Chicken rezala is a special beloved dish that hails from the classic city of Kolkata. This delicious chicken dish came to the city by the bawarchies of the Nawab of Lucknow. It is a royal dish that speaks about the Nawabi cuisines of Mughal Era.
The highly rich dish is simply magical with its delicious aroma, texture and it is extremely beautiful to look at. The classic dish has a exceptional flavor which is so distinctive from other Mughlai dishes that makes it special and very enticing to the taste buds. The juicy, tender chicken pieces floating in royal white gravy ,looks very elegant and rich. The white gravy is made with curd, cashew nut and poppy seeds paste, flavored with subtle spices which are not commonly used in normal dishes.
Succulent pieces of chicken simmered with just right combination of spices and ingredients , gives it a unique mild and delicious flavor. To keep the original flavor I recommend to use only clarified butter. But here I use a combination of ghee and vegetable oil.
There is a delicate sweetness in this magical dish due to the use of a little sugar. It also has a faint tanginess of yoghurt which makes the dish even more delightful. It has a perfect blend of sweetness and sourness in a mildly spiced gravy that makes it just delectable with roomali roti , pulao or biriyani.
This vibrant, truly unique dish is prepared in a creamy white gravy, which will enchant your palate and make you fall in love with Indian specialties. Make it today and treat yourself with a big portion of spicy, flavorful and energetic Bengali culture !
- Chicken – 500 gram
- Curd – 200 gram
- Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
- Onion (medium) – 2 no
- Poppy seed – 1 tsp
- Cashew nut (whole ) – 6 no
- White pepper – 10-12 no
- Kashmiri chili powder – 2 tsp
- Kewra water – few drops
- Meetha ittar – 1 drop (optional)
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
For tempering ::
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Ghee – 2 tbsp
- Dry red chilies – 4 no
- Cardamom – 3 no
- Cloves – 3 no
- Black cardamom – 1 no
- Black peppercorn – 5 no
- Grated nutmeg – 2 pinches
METHOD OF PREPARATION::
- In a blender combine onion , ginger, garlic and make a smooth paste.
- Soak the poppy seed and cashew in 1/4th cup water for 15 minutes and make a smooth paste.
- Combine onion ginger garlic paste , curd, salt, kashmiri chili powder, white pepper powder in a mixing bowl and whip to mix well .
- Add the chicken pieces and marinate well.
- Refregerate it for 4 hours.
- In a wok, heat oil and ghee.
- Add whole dry chilies, sauté a little, remove and keep aside.
- In the same oil add all other whole spices mentioned above.
- Sizzle until aroma comes.
- Add the chicken pieces, removing the masala as much as possible.
- Sauté the chicken pieces in oil for 2-3 minutes, then add the marinade.
- Fry occasionally and Cook till the oil separates.
- Add cashew poppy seed paste and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add 1 & ½ cup of warm water , cover the pan.
- Cook till the chicken turns soft and ghee floats on top.
- Usually rezala have thin gravy but you can reduce it and make the gravy thick.
- Check the seasoning and add sugar & fried red chillies.cook for few seconds more.
- Add kewra water , meetha ittar , cover for a minute then remove from fire .
- Enjoy the nawabi treat with roomali rooti.