Kolkata Chicken Chaap Recipe is a lip-smacking recipe of slow cooked marinated chicken legs with bone. Chicken chaap is an adopted Nawabi dish which is renowned in Calcutta/Kolkata due to historical reign of Bengal Nawabs. There are many restaurants in Kolkata with their own famous recipe for a chicken chaap, and here is my version of this favourite dish. Biryani is locally served with a Royal Chicken chaap for sides, without which the biryani is believed to be incomplete.
A chicken delicacy coupled with Biryani loved and savored by the meat-eating bongs (and others); Chicken Chaap certainly is one of the famous chicken sides available in almost all the Mughlai food joints in Kolkata. As a matter of fact, Chatu aka Sattu aka gram flour plays an important role in cooking this dish.
When we were growing up in Kolkata, any celebration worth its salt whether it was a wedding or a Poila Boishak feast, was incomplete without the quintessential Chicken Chaap. Who can forget the mutton rezala and chicken chaap of Shiraz, Nizam or Golbari. Mouths watering already? On Poila Boishak, I wanted to share the classic Kolkata Chicken Chaap recipe with all of you. Somehow, I was skeptical about cooking the chaap at home both in terms of difficulty and the fear of the chaap not turning out to be what we expect of a Kolkata chaap. I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be much more simpler and if you follow the right steps, the chaap will turn out exactly as it should. A couple of tips on this recipe. Make a few slits on the skin of the chicken pieces. This helps the marinade to seep through. The marination can be done overnight if you have the time. The original chaap recipe uses ghee as the cooking medium but that can become too rich. So I have used a blend of oil and ghee. Ensure to cook the chaap on medium to low flame. The chaap goes well with biryani, paratha or naan. So surprise yourself and your family by cooking this gastronomic delight and bring back old memories. Happy Fooding Around!
A couple of tips on this recipe. Make a few slits on the skin of the chicken pieces. This helps the marinade to seep through. The marination can be done overnight if you have the time. The original chaap recipe uses ghee as the cooking medium but that can become too rich. So I have used a blend of oil and ghee. Ensure to cook the chaap on medium to low flame.
Hi Subhabrata,You are very observant and absolutely right, we use garam masala at the later part of cooking a chicken or mutton curry as we use a tonne of tomato along with onion, ginger and garlic which suppress the meaty flavors while koshano. Garam masala if added too early in that case would get it's aroma suppressed. In case of chaap however, we won't do that koshano stage or use tomatoes, so to suppress the intense meaty flavor of mutton it is necessary to put garam masala in the marinating stage. Plus we use a stronger and way larger amount of chaap er garam masala which is different from the one we use in mutton kosha or jhol. Hope this helps!
Can chicken chaap with mutton biryani be compared with the opening spell of bowling by Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis? I have seen Imran Khan and Wasim Akram in 1987 (the time is important, as with age the fast bowlers mellow down a little bit), Courtney Walsh and Curtley Ambrose of West Indies and Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock of South Africa. However, the first one was the deadliest pair! They complemented each other just like the Chicken Chaap does when presented with Mutton Biryani.
Chicken Chaap has its origin in the Awadhi cuisine and just like Biryani happened to Kolkata (or Kolkata happened to Biryani?), chicken chaap also happened to Kolkata. The Muslim run restaurants made it a regular in their menu and in no less time, the dish became popular. Which place serves the best Chicken chaap in Kolkata ? Almost all the Mughlai joints deserve a shoutout but this is a recipe from Royal India Hotel, which is more than 105 years old and one of the pioneers in Biryani and chaap. However most of the joints have their own version and equally likable chaap like at Arsalan or Nizam or Shiraz or India Hotel.
Now with age, as the eating style has is now of a consolidator, I wait to get over the temptation of finishing the Biryani and look forward to the mind games with the chicken chaap just as one would do with Shane Warne.
Here is how Madhushree prepared the chicken chaap. During one of the many visits that we make to Royal Indian Hotel since it has opened in Ballygunge, we were waiting for our parcel (the takeaway as its called in hotel lingo) . The bawarchi who was manning the front counter where the chicken chaap was being fried in a humungous tawa filled with ghee seemed to recognise me as a regular at the Chitpur outlet. As we started chatting an outline of the recipe with some details ( no bawarchi shares secret recipe of chaap or kebab) was obtained. This is an effort to get the complete layout of the recipe.
Bengali chicken chaap or chanp is a very common and revered dish, especially as an accompaniment to biryani. It is a very classic chicken preparation found in many regions of Kolkata (or Calcutta for many of you) and is prepared during all festivals or special occasions. The dish is believed to be a result of the Mughal influence on Bengali cooking due to the gloriously creamy texture and the use of saffron and mace.
You will find plenty of variations to the chaap recipe from region to region and household to household. I followed the recipe given on the blog religiously except for the fact that I used boneless chicken pieces though traditionally, this dish is made using chicken drumsticks or the whole leg pieces. In fact, the name chaap comes from this cut of meat; but I leave it to you to decide which cut of meat you want to use.
The Bengali chicken chaap is a luxuriously creamy dish where the succulent pieces of chicken are coated with the richness of hung curd and the quirky pungency of poppy seeds indulged with saffron, mace, black pepper and red chillies. A truly divine dish to start your culinary journey into the heart of Bengali cuisine.
It is interesting that the dish that is traditionally paired with the biryani in most restaurants in Kolkata takes a much more center-stage, assertive role, flavour-wise. The chaap uses thin slices of beef or jointed thighs and legs of chicken cooked coated in a heady mix of dried fruits, spices and aromatics and cooked slowly in fat. The sauce is very similar to a Hyderabadi salan, only drier, and not as integral to the biryani experience, as many people find the chaap to be too potent and prefer to have the biryani on its own.
When it comes to Kolkata, the first thing that comes to mind is its diverse culture coupled with a large variety of food items that the city offers to its people. It ranges from caffeine to the very spicy Indian cuisines. People from all over the globe come to Kolkata to get a taste of the food habits of India at large in a nutshell because to try out the dishes that are famous in various corners of the country; one need not go there. All they have to do is hop in at any one of the restaurants in Kolkata. Here, we will be looking at the different delicacies of chicken that keeps your appetite satisfied at a very pocket-friendly rate.
Chicken chaap is an adopted Nawabi dish which is renowned in Calcutta/Kolkata due to the historical reign of Bengal Nawabs. An aromatic rich Mughlai dish, cooked in a unique combination of juicy and moist chicken pieces with rich and thick gravy. 2b1af7f3a8