It was the night before eid; I and Mehebub returned from the office at around 9:30 and therefore, both were dog-tired. Both were, needless to say, eagerly waiting to spend time with Pasta. One thing was good that my office was closed for Eid however, Mehebub had to go. I was planning for the Eid feast and decided to cook a fuss-free meal and finally ended on selecting Chicken Chaap, Butter Garlic Nan and Firni. Since last one month, I am working almost 15-16 hours a day and left with no energy and cooking is what rejuvenating me apart from Pasta.
Coming Chicken Chaap, this is one such chicken dish, Mehebub thinks, I cook almost to the perfection. well, I am not much bothered about perfection however, I feel the recipe I follow gives me almost similar result if compared to what we get in a restaurant in Kolkata. I still remember my Bihar days or our Gurgaon days. Thus I used to search for recipes to make almost Kolkata’s restaurant-type food which was not available typically there.
Chicken Chaap or Chaap Bhaja? Fried or curried?
I never liked the texture of the Chicken Chaap that is available outside Kolkata (I am not referring Bangladesh). This particular dish is not a typical curry but something different. I remember my discussion with Baba that indeed helped me to understand the texture.
Baba said they used to call Chicken Chaap, “Chaap Bhaja” as well back in the college days! In fact, I found this particular reference in Prajnasundari Devis’s book as well. Baba specifically suggested me to follow the process of cooking in a nearby small Mughlai food joint who has an open kitchen. The owner of Guest snack Bar (located in the crossing of Surya Sen Street) is known to my father and hence, allowed me to see the cooking process. I found the dish is all about frying the chicken with the special cut. Furthermore, I realized the reason for calling it Chaap Bbhaja as well.
Cut of the Chicken!
The owner of the restaurant told me in Kolkata, Chicken Chaap is always about a special cut of the chicken which is having both body and leg part, Needless to say, Bing chank of around 300 gms. Basically, from one whole chicken, you will get two properly cut chicken.
My father was talking about the use of whole”Chick” in the same fashion. He was saying Chaap cooked with the whole chick (of around 250-300g weight) was equally popular. In fact, I remember having the same long back as part of a marriage feast.
A chicken delicacy coupled with Biryani, loved and savoured by the meat-eating bongs (and others); Chicken Chaap certainly is one of the famous chicken side available in almost all the Mughlai food joints in Kolkata. As a matter of fact, Chatu aka Sattu aka gram flour plays an important role in cooking this dish.
Kolkata’s Chicken Chaap! A Mughlai dish?
Certainly yes if we consider Kolkata’s Mughal influenced food. Though originated in the Northern part of the country, mainly from the Royal Kitchens. However, Kolkata has its fair share and the same is strongly influenced by the Lucknawi food.
This particular dish is available in Kolkata and also in other parts of West Bengal and Bangladesh with little alteration in the recipe.
The cooking process!
Above all, Chicken Chaap is all about frying the Chicken along with a thick marinade. The texture of the thick gravy makes it different than other curries. I learned from the restaurants the texture comes from “Chatu” aka Sattu or Gram flour. Also, a few locally available spices and slow cooking is a must.
Here’s how you cook Chicken Chaap!
- Serves: 4 People
- Serving size: 250g
- Calories: 603
- Fat: 17.5g
- Saturated fat: 8g
- Carbohydrates: 23.3g
- Sugar: 13.5g
- Sodium: 286mg
- Fiber: 4.2g
- Protein: 82.5g
- Cholesterol: 218mg
- Chicken Chunk: 4 Pieces (around 1 kg)
- Hung Curd: 500g
- Onion Paste: 5 Tbsp.
- Ginger Paste: 1 Tbsp.
- Garlic Paste: 1.5 Tbsp.
- Char Magaz/ Mellon seed paste: 1 Tbsp.
- Red Chili Powder: 1.5 Tsp.
- Chatu/ Sattu/ Gram Flour: 3 Tbsp.
- Garam Masala Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Sugar: 1 Tsp. (optional)
- Salt: to taste
- Cinnamon Stick: 1"
- Clove: 5-7
- Mace: few strings
- Green Cardamom: 3
- Black Cardamom: 1
- Saffron soaked Milk: ½ Cup (optional)
- Keora Water: 1 Tsp.
- Ghee: 2 Tbsp.
- Oil: 5 Tbsp. (I have used Mustard Oil)
- Wash and pat dry chicken chunks.
- Make slits using a knife.
- Now in a bowl mix Hung Curd, Onion Paste, Ginger Paste, Garlic Paste, Red Chili Powder,
- Mellon seed paste, Gram flour, Garam Masala Powder, Turmeric Powder and Sugar and 1 Tsp of Oil as well.
- Coat the chicken chunks with this mixture properly and cover the bowl with cling film or lid and refrigerate for 8 hours.
- At the time of cooking, add salt to the chicken and mix thoroughly.
- Remove chicken pieces from the marinade for frying.
- Heat the oil in a deep bottom pan and start frying chicken pieces one by one keeping the flame low from both sides.
- It will take around 5 minutes to fry per pieces.
- Once done, add Ghee to pan having remaining oil and heat properly.
- Temper the oil with Cinnamon Stick, Clove, Mace, Green Cardamom and Black Cardamom.
- Add remaining marinade and start "broiling" the same without adding water.
- Keep the flame on the higher side and stir continuously for around 3 minutes.
- Add fried chicken and start cooking in low flame without covering the pan.
- Cook from both side for around 5 minutes or until chicken soften but will remain in shape. Do not overcook the chicken.
- Add Saffron soaked milk and kewra water and give a thorough mix.
- Switch the flame off once the gravy thickens and oil comes out from the edges.
- Serve Chicken Chaap hot with Biryani or Indian bread.
The entire dish can be cooked in ghee if Calorie is not what you are considering.
sugar is optional, however, balances the flavours.
Adjust salt and chilli powder as per taste.
Chicken Recipes from Debjanir Rannaghar apart from Chicken Chaap:
- Aam Kasundi Murgi also known as Bengali Style Chicken in Mango Mustard Sauce
- Doi Murgi or Kolkata style Doi Chicken
- Desi Murgir Dum or Bengali Country Chicken Curry
- Bangladeshi Chicken Roast or Biyebarir Chicken Roast or বাংলাদেশী বিয়েবাড়ির চিকেন রোস্ট
- Robibarer Murgir Jhol from my Mother’s Kitchen or Bengali Chicken Curry
Have you tried Chicken Chaap Recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on firstname.lastname@example.org. Similarly, on Instagram, you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar or can tag me at @foodofdebjani.
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