Chicken rezala is very popular and authentic dish originated in Bengal and highly influenced by Mughlai cuisine. The chunks of chicken rest in a thin white base gravy. The gravy is made with curd, cashew nut and poppy seeds paste, loaded with an assortment of delectable spices. It is also one of the traditional Bengali dishes prepared on the occasion of Poila Baisakh (Bengali New Year)
The glorious reign of the Mughals in the country has greatly influenced the architecture and cuisine of the country and Bengal was no exception.There are many theories making rounds, regarding the origin of the rezala. The most popular one amongst them is that when the last Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah was exiled to Calcutta, it officially heralded the confluence of the rich Mughlai cuisine and the local Bengali cuisine. This led to the birth of the scrumptious rezala. Unlike other Bengali delicacies that have traveled far and wide, the rezala remained confined to the geographical boundaries of Kolkata.
- Chicken (750 gm).
- Ring onions (2 medium sizes).
- Onion paste (3 medium sizes).
- Ginger garlic paste (2 tbsp).
- Poppy seeds paste (1 tbsp poppy seeds).
- Plain yogurt (200 gm).
- Cashew paste (15 cashew nuts).
- Dry red chilli (5 Pcs.)
- Garam masala powder (½ tsp).
- Salt (as per your taste).
- Chopped green chilli 5 Pcs.
- Sugar (as per your taste).
- Refined oil (4 tbsp).
- Ghee (2 tbsp).
- Black pepper powder (½ tsp).
Method of Preparation:
1) Marination of the chicken:
Marinate the chicken with 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, ½ tsp black pepper powder, 2 tbsp yogurt, ½ tsp salt and 2 tbsp refined oil. Mix it thoroughly. Keep it in the freezer for minimum 1 hour to 2 hours.
2) For the gravy:
Take a pan and heat it in mild flame. Add 1 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp refined oil in it. You can also cook it only in pure ghee or refined oil.
Add garam masala and 5 dry red chilli on a pan. Fry it for about 10 to 15 sec.Add onion paste and continue frying. Now add 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste and fry it for 2 minutes in medium flame.
Now add poppy seeds paste and cashew nuts paste. Fry for 1 min in high flame. Add chopped green chilli and plain yogurt. Now add ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. Mix it properly.
Finally, add the marinated chicken. Mix it well. Cook in high flame for 4 to 5 min. Add 2 cups of water. Wait for boiling. When boiling cover it for 15 min in medium flame. In between stir it.
After 10 to 15 minutes add all onions rings and Cover it again for 5 min. Now cook over a high flame. Add salt and sugar as per your taste. Also, add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder and mix it very well. Cover it and wait for 5 min.
Method of Serving and additional tips:
The gravy of the dish is known to be very thin. You can add the roasted floor to increase its consistency. Chicken rezala is served alongside Indian bread or rice. But Rumali roti is the choicest option. You can also compliment the dish with green salads. Don’t forget to try this dish at home. Chicken rezala is as tasty as it looks and will definitely tickle your taste buds.