According to history when the Nawabs moved from Dhaka to Bengal, they introduced Awadhi Cuisine to Bengalis. Chicken Chaap was one of those Mughlai delicacies which got popularized with time. The city restaurants played an important role, in where the masses got to taste Mughlai cuisine. And later the same dishes because people liked the taste so much started taking distinct place on Wedding and Party menus.
I was 4 when my first encounter with Chicken Chaap happened. I was attending a wedding party with parents, nevertheless to say it was a big fat Bengali Wedding. I can still memorize that I’ve heard the word Biryani Biryani several times while waiting for the food to be served on our banana leaf platters, buffet system wasn’t introduced back then to most of the Bengali weddings, and we had the privilege to have sit down meal experiences. At that tender age, I didn’t know what Biryani was, but I liked the fragrant soft ghee laden rice grains with bits and pieces of mutton, along with that Ma fed me some portion of a large chicken piece which was served just after Biryani on my plate. The person who was hurriedly serving Chicken Chaap didn’t listen to Ma’s concern, “Oke deben na bacha oto boro piece khete parbena” (Don’t give her, it’s a large piece for a child) and in front of my astonished eyes, a full leg piece dropped on my plate. However, I cherished Chaap, the first taste? Of course, I can’t recall, but I can definitely remember that I loved Chicken Chaap more than Mutton Biryani on that night. Don’t laugh it’s a truth. 😀
After that, I’ve had Chicken Chaap several times. In fact, Chicken Chaap and Mutton Biryani were a part of my Wedding Reception’s menu. Whenever I cooked Chicken Chaap at home, I’ve followed the recipe from Bela De’s book. I’ve modified the proportion of the ingredients mentioned there according to my cooking preference though. I’ve not used Raw papaya paste and papaya seeds paste as mentioned in the original recipe. Instead of using Raw papaya seeds paste I’ve noticed Char Magaz or Poppy seeds paste works great in this recipe. Raw papaya paste especially not needed when we cook Chicken, works as a meat tenderizer it’s ideal to use when we cook Mutton. A well cooked Chicken Chaap will show you ghee laced borders with a pale golden-reddish hued curry. The succulent chicken pieces infused with the complex aroma of spices will tantalize your taste buds in every bite. Dunk a piece of parota or rumali roti in that gravy & eat, close your eyes, and now you know why you love Chicken Chaap so much. 🙂
Find below how to cook Kolkata style Chicken Chaap in the easiest way.
And now the news part, I’m moving from Delhi, and we’re shifting to Mumbai early next month (December). When you’re reading this I may be packing something, and the rooms where I live right now looks like all messed up. I’m going to be very busy for the next one month may be, so, until I post a new recipe from Mumbai keep browsing all the other recipes from the blog. Happy Cooking and Baking folks! ❤️
Chicken Chaap- Kolkata style
Kolkata style Chicken Chaap is a Mughlai classic where the Chicken full leg pieces marinated first with aromatic spices and spice paste then it cooked further. The end result is a rich, flavourful, complex curry with tender chicken which tastes great with parota, roti, biryani or pulao.
- 1 kg- 6 Chicken full leg pieces
- 1 tsp- Kashmiri mirch powder
- Salt to taste
- 150 g- Yogurt (whisked)
- ½ cup- Ghee/Clarified butter
For the Spice Powder
- 20 g- Cashew nuts
- 2 tbsp- Dried edible rose petals
- 3 tbsp- Char magaz
- 5- Green cardamom (use the seeds only, discard the pods)
- ½ of 1 flower- Mace/Javitri
- Nutmeg/Jaiphal Break the whole nutmeg and use a small part of it for the spice powder
- 10- Whole black peppercorn
- One 2” stick- Cinnamon
- 5- Cloves
- 1 tsp- Cumin seeds
For the Spice Paste
- 4 large sized- Onion
- 10-12- Garlic cloves
- 4-5 Green chillies
- One 1½” piece- Ginger
- ¼ cup- Fresh grated coconut
Add everything mentioned For the Spice Powder in a food processor and make a coarse powder, keep aside.
Add everything mentioned For the Spice Paste in a food processor and blitz until smooth paste forms, keep aside.
Now in a large bowl add the chicken pieces, kashmiri mirch powder, yogurt, ½ tsp salt, spice powder, and spice paste. Mix well & marinate for 3-4 hours or you can marinate the chicken overnight and cook the next day.
Heat ghee in a kadai/deep frying pan (nonstick preferably), add the marinated chicken along with the marination, mix well, cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Adjust salt, keep stirring in between. I cooked the Chaap without water but if you feel that the gravy is drying up too much you can add some hot water in between the cooking.
Serve hot with Parota, Rumali Roti, Biryani or Pulao.