Chicken rezala. A mughlai dish which is very famous in Bengal. Chicken rezala is a yogurt based fragrant rich creamy curry. Yogurt, whole spices and Kewra water made the dish aromatic and delicious.
First time I tasted famous rezala of Sabir in Kolkata with my elder sister Chhobidi and brother in law long years ago. But still remember the taste. Chhobidi and brother in-law were left for heavenly abode. But I am dedicating this post to their younger daughter and my lovely niece Ellora Roy.
I have shared some more chicken recipes on this blog. Click on the name below for recipe.
Monday again and this week its time for dahi/curd or yogurt. 294 #Foodiemonday bloghop theme is Dahi Dhamal suggested by Priya Vijaykrishnan who blog at Sweet Spicy Tasty. Priya has amazing collection of authentic South Indian recipes with different types of continental recipes. I have to try her Bean corn Quesadilla and Keerai sambhar soon.
To make this chicken rezala you have to marinate the chicken pieces in yogurt or curd/dahi and some spices for atleast an hour. You can marinate the chicken for overnight in refrigerator. Make a smooth paste of poppy seeds and cashew nuts. For easy grinding soak poppy seeds and cashew nuts in hot water. Or you can dry grind the poppy seeds first. I always store some dry ground poppy seeds. Just add little water with dry ground poppy seeds and grind for a few seconds. You will get perfectly ground smooth paste for your curry. For better result cook chicken rezala with ghee or clarified butter. But if you don’t want to use ghee use any vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon ghee. I have used 1 tablespoon Mustard oil in marination and refined white oil with ghee for cooking. You can also marinate with the chicken with ghee or any white oil.
Chicken – 500 gram
Curd/dahi oryogurt – 1/2 cup
Ginger garlic paste – 1&1/2 tablespoon
Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil – 4 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon
Ghee – 1 tablespoon
Onion – 2 large
Green chilli – 5 – 6 or to taste
Cashew nuts – 12
Poppy seeds – 2 tablespoon
Bay leaf – 2
Dry red chilli – 5
Black cardamom – 1
Green cardamom – 4
Cinnamon – 1&1/2 inch piece
Cloves – 4
Saffron – a pinch
Milk – 1/4 cup
Water – 1&1/2 cup
Kewra water – 2- 3 drops
1. Clean and wash the chicken well. Drain the water completely. Marinate with curd, black pepper powder, ginger garlic paste, salt and 1 tablespoon oil or ghee. I have used mustard oil in marination but you can use any oil. Mix well, cover and keep in refrigerator for an hour. You can keep the marinated chicken overnight in refrigerator. But if you don’t have time marinate the chicken at least 30 minutes to one hour.
2. Soak the cashew nuts and poppy seeds in hot water. This time I have used dry ground poppy seeds so soaked only cashew nuts in little hot water till cashew nuts becomes soft. Soaking will make your grinding easy. You can dry grind the poppy seeds or khas khas into a fine powder and store in an airtight container in refrigerator to make your cooking easy. Grind the cashew nuts, poppy seeds and green chilli into a smooth paste and keep aside.
3. Also grind the onion into smooth paste separately.
4. Lightly crush the green cardamom in a mortar pestle. Soak saffron in 1/4 cup hot milk.
5..Heat oil and ghee or clarified butter in a pan or wok. You can use only ghee if you like or skip ghee and make with oil only. But for better taste use little ghee. I have used only 1 tablespoon. You can use any refined vegetable oil.
6. Now add bay leaves, crushed green cardamom, black cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and dry red chilli. Fry for a few seconds or until whole spices becomes fragrant. Spices shouldn’t be burnt. Add onion paste and saute till oil leaves the sides.
7. Take out the chicken from marinated mixture and mix with sauteed onion paste. Add salt. Be careful while adding salt. We already used salt in marination. Stir well. Cover and stir in between.
8. Cook till chicken dried up and oil floats on top. Don’t forget to check and stir in regular interval to avoid sticking to the bottom. Add cashew nuts, poppy seeds and green chilli paste. Saute and till oil leaves the sides.
9. Add soaked saffron and water.Add warm water as require to make gravy. I have used 1 cup first and added 1/2 cup more warm water because chicken was about to dried up and still little uncooked.
10. Cover and cook till chicken becomes soft. Timing depends on the quality of chicken. So keep an eye and check in between.
11. Taste and adjust the salt. Add Kewra water mix and remove from heat. Garnish with saffron and fried dry red chilli and serve with steamed rice, pulao, rumali roti, naan, tandoori roti, paratha or simple fulka roti or any Indian flat bread.
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