Recipes of popular Bengali dishes fresh from the kitchen

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Main Ingredients:
1 kg chicken (preferably thigh pieces) cut into half each; 2 tbsp onion paste; 1 tsp ginger paste; 1 tsp garlic paste; 1 tbsp dried melon seeds (charmagaz) soaked in warm water for about 30 minutes; ½ tsp green chili paste; 4 tsp yogurt (beaten); 2 tsp kewra water; 15 pieces whole cashew nuts soaked in water for about 30 minutes; 25-30 pieces raisins; 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter).

Spices:
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ tsp mace/javitri powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg/jaiphal powder
  • 1½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp bengali garam masala powder (cinnamon, cardamom and clove)
  • Salt to taste.
Steps:
  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with yogurt (4 tbsp), ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp nutmeg powder and ½ tsp mace/javitri powder. Keep aside.
  2. Make a smooth paste of melon seeds/chaarmagaz using either grinder or mortar and pestle. Keep aside.
  3. Make a paste of the cashews using either grinder or mortar and pestle. Keep aside.
  4. Temper 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) with bay leaves and whole garam masala (cinnamon, cardamom and clove).
  5. When an aroma of the spices comes out, add the onion paste along with a pinch of salt. Fry until it becomes golden brown.
  6. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry on medium heat until the raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away.
  7. Add green chili paste and fry for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  8. Add the raisins. Stir well.
  9. Add the melon seeds/chaarmagaz paste. Mix well.
  10. Add cashew paste and mix well.
  11. Now add the chicken and coat each piece well with the gravy.
  12. Add salt, turmeric powder and chili powder. Stir well and cook it on medium flame for 10 minutes.
  13. Add 2 cups of warm water (only if the chicken pieces don't release any water. Otherwise no need to add extra water) and put a lid on it. Allow it to cook on low flame until the chicken pieces are tender.
  14. Open the lid, add sugar and adjust the taste of salt.
  15. Add kewra water and sprinkle garam masala powder over it.
  16. Give it the final stir and turn off the heat.
  17. Serve with paratha, tandoori roti or nun.


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