Both me and my hubby like our meat and fish to be on the spicier side, so this is not something I would make again if it just me and he at meal time. But this was absolutely loved by my father who likes milder food and my niece and nephew…they just lapped it up.
I must admit it is an absolutely flavoursome (though subtle) chicken dish, a classic from Bengal. This is the first time I actually made it, have seen it on the menu of a Muslim Bengali restaurant – Lazeez we frequent in Bangalore. Though we never tried it there, as we tend to order a couple of staples there always.
So this is definitely something you can try if you have to serve kids or guests who like to go easy on the chillies.
Some recipes use just some green chillies and some white pepper…but I have used black pepper and red chilli powder too.
Now for the recipe…
1 kilo of chicken pieces with bone,
2 cups of yoghurt,
2 cups of onion paste,
2 tbsps ginger-garlic paste,
2 tbsps dry coconut/dessicated coconut,
2 tbsps cashews,
2 tbps poppy seeds,
3 bay leaves,
4 green cardamoms,
2 one-inch pieces of cinnamon,
2 pieces of mace,
A pinch of powdered nutmeg,
2 tsp red chilli powder,
1 tsp kewra water,
1 tsp black pepper powder,
4 green chillies,
1 tbsp powdered coriander,
4 dry red chillies,
4 tbsps ghee,
Salt to taste,
A pinch of sugar
Wash and drain the chicken.
Grind the cashews, poppy seeds and dry coconut into a fine paste. Mix this with the onion paste, ginger-garlic paste, salt, sugar, chilli powder, chopped green chillies, powdered coriander and crushed black pepper to form the marinade.
Marinate the chicken in this marinade for at least an hour.
Heat ghee and add the halved red chillies. Once they change colour, remove two of the red chillies and keep aside for the garnish. Now add all the remaining whole spices and after a few seconds all the chicken with the marinade.
Fry for sometime till the chicken pieces change colour. Now add water and mix well. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer on a low heat till done.
Turn off the heat and drizzle the kewra water.
Serve garnished with the reserved red chillies. This goes well with some plain pulao, parathas and it is also often served with biriyani.