Today we’ll learn to make Bengali style delicious chicken rezala recipe at home with step by step pictures. Origin wise chicken rezala is a flavorsome chicken curry recipe of traditional Mughlai cuisine. In this recipe, basically, chicken is cooked in a white flavourful gravy made by curd or yogurt, cashew and poppy seeds paste with a perfect blend of ghee, garam masala, and kewra water. In Kolkata chicken rezala is most popular for creates its magic over foodies for ages with its shahi taste and flavor.
Rezala has a different version with chicken, mutton, beef, or egg though chicken is most popular among people due to its soft meat and easy to digest nature. Though Kolkata’s best Mughlai restaurants like Arsalan, Aminia, Shiraz, Nizam, Royal, Zeeshan all of them prepare all types of rezala recipes in their kitchen not only with chicken. But chicken rezala is always come first for high demand among Bengalis and it is mostly served with rumali roti or biryani, though we may have it with plain roti, paratha, or rice too.
Like other Mughlai dishes, rezala has its huge fan base among Bengalis and I got some requests from some of them who want to know how to make it at home with the same restaurant-style taste. And today I’m going to share this recipe for them. I hope my step by step method will help them to cook restaurant-style chicken rezala at home. Though I must say chicken rezala is easy to make at home however it takes a long time if you maintain its authenticity. But for a quick version, you may pressure cooker too.
As when Kolkata was not formed nor even Calcutta means when Bangladesh and West Bengal together recognized as Bengal before partition since then our Bengali culinary is partially influenced by the cuisine of Mughals and Awadh(Lucknow). As per Indian history, rezala is also an authentic dish of Mughals, and Kolkata got this recipe during Mughals’ period in Bengal. Even Bhopal and Pakistan also acquired the same recipe from the Mughals. Though in Bhopal and Pakistan this chicken recipe is popular as murgh rezala in their local language.
So must try this homemade chicken rezala and let me know your valuable feedback about this recipe by writing it down in the comment section below.
Tips for making best chicken rezala recipe
- If melon seeds are not available around then you may replace it with 5-6 more cashew nuts.
- poppy seeds, cashew, and melon seeds must be dry roasted before soaking it up to remove the raw smells of it and to quickly soak up the water for getting a fine smooth paste.
- Must boil the onion to remove its raw smell and that’s mandatory in all restaurants or hotel-style recipes.
- Chicken pieces will be easily cooked in less time if marinated in refrigerator, if kept it outside it will take more time to cook.
- Instead of shahi jeera, you may use whole cumin seeds too. or you may add 1/2 tsp cumin powder while marinating the chicken.
- If you don’t have whole white peppercorn then you may add 1/2 tsp white pepper powder to it. You may add it little more or less as per your taste, but remember it is a very less spicy dish.
- Must use hot water for making its gravy otherwise, the taste gets bland.
- Don’t add the whole red chilies in oil, add it later as I did as the chili must not be fried.
- I don’t add the whole black pepper in oil rather add it later. You may add it in the beginning oil or later that doesn’t matter.
Even you may try some of my other bengali chicken recipes
Bengali chicken rezala recipe | chicken rezala recipe step by step
Prep time: 30 mins
cooking time: 55 mins
Served in: 3 hrs 25 mins
Servings for: 6– 8 people
Course: Main course
Author: Moumita Paul
- 850 gms chicken
- 3/4 cup or 200 gm curd
- 5 medium onions
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 15 cashew nuts
- 1 tsp melon seeds(charmagaj)
- 5 red chillies
- 1 1/2 tsp kewra water
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cup of water
- salt (as required)
Whole spices for tempering
- 5 green cardamoms
- 6 cloves
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 10-12 black peppercorns
Ground or powdered spices for rezala
- 10-12 green cardamoms
- 1 tsp whole white peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp shah jeera
- 1/2 of mace or javitri
- 1/8 of nutmeg
- 3 cloves
- 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
How to make bengali chicken rezala recipe with step by step pictures
Marination of chicken
- First, clean the chicken pieces with lukewarm water, squeeze it to remove excess water, keep it aside to use it later.
- Take a mixing bowl with 3/4 cup curd and 3 1/2 ginger-garlic paste, mix it well.
- Add the chicken pieces into the mixing bowl and nicely coat it with curd and ginger garlic paste. keep it aside.
- Now take 1 tbsp poppy seeds, 15 cashew nuts, and 1 tsp melon seeds(charmagaj in Bengali) in a pan and dry roast it for 2-3 mins.
- Then transfer it to a bowl and soaked it in water for 15-20 minutes.
- Take 5 small to medium-sized onions, peel it out and make a deep slit from its top and boil it well. As shown in the pic. After boiling cool it down for use later.
- When onions cool down, take a blender jar with the onions, soaked and strained poppy seeds, cashew nuts, melon seeds, and 2 green chilies.
- Grind it all to make a smooth paste out of it, even you may add little water to it if required.
- Then add this smooth paste to the chicken and mix it well. And let the chicken marinate in it for at least 2 hours preferably in the refrigerator.
Making of chicken rezala masala
- Take a pan with 10-12 green cardamoms, 1 tsp whole white peppercorns, 1/2 tsp shahi jeera, 1/2 javitri or mace, 1/8 of nutmeg( 1/4 tsp powdered jaifal), 3 cloves, and 1/2 cinnamon stick. Dry roast all the spices.
- Then ground the all roasted masalas and turn it into a fine powdered form. keep it aside.
Preparation of chicken rezala
- Place a thick bottom pan in low heat, let the pan heat up, then add 3 tbsp ghee and 4 tbsp of oil in it.
- Once the ghee-oil gets hot then add all the whole spices in the pan. stir it well for 30 secs.
- Then take out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and add it to the pan, stir it well and let it cook.
- After 3-4 mins add 4-5 red chilies in the pan and give a good stir.
- Then cover the pan with a tight lid and cook it for the next 12-15 mins. In this stage stir, it occasionally to make sure the gravy is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- After 15 minutes remove the cover of the pan and gently turn the chicken pieces and again cover it for 15 mins cooking. Check it occasionally.
- 15 mins later remove the cover and add salt to it(as per your requirement) and mix it well.
- Then add 2 tsp of ground rezala masala to the gravy and give a good stir.
- Now cook it for 8-10 mins without lid and stir it occasionally to infused the masala in the chicken.
- After 10 mins add 1 1/2 cup of hot water in it and stir it well. In this time raise heat to medium-high and let the gravy boil.
- Once the gravy starts boiling add 1 1/2 tsp of kewra water to it and mix it well.
- At this moment, you may add 1/2 tsp of sugar to balance the sourness of curd or just skip it. Even add salt to as per your taste.
- Now cook it for more 5-6 minutes in medium flame and turn off the heat. Chicken rezala is ready, serve it hot curry with roti, paratha, or biryani.