Sunga Chicken – Chicken cooked in bamboo tube

Mainly because of its availability , bamboo has been an integral part of the Assamese culture for quite a long time . Used not only as a building material , but also as food and in this case , as a utensil to cook chicken , it has a variety of uses . Sunga in Assamese means a hollow cylinder , and in this case the hollow cavity of the bamboo stem . This article is about how we can cook delicious chicken in the cavity of bamboo – sunga chicken !!

sunga chicken - chicken cooked in bamboo cavityPicture courtesy : Buddha Saikia

I love chicken . I would eat chicken fingers on Thanksgiving if it was socially acceptable . ~ Todd Barry

Ingredients :
  1. One kg Chicken ( cut into small pieces ) .
  2. About 50 grams each of fresh ginger and garlic .
  3. Two – three large onions .
  4. One large tomato .
  5. Green chilies according to taste .
  6.  Salt and black pepper .
  7. Fresh coriander leaves for garnish .
  8. Little mustard oil .
  9. One lemon .
  10. Three stems of edible type bamboo ( about 1.5 to 2 feet length , with a node intact at one end) .
 Procedure :

Make a paste of the coriander leaves , ginger , garlic , tomato , onions and chillies in a grinder . Marinate the chicken in this paste along with grated or pickled bamboo shoot ( if you like ) . Then add the salt and black pepper according to your taste  . Also add about two teaspoons of mustard oil and few drops of lemon juice to the chicken . And then mix everything properly so that the meat is evenly coated with the paste . Let this marinated chicken stand for about two hours .

Then put the chicken in the bamboo , filling it to about 2/3 rd of the capacity . Then add about half a cup of water to it . Cover it with a tender banana leaf tied with a sting or straw to seal the contents inside .

Meanwhile start charcoal / coal / wood fire ( make sure that there aren’t  much flames or else the bamboo might catch fire ) . Do not keep the sungas directly on the burning coals , rather use a grill or wood to make a raised platform which does not catch fire . And make sure that they do not fall over and spill the chicken .

Keep them in that place for about an hour , occasionally rotating them  to heat them from all sides . Then let it cool for about fifteen minutes in the sunga before serving . Garnish the sunga chicken with fresh herbs and serve while it is still warm  .

Click here for more information and recipes on Sungat bonua – cooking in bamboo tubes .


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