Wednesday, 29 October 2014

CHICKEN REZALA - CHICKEN MARRIED WITH THE CREAMIEST GRAVY EVER


CHICKEN REZALA

This dish was made in my family whenever there was a celebration or festivity. This super delicious Chicken is cooked in a white gravy with Curd and a paste of cashew nuts seeds as the main ingredients. A magical spice mix is added to the chicken while marinating which brings out such gorgeous aromatics that I start salivating while the chicken cooks.

My maternal granny made the best Chicken Rezala ever and she shared her secret of making this dish fragrant and awesome. Just before the dish is served a few red chillies are fried in clarified butter/ ghee till the clarified butter is completely infused with the flavor of the chillies and this is poured over the curry which draws everyone to the dinning table like bees are drawn to honey. 


This is a very popular dish in Bengal, India and a must try. My grandma told me the story how the last Nawab of the erstwhile state of Awadh (now the central region of Uttar Pradesh, India), Wajid-Ali-Shah was responsible for bringing this dish to Bengal. The story goes that the Kingdom of Wajid-Ali was long protected by the British under treaty and eventually annexed bloodlessly to the British Empire. Wajid-Ali-Shah was exiled to Metiabruz then a suburb of the present day Kolkata where he lived out the rest of his life off a generous pension from the British Empire. The royal khansamas or chefs that he brought along with him introduced Bengal to this superlative Chicken Dish. It has remained a favourite amongst Bengalis' thereafter and no special occasion is complete without this  Ultra Scrumptious, irresistibly aromatic dish.

CHICKEN REZALA RECIPE:

AUTHOR : PIYALI 
SERVES : 4
CUISINE : INDIAN / BENGALI
TYPE : MAIN COURSE/ GRAVY
TIME : 15 MINUTES PREP+25 MINUTES COOKING

INGREDIENTS :


1) Chicken - 500gms ( Cut of your choice but preferably with bones
2) For the special spice mix : Dry Roast these spices and Grind them to a smooth powder - 2 tbsp
    a) Mace/Javitri - 2 to three strands
    b) Nutmeg/Jaiphal - 1
    c) Cinnamon Stick - 1 small
    d) Cloves - 4
    e) Green Cardamom - 4
    f) Caraway Seeds/ Shah Jeera - 2 tbsp


3) Onions - 2 medium sized (chop the onions coarsely, pressure cook with little water till two whistles or simple boil them in a pan for 15 min, strain the water & grind into a smooth paste) .Onion paste will be 2 tbsp
4) Almonds - 15-17
5) White Poppy Seeds/Khus Khus - 2 tbsp
6) Milk - 1/2 Cup
7) Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
8) Green Chillies - 2 Small (finely chopped)
9) White Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
10) Curd - 4 tbsp
11) Lime - 1/2
12) Sugar - A Pinch
13) Salt - to taste
14) Dried Red Chillies - 2-3
15) Oil - 2 tbsp
16) Clarified Butter / Ghee - 1 tsp

GET COOKING WITH ME IN EASY STEPS:

1) Dry Roast all the spices from the Special Spice Mix list on a thick flat bottom pan on medium
flame. Take care not to burn them. Once the spices are fragrant and the cloves become double their
original size, remove from the flame & cool.


2) Grind to a smooth powder.

3) Soak Poppy Seeds/ Khus Khus , Almonds in warm milk for at least 2 hours.
4) Grind to a smooth  paste.
5)Chop Onions coarsely, using just enough water to cover them either boil them using a pan for 15 mins or pressure cook them till two whistles.
6) Drain the water, cool and grind into a smoothe paste.
7) Assemble all the ingredients to assist you to cook quickly and without any hassle.
8)  Marinate the chicken with Curd, Salt, The Roasted and Ground Spice Mix ( 1 tbsp and leave about
     1 tsp for adding at the end ) and Lemon for 1/2 an hour.
9) Don't add Turmeric as this is a white Garvey. You can make small slits in the chicken using a sharp
     knife or perforations using a fork so that the chicken drinks in the marinade completely.
10) In a pan pour oil and add the Onion paste and ginger garlic paste.
11) Since the onion is precooked you can add the marinated Chicken after just a couple of minutes.
12) Cover the pan and on high flame cook till the chicken colours. Turn the Chicken to make it
       radiant on both the sides. But be alert not to burn the spices.
13) Add the almond - poppy seed paste, chopped green chillies, 1 cup of water, cover with a lid and
       cook. When the gravy starts boiling, simmer and cook till the chicken is cooked completely.
14) You know that your Garvey is ready when you see tiny ponds of oil floating over the gravy.
15) Time to add the pepper powder, some more of the ground Special spice Mix, A pinch of sugar &
       salt to taste. You may avoid adding the sugar if you do not want it. But the sugar heightens the
       creamy taste so I add it.
16) In a pan pour the clarified butter and add the Dried red chillies. Lower the flame and let the oil be            completely infused with the flavours of the chillies.
17) Pour the aromatic oil with the Chillies over the Chicken and Gravy. Cover it for a few seconds so        that the Gravy absorbs the aroma.
18) Serve Chicken Rezala with Nan, Paratha etc.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
INGREDIENTS:

1) Chicken - 500gms ( Cut of your choice but preferably with bones)

2) For the special spice mix : Dry Roast these spices and Grind them to a smooth powder - 2 tbsp
    a) Mace/Javitri - 2 to three strands
    b) Nutmeg/Jaiphal - 1
    c) Cinnamon Stick - 1 small
    d) Cloves - 4
    e) Green Cardamom - 4
    f) Caraway Seeds/ Shah Jeera - 2 tbsp

3) Onions - 2 medium sized (chop the onions coarsely, pressure cook with little water till two whistles or simple boil them in a pan for 15 min, strain the water & grind into a smooth paste) .Onion paste will be 2 tbsp

4) Almonds - 15-17
5) White Poppy Seeds/Khus Khus - 2 tbsp
6) Milk - 1/2 Cup
7) Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
8) Green Chillies - 2 Small (finely chopped)
9) White Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
10) Curd - 4 tbsp
11) Lime - 1/2
12) Sugar - A Pinch
13) Salt - to taste
14) Dried Red Chillies - 2-3
15) Oil - 2 tbsp
16) Clarified Butter / Ghee - 1 tsp

Procedure :

1) Dry Roast all the spices from the Special Spice Mix list on a thick flat bottom pan on medium
flame. Take care not to burn them. Once the spices are fragrant and the cloves become double their
original size, remove from the flame & cool.

2) Grind to a smooth powder. 

3) Soak Poppy Seeds/ Khus Khus , Almonds in warm milk for at least 2 hours.

4) Grind to a smooth  paste.

5)Chop Onions coarsely. Using just enough water to cover them, either boil them using a pan for 15 mins or pressure cook them till two whistles.

6) Drain the water, cool and grind into a smoothe paste.

7) Assemble all the ingredients to assist you to cook quickly and without any hassle.

8)  Marinate the chicken with Curd, Salt, the Roasted and Ground Spice Mix ( 1 tbsp and leave about
     1 tsp for adding at the end ) and Lemon for 1/2 an hour.

9) Don't add Turmeric as this is a white Gravy. You can make small slits in the chicken using a sharp
     knife or perforations using a fork so that the chicken drinks in the marinade completely.

10) In a pan pour oil and add the Onion paste and ginger garlic paste.

11) Since the onion is precooked you can add the marinated Chicken after just a couple of minutes.

12) Cover the pan and on high flame cook till the chicken colours. Turn the Chicken to make it
       radiant on both the sides. But be alert not to burn the spices.

13) Add the almond - poppy seed paste, chopped green chillies, 1 cup of water, cover with a lid and
       cook. When the gravy starts boiling, simmer and cook till the chicken is cooked completely.

14) You know that your Garvey is ready when you see tiny ponds of oil floating over the gravy.

15) Time to add the pepper powder, some more of the ground Special spice Mix, a pinch of sugar &
       salt to taste. You may avoid adding the sugar if you do not want it. But the sugar heightens the
       creamy taste so I add it.

16) In a pan pour the clarified butter and add the dried red chillies. Lower the flame and let the oil be            completely infused with the flavours of the chillies.

17) Pour the aromatic oil with the Chillies over the Chicken and Gravy. Cover it for a few seconds so        that the Gravy absorbs the aroma.

18) Serve Chicken Rezala with Nan, Paratha etc.

CHECK LIST
 1)Chicken, 2)Curd, 3)Onion, 4)Ginger, 5)Garlic, 6)Green, 7)Chillies, 8)Dried Red Chillies, 9)White Poppy Seeds, 10)Almonds, 11)Milk, 12)Mace, 13)Nutmeg, 14)Cinnamon, 15)Green Cardamom, 16)Caraway Seeds, 17)Cloves, 18)White Pepper Powder, 19)Lime, 20)Salt, 21)Sugar, 22)Clarified Butter, 23)Oil