When we were growing up in Kolkata, any celebration worth its salt whether it was a wedding or a Poila Boishak feast, was incomplete without the quintessential Chicken Chaap. Who can forget the mutton rezala and chicken chaap of Shiraz, Nizam or Golbari. Mouths watering already? On Poila Boishak, I wanted to share the classic Kolkata Chicken Chaap recipe with all of you. Somehow, I was skeptical about cooking the chaap at home both in terms of difficulty and the fear of the chaap not turning out to be what we expect of a Kolkata chaap. I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be much more simpler and if you follow the right steps, the chaap will turn out exactly as it should. A couple of tips on this recipe. Make a few slits on the skin of the chicken pieces. This helps the marinade to seep through. The marination can be done overnight if you have the time. The original chaap recipe uses ghee as the cooking medium but that can become too rich. So I have used a blend of oil and ghee. Ensure to cook the chaap on medium to low flame. The chaap goes well with biryani, paratha or naan. So surprise yourself and your family by cooking this gastronomic delight and bring back old memories. Happy Fooding Around!
- 3 whole Chicken Leg ( approximately 700 – 750 gms)
- 1/3rd cup Oil or Ghee ( Clarified Butter)
- A few drops of Rose water
- A few drops of Kewra water
- 1 pinch Saffron + 3 Tbsp lukewarm milk
- Salt to taste
Ingredients For the Marination :
- 1 tbsp Garlic paste
- 1 Tbsp Ginger paste
- 1 cup thick or hung Curd
- 3 Tbsp Onion paste
- 1 – 1.5 Tsp Red Chilli powder (according to level of spice intake)
- ½ Tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 5 Tbsp Sattu or Gram Flour
- 2 Tbsp Poppy seed/Khus -Khus paste
- 1 Tbsp Melon seed paste (Char Magaz)
- 1 Tbsp Cashew nut paste
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tsp Sugar (Optional)
Ingredients for the Dry Roast Masala Powder :
- 1 Tsp Shahjeera
- 1 Tsp whole Black Peppercorns
- 5 – 6 Cardamoms
- 1 inch stick Cinnamon
- 4 – 5 Cloves
- ¼ Tsp Nutmeg (Jaiphal)
- ¼ Tsp Mace (Javitri)
- In a tava/griddle over medium-low flame, dry roast all the ingredients for “Dry Roast”, that is, shahjeera, black Peppercons, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and mace. Keep stirring frequently to avoid the spices from getting burnt or over-roasted. Switch off flame once they start releasing their aroma and allow to cool down. In a grinder, ground them to a fine powder once totally cooled. Keep 2 heaped Tsp of this powdered mixture ready and handy. Store the rest away for later use in an air tight container or jar.
- Wash, pat dry the chicken pieces. Using a knife make light slits for the marination to seep in.
- In a bowl mix together all the ingredients for “Marination”. Whisk them till you get a smooth and lump-free marinade. Arrange the whole chicken legs in a large bowl or platter. Keep the chicken pieces preferably in a single layer. Now pour the marinade on the chicken AND Also Add the 2 heaped Tsp of the ground Roasted Masala powder gently rub and coat the legs so as to uniformly cover them from both sides with the marinade. Cover and set in the refrigerator for 4 – 6 hours.
- Once the marination is done, remember to remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and bring the chicken pieces to regular room temperature before you start cooking them.
- In a heavy bottom pan, heat the oil or ghee. I had taken half oil and half ghee for my Chicken Chaap. Shake off the extra marinade from the chicken pieces and add them to the pan once the oil/ghee is hot.
- Keeping the flame on a medium-low cook for 5 -6 mins, before flipping sides and turning over the chicken pieces. Cook for another 3 – 4 mins before flipping sides again.
- Next add the rest of reserved marinade to the pan and the chicken. Cook without adding water over a medium -low flame for another 5 -6 mins or until done. Check and adjust salt according to your taste. Do not overcook the chicken. Keep turning and flipping the sides of the chicken pieces from time to time.
- Lastly add the saffron infused milk. Give the chicken a good stir and finally add the rose water and the kewra water.
- Give one final stir, mix well and take off from flame
- Serve hot along with some onion salad or raita, biryani of your choice or parathas .
A couple of tips on this recipe. Make a few slits on the skin of the chicken pieces. This helps the marinade to seep through. The marination can be done overnight if you have the time. The original chaap recipe uses ghee as the cooking medium but that can become too rich. So I have used a blend of oil and ghee. Ensure to cook the chaap on medium to low flame.
- Serving Size: 3