Chicken Chaap is a Bengali dish where chicken pieces are marinated and cooked in rich poppy seeds based gravy. This is a dry type of fish which is served with Biryani, pulao, Naan, or any Indian bread of your choice.


1 tsp Caraway seeds,
1 Bay Leaf,
4 cloves,
4-5 pods cardamoms
4 whole legs of chicken
3 large onions ground to a paste with a little water ( should make about 3 cups)
3 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tomatoes grated
1 tbsp poppy seeds ground to a paste
1 cup hung yogurt
¼ cup milk
1 tbsp red chilli powder
2 Thai green chillis
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp Kewra essence ( found in Indian stores)
1 tsp rose water
1 cup oil
2 tbsp Ghee

Marinade the chicken in half of ginger-garlic paste and salt for at least an hour or more.

In a pan large enough to hold the chicken pieces, heat oil.

Season with caraway seeds, Bay Leaf, cloves and cardamom.

Fry the onion paste. The oil should float on top.

Stir and fry for 15 minutes. As the water dries out, it will splatter, so cover with a screen.

Once the onion turns golden, add the remaining ginger garlic paste.

Put in red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt.

Now ad grated tomatoes.

As the gravy thickens, and oil leaves sides, lower the flame, and add in poppy-seed paste.

Then spoon in hung yogurt.

Fry the gravy till oil is leaving sides.

Once the gravy looks thick, add garam masala powder (save ½ tsp for later) and stir well.

Add one glass of water and lower the flame.

Simultaneously, while the gravy is cooking, in a another pan, heat Ghee.

Fry the chicken pieces one by one, till they are light golden in color.

Add the golden chicken ‘chaap’ pieces to the gravy.

Bring it to a boil.

Lower the flame, add ¼ cup milk. Cover, and cook for an hour.

The chicken needs to stew in its juices, cooking slowly to achieve the flavors.

Check for tenderness.

Finally, add remaining garam masala, rose water and kewda essence.

Serve hot with Biryani, Naan, rotis/Chappatis or Rice.


*You may always fry the chicken first and then start with the gravy

*Using whole chicken legs gives a different texture to the dish. If using pieces, try to use korma pieces




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