time on a high flame in order to burn their extra feathers, procedure is known as “SINGING” and the same method is followed in Mithila too. Here I’ve mentioned the preparation style of Chirai and the same could be followed up with other game birds too.
Squail: 01 nos
Ginger : 30gms
Red chilly Pd: 10gms
Coriander Pd: 30gms
Cumin pd: 30gms
Mustard oil: 60ml
Whole hot spices: large & small cardamom, cinnamon, clove, bay leaves.
Heeng ( optional) : 4-5 gms
Chopped coriander leaves : for garnish
- Wash and clean the bird and singe it over high heat.
- Make a paste of 100 gms of onion with ginger / garlic and slice rest of the onion.
- Cut the bird into Indian curry cut and marinate with salt, turmeric and little of mustard oil.
- Heat oil in a thick bottom pan and add the tempering of whole hot spices, when start crackling add onion slice. Sauté and sweat with a pinch of salt. Add ginger/garlic & onion paste .
- Fry till light brown in colour.
- Add powdered masalas and cook for 8-10 minutes, till the raw flavour goes off. Add marinated meat and fry it along with the masala mixture. Add water just sufficient to cover up the meat.
- Let it simmer for 10 minutes till the flesh is tender. Top it with a spoon of Ghee and serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
- After singing cut the bird into little large pieces. Marinate it with salt, pepper, ginger paste , roasted gram flour, hung curd, heeng and turmeric. Roast it in Chulha (earthen oven) or sigri till the marinade is cooked well. Make a good quality brown gravy with rest of the ingredients, rest the roasted pieces in the gravy now.
- The dish will have a very smoky taste.
One can try out the same procedure with other game birds too like Titar, Bater, Ban Murgi etc.