Chicken Chaap


Chicken Chaap – A rich Mughlai / Awadhi dish that is usually served along with biryani or roomali roti. Its very easy to make and is absolutely delicious. A big thanks to my lovely neighbor, Zahera Ummat for sharing this recipe.

Ingredients (Serves 3)

1. Chicken leg quarters – 3

2. Oil – 1/4 cup + 1 – 2 tbsp (Use ghee or vegetable oil)

3. Onion – 1 medium-large, peeled and roughly chopped

Ginger – 1.5 inch, roughly chopped

Garlic – 4 large cloves

Kashmiri chilly powder – 1.5 tsp

4. Cashews – 15

White poppy seeds – 2 tbsp

Whole black pepper corns or white pepper corns – 1 tsp

Green cardamom – 3

Cloves – 8

Cinnamon – 1 inch

5. Yoghurt – 3/4 cup

6. Salt – To taste

7. Kewra water – 1/2 tsp

Ghee – 1.5 tsp

Sugar – 1 pinch (optional, added to balance the flavors)

Garam masala powder – 1/4 tsp (recipe below)


1.  Grind ingredients numbered 4 to a fine powder in the small jar of a blender or in a mortar and pestle.

2. Coarsely grind onion, ginger, garlic and chilly powder in a food processor or large jar of a blender. Immediately add yoghurt, salt and ground cashew mixture. Grind to a coarse mixture. Taste-check for salt. Marinate chicken pieces with this onion mixture for at least 2 – 3 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 pan. Place the marinated chicken pieces in the kadai. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 – 4 minutes. Stir well. Bring down the heat to medium-low or low. Cook covered for about 45 minutes  until the chicken pieces are completely done and oil separates on top. Stir 3 – 4 times in between to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the kadai. Once the chicken pieces are done, add 1 tsp kewra water, 1 – 2 tsp ghee (add only if you used oil for cooking), 1 pinch sugar, 1/4 tsp garam masala powder and switch off. Mix well. Cover with a lid and set aside 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

  1. Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
  2. Black pepper – 1 tsp
  3. Cloves – 8 – 10
  4. Black cardamom – 1
  5. Green cardamom – 4 – 5
  6. Cinnamon stick –  1/2 inch
  7. Javithri / mace – A tiny piece
  8. Nutmeg – 1/8th of one nutmeg

Grind the above ingredients to a fine powder. You need only 1/4 – 1/2 tsp for this recipe. Store the remaining in an air-tight container to use later.


Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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  • I made it today ..came out really delicious..thanks for the awesome recipe
    P.s:I used rose water instead of kewra water.. i haven’t heard about that before

  • Hi

    I made this last night and it came out excellent . We had it with mushroom rice and it brought such a big difference to our dinner , seemed as if it was bought from a restaurant. The best thing was it was so simple to make . Thank you for this recipe . Please post more if such easy ones if you have. I have tried your dum ka murgh too which also came out superb. Btw I made them in a chatti and used country chicken..

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