Hello everybody ! Hope all of you are doing well.
Today I will be sharing with you another restaurant favorite special occasion chicken recipe. I do not do much white gravy preparation at home because hubby is not a big fan of white looking non veg dishes 😀 But surprisingly even he loves this particular one. Rezala is a very popular East Indian recipe which has a thick nutty creamy gravy of cashew nut, poppy seed and yogurt. The style of cooking is heavily influenced by Mughlai cuisine and so saffron, fried onions and clarified butter plays a very important role in enhancing the flavor of a Rezala dish.
Typically Rezala is prepared with mutton pieces. But in case you do not prefer mutton, you can use chicken just like me. If you are a vegetarian you can use mushroom or cottage cheese blocks (paneer) and follow the same steps. The gravy is relatively less hot and non spicy compared to other Indian chicken recipes, good for the summer months.
As I already shared with you this is a special occasion menu and not an everyday dish. So the ingredients and steps are a little more than usual. But the extra time and effort is completely worth. You can serve this delicious chicken side dish with any flavored rice (pulao) of your choice. It also goes well with tandoori roti and nun.
Lets get started !!
Preparation Time : Marination – overnight, others – 10 minutes
Clean the chicken well. I have used medium sized pieces with bones. Usually we do not use boneless pieces for this particular recipe.
Take a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken pieces, yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, 1 tablespoon white pepper powder and 2 tablespoon refined oil. Mix everything well so that the chicken pieces are evenly coated. Marinate it overnight or at least 4 to 6 hours before you start cooking.
Prepare a smooth paste with cashew nuts, poppy seeds and 1/2 cup water.
Cooking Time : 30 to 40 minutes
- Chicken – 500g, medium sized pieces with bone
- Onions – 3, medium sized. Cut 1 onion in thin rings, prepare a paste with 2 others.
- Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
- Garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
- Yogurt – 4 tablespoon
- Green chilli – 4, finely chopped
- Whole spices – 1 black cardamom, 2 green cardamom, 6 black peppercorns, few strands of mace, small cinnamon stick, 4 cloves
- Bay Leaf – 1 to 2
- Saffron – few strands (for garnishing)
- Cashew nuts – 10
- White pepper powder – 2 tablespoon
- Poppy seeds – 1 tablespoon
- Clarified butter (ghee) – 2 tablespoon, melted
- Rose water – 1 teaspoon (optional), You can also use Kewra water if you prefer
- Salt – as per taste
- Sugar – 1 teaspoon
- Refined oil – 4 tablespoon (I used refined soybean oil)
- Heat up remaining refined oil in a wok. Add 1 tablespoon melted clarified butter.
- Now add onion rings and a pinch of salt. Stir the rings until they become crisp and golden brown. Remove from oil and keep aside.
- In the same oil, add bay leaf and whole spices. When the spices start to splutter, add onion paste. Turn the heat to medium. Add few pinches of salt.
- Keep stirring until the raw smell of onion gets removed.
- Add marinated chicken. Mix well with the onion paste.
- Add yogurt and cashew nut – poppy seed paste. Add required amount of salt. Mix well again.
- The chicken will start releasing water. Cover the wok with a lid. Stir occasionally.
- When the chicken is half cooked, add green chillies and remaining white pepper powder. Gently stir to mix. Cover with the lid again and let it cook. You may add warm water little by little as and when required.
- Check if the chicken is almost cooked, add sugar and remaining amount of clarified butter (ghee). Gently stir once. Cover again.
- When the chicken is completely done, check the gravy consistency. It should neither be too thick nor too runny. If it is too runny, you can increase the flame and let the water dry up until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Once everything is done, mix the fried onion rings (keep few aside for garnishing) and sprinkle rose water. Stir once and mix with the gravy.
- Turn the flame off and give the dish some standing time.
Serve Chicken Rezala hot with any fried or flavored rice, tandoori roti and nun.