Chicken rezala, the name breathes of Nawabi food. Rich, creamy and flavorful. It is laborious, time consuming with a fabulous end result.
Mughals not only left their mark on our landscape, but also in our food, language and culture. The official language adopted by the Mughals was Persian, hence many of these dishes carry the Persian names. The rulers majorly hailed from Central Asia, so the cuisine is highly influenced by the region. The cuisine boasts of rich and lavish food.
Though the actual Mughal rule in India started with Babar in 1526, the Persian touch in Indian cuisine was introduced 3 centuries earlier.
Presenting here today is a traditional Bengali dish, cooked during festivals and grand family functions, Chicken Rezala.
The word ‘Rezala‘ means beautiful, an apt name for this beautiful curry.
My only advice, avoid cooking this during the scorching summers. For winters, it is perfectly beautiful curry. ❤
Here’s what I did………..
500 grams – chicken
2 nos – large sized onion, grounded to paste
2 tsp – ginger paste
3/4 tbsp – garlic paste
1 1/2 tsp – white pepper powder
2 -3 nos – dried whole red chili
2 nos – bay leaf
1 cup – curd
1 tbsp – cashew nuts
1/2 tbsp – skinned almonds
2 tsp – poppy seeds
4-5 nos – cloves
1 nos – black cardamom
1 stick – cinnamon
1 piece – mace /javitri
1 tsp – sugar
pinch of grated nutmeg /jaiphal
few drops kewra /pandanus flower essence
salt to taste
Oil or ghee
Marinate the chicken with half the onion paste, half the ginger, garlic paste, half the white pepper powder, half the curd, couple of drops of kewra, for 2-3 hours. More taste, if you can marinate overnight.
Soak the cashew and almonds in warm water for an hour. Skin the almonds.
Soak the poppy seeds, separately in warm water for 15 mins
Grind the cashew, almonds and poppy seeds to a fine paste.
Heat oil /ghee in a pan and temper with bay leaves, dried red whole chilies, black cardamom, cinnamon, mace and grated nutmeg. Once they splutter, take the chicken pieces out of the marinate and gently lay them in the pan. Fry all sides well by continuously stirring, do not brown. Will take about 6- 8 mins.
Now add the rest of all the remaining ingredients and the marinate. Do not add water. Adjust salt. Lower the heat, cover and cook till done. Sprinkle the remaining kewra drops as you switch off the gas.
Note :* If you find gravy to be thin, increase to medium flame and thicken. Make sure you are continuously stirring or else the cashew paste will start sticking to the bottom and brown.
Happy cooking !! 🙂
Cheers !! 😀