There is a very famous muslim reataurant in one corner of Central Kolkata, named Aaminia where I tasted Chicken Chaap for the first time with my family. As far as I remember, I was 9 or 10 taht time. From then, it was a regular treat for us whenever we went that region for shopping. Aaminia, a restaurant without much fancy decor and very much simple in presentation , though was very famous for their quality of food during that time, especially for their biriyani and Chaap recipes. People used to come from the other end of the city to dine there. After I left my city and went abroad, used to miss their Biriyani. After long time, I went there again last year and had their biriyani and chicken chaap, but didn't get the same taste as before.
Few weeks back, I wanted to try out Chicken chaap at home and was looking for the authentic recipe, so I can get the same taste as Aaminia. While googling, I stumbled upon this page of Finely Chopped, where he tried to get the recipe of Chicken Chaap from a muslim restaurant owner through a phone conversation. After going thru some other pages, I followed Sayantani's procedure, added few extra ingredients as the restaurant owner said in Kalyan's page and also followed some tips from Chandrani'r recipe. Now I am quite satisfied that I made my Chicken Chaap authentically. I can say that as the final result was an awesome flavourful, rich and exotic Chicken curry which I enjoyed with Veg. Pulao.
Chicken whole leg pieces or breast pieces are used to make Chicken chaap. Chicken pieces are marinated in spice paste for a minimum of 1-2 hours and then cooked in "dum" method, means chicken pieces are cooked in a big vessel with lid closed and in medium-low heat, flavoured with very unique and exotic spices.
Don't get nervous looking at the ingredient list. It's surprisingly very easy to prepare. It needs minimum of an hour(more is better) of marination time and 45 mins.-1 hour. of cooking time. It is an ideal side dish for paratha, chappati (roti), tandoori naan, rumali roti, pulao and biriyani. With so much options, try this as a special item on holidays or some special occasions.
Here is how Sayantani made her Chicken Chaap
Here is how Chandrani made her Chicken Chaap
The recipe Source @ Kalyan's Page
Here is the recipe I finally come up with--------------------
Chicken : 750-800 gm. (I have used the whole chicken, cut into big chunks)
For marination ::::::
Onion : 2(medium-make a paste)
Ginger-garlic Paste : 3 tblsp.
Curd/dahi : 3/4 cup
Dry red chilli : 2
Black Pepper : 1 tsp.(freshly grounded)
Mustard Oil : 1 tblsp.
For Cooking :::::
Mustard/any other Oil : 3-4 tblsp.
Ghee : 2 tblsp.
Bay leaf : 1-2
Green Cardamom : 3-4
Cloves : 4-5
Cinnamon : 1(1" piece) Tomato Puree : 1/2 cup
Shah jeera(caraway seed)/cumin seed : 1/2 tsp.
Kharbuja or Melon seeds/Charmagaz : 2tblsp.
Grated coconut : 2 tblsp.
Whole garam masala : Cinnamon-1(1" piece), cardamom-4, Cloves -6, dry roast on a tawa for a minute and pound them together a little, not totally grounded
Keora water : 1 tsp.
Rose water : 1 tsp.
- Make a fine paste of onion-ginger-garlic and dry red chilli together, keep aside for marination.
- Take melon seeds, coconut and shah jeera and grind into a coarse(not too fine) powder. This paste is needed during cooking.
- To make tomato puree, blanch 2 medium size tomatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes. When cool, carefully take out the skin and then puree in a blender.
- Heat oil and ghee in a big wide heavy bottomed pan. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and wait until they start to splutter. then take out chicken pieces from marinade, remove marinade as much as possible and add into the oil and fry in medium flame till brown from all sides.
- Then add the remaining marinade spice paste into fried chicken and the tomato puree. Now add the grounded shah jeera-coconut-melon seed powder. At low flame keep stirring and cook for another 5 minutes. When oil seperates, add pounded garam masala, mix well and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Chicken will leave lot of water during cooking. but if you see the spices are sticking at the bottom of the pan, then can add about 1/2 cup of warm water into the chicken, season with salt if needed and cover with a lid and let it cook in medium heat until chickens are cooked through. Note : Don't forget to stir from time to time.
- When chickens are cooked, all the water evaporated and you have a thick gravy nicely coated with chicken, add keora and rose water. Mix well, remove from fire and keep covered.
I enjoyed it with a flavourful Vegetable Pulao. But you can enjoy it with anything from Pulao, biriyani or any kind of Indian bread. I'll post the Pulao recipe in my next post.