Chicken Chaap – A rich Mughlai dish that is usually served along with biriyani or roomali roti.
Ingredients (Serves 3)
Adapted from my friend Zahera Ummat’s Chicken Chaap Recipe
1. Chicken leg quarters – 3
2. Oil + ghee – 1/4 cup + 1 – 2 tbsp
3. Cashews – 10 – 12
White poppy seeds – 2 tbsp
Melon seeds / charmagaz – 1 tbsp (optional)
4. Onion – 1 medium-small, peeled and roughly chopped
Ginger – 1 inch, roughly chopped
Garlic – 4 large cloves
Green chilies – 1 – 2, chopped
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 1.5 tsp
4. Yoghurt – 1/4 + 1/2 cup
5. Kewra water – 1 tsp
Meetta athar / sandal wood extract – Few drops (Optional)
Sugar – 1/8 tsp (added to balance the flavors)
Saffron – 1 pinch soaked in 1 tbsp hot milk
Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp (recipe below)
Chickpea flour /kadala mavu – 1 tsp
Oil / ghee – 2 tsp
6. Salt – As required
1. Grind ingredients numbered 3 to a fine powder in the small jar of a blender.
2. Add onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Grind to a coarse mixture. Immediately add 1/4 cup yoghurt, turmeric powder and chili powder. Grind again and and add to a large bowl. Add salt, 1/2 cup yoghurt and all the ingredients numbered 5. Taste-check for salt. Marinate chicken pieces with this mixture for at least 3-4 hrs or overnight in the refrigerator. Half hour before you are ready to cook, take it out and keep outside at room temperature.
4. Pour 1/4 cup + 1 – 2 tbsp oil in a large heavy-bottomed kadai or a flat heavy-bottomed non-stick pan. Place the marinated chicken pieces in the kadai. Cook over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes on both sides. Add the marinade and mix gently. Cook covered (you can cover with an aluminium foil and place the lid) for about 20 – 30 minutes over low heat until the chicken pieces are completely done and oil separates on top. Check once in between to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Once chicken is done, taste-check for salt and add a pinch of garam masala powder if required. Cover with a lid and let rest for 15 minutes. Serve with chicken/mutton biriyani/ saffron pulao / naan/ roti etc.
* Kewra water and ghee adds a very nice aroma to this dish. If you don’t have kewra water, you can try replacing it with 1/4 tsp rose water.
Garam masala powder recipe
- Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
- Black pepper – 1 tsp
- Cloves – 8
- Black cardamom – 1
- Green cardamom – 5
- Cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch
- Javithri / mace – A tiny piece
- Nutmeg – 1/8th of one nutmeg
Grind the above ingredients to a fine powder. You need only 1 – 1.5 tsp for this recipe. Store the remaining in an air-tight container to use later.