Chicken Rezala is a very famous Bengali recipe which has a Mughlai Origin. Quintessentially, it is a chicken gravy that is white, unlike other chicken curry dishes and is extremely flavorful with very delicate flavors. So, here is how to make it.
Probably, Mughlai cuisine is one of the richest art forms of cooking.
Because, along with exotic spices and rich ingredients, the idea of slow cooking a delicacy is simply breathtaking.
Add to it the Bengali way of cooking chicken and you know that Chicken Rezala is going to take away the show.
Chicken Rezala is a perfectly balanced dish. It is neither too sweet, sour or spicy taste-wise.
In addition, its texture is also like a semi gravy dish that goes perfectly with both rice and Indian bread.
It gently teases your palate and makes it want more of it again and again.
Usually, only dry red chilies are added to make the gravy but because we like our food spicy, I have also added some red chilli powder to it to give it that extra kick.
However, many people opt for cooking chicken pieces with white pepper powder to keep the nutty gravy whiter in color.
Mughlai dishes are very rich, cooked for many hours, and are layered with flavors.
Hence, usage of whole spices, cashew and poppy seeds, onion paste, ginger and garlic, kewra water, etc is quite common in this cuisine.
Pro Tips by Neha
Making a fine paste of poppy seeds and cashew nuts can be a challenge especially when made in small quantities.
I earlier day, this paste was made on a stone grinder.
You can either use a coffee grinder to make this paste or make slightly more amount and freeze the remaining for later use.
Traditionally, red chilli powder was not added to the Rezala Gravy.
But I like the taste and color it gives to this curry. You can choose to skip it. You can add green chilli paste instead.
This Rezala Curry was traditionally made with Mutton. But I like to make it with chicken and sometimes with eggs even.
You can increase or decrease the amount of gravy as per your preference.
This recipe makes a curry that is medium thick or latpati as we call it.
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Step by Step Recipe
Soak cashew nuts and poppy seeds in warm water for 10 minutes.
Make a smooth paste in a blender.
Mix chicken, ginger paste, garlic paste, and yogurt in a bowl and marinate for an hour.
Heat ghee and oil in a pan.
When the ghee is hot, add cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, and dry red chilies. Fry for 20 seconds.
Pick chicken pieces from the marinade and fry on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
Add the remaining marinade, cashew nut and poppy seeds paste, white pepper powder, salt, red chilli powder and garam masala powder in the pan.
Add the onion paste and 1 cup water.
Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 40-50 minutes.
Add ghee and kewra essence and mix well.
Chicken Rezala Recipe
- 10-12 Cashew nuts
- 2 tbsp Poppy seeds
- 1 kg Chicken (Curry Cut)
- 1 tsp Ginger paste
- 1 tsp Garlic paste
- 1 cup Yogurt
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 3 tbsp Ghee
- 3-4 Clove
- 6-8 Black pepper corns
- 2 inch Cinnamon
- 2 Green cardamom
- 2 Black cardamom
- 4-5 Dry red chilies
- 1 tsp White pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder (Not added traditionally)
- 1 tsp Garam masala powder
- 1/2 cup Onion paste
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 2-3 drops Kewra essence
- 1 pinch Saffron (Soaked in 1 tbsp milk)
- Soak cashew nuts and poppy seeds in warm water for 10 minutes.
- Make a smooth paste in a blender.
- Mix chicken, ginger paste, garlic paste and yogurt in a bowl and marinate for an hour.
- Heat ghee and oil in a pan.
- When the ghee is hot, add cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom and dry red chilies.
- Fry for 20 seconds.
- Pick chicken pieces from the marinade and fry on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the remaining marinade, cashew nut and poppy seeds paste, white pepper powder, salt, red chilli powder and garam masala powder in the pan.
- Add the onion paste and 1 cup water.
- Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 40-50 minutes.
- Add ghee and kewra essence and mix well.
- Garnish with saffron soaked in milk
- Serve hot with rice or Rumali roti.