Bengali chicken rezala recipe step by step

Check how to make Bengali chicken rezala recipe with step-by-step pictures. Bengali chicken rezala is a popular Mughlai style chicken curry recipe, slowly cooked in curd or yogurt, cashew nuts, poppy seeds based white less spicy gravy, with a perfect blend of ghee, garam masala, and kewra water (or Kewra essence). In Kolkata, rezala is one of the most popular dishes for creating its magic over foodies for ages with its less spicy white gravy with a shahi taste and flavor.

Traditionally, rezala has different versions cooked with chicken, mutton, beef, or egg though chicken rezala 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 prepare all types of rezala recipes in their kitchen not only with chicken. But chicken rezala always comes first as per high demand among Bong and Bong’s most favourite if served with rumali roti or with biryani. Though we can simply have it with roti, paratha, or plain rice too.

Bengali chicken rezala (gravy with dry red chilies) is served with lachchha paratha

Like other Mughlai dishes, we Bongs love rezala, so I got some requests from some of my Bengali friends who want to know how to make this chicken curry at home with the same restaurant-style taste. And today I am here going to share this recipe with them. I hope my step-by-step method will help them to cook restaurant-style chicken rezala at home. Though I must say rezaala is easy to make at home and can be quickly served if not taken the old original method. But to make in a quickest way, you can use a pressure cooker too.

When Kolkata was not formed nor even Calcutta, means when Bangladesh and West Bengal together recognized as Bengal, before partition, since then our Bong culinary been 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 has different name, popular as murgh rezala in their local language.

So must try this homemade bengali chicken rezala and let me know your valuable feedback about this recipe by writing down your feedback in the comment section below.

Tips for making the best Bengali chicken rezala recipe

  • If melon seeds are not available around then simply replace them with 5-6 more cashew nuts.
  • First dry roast the cashew nuts, poppy seeds, and melon seeds before soaking in water. Dry roasting helps to remove the raw smells of poppy seeds and nuts to quickly soak up the water to get a fine smooth paste. Dry roast is not mandatory for the traditional method.
  • Must boil the onion to remove its raw smell as this method is mandatory, applying in Kolkata’s all mughlai restaurants or hotel-style recipes.
  • Chicken pieces will be easily cooked in less time if marinated in the refrigerator. However, in the traditional way, chicken used to keep outside after marination and due to slow cooking it took more time to get soft.
  • Traditionally, shahi jeera is used in making this dish. However, Instead of shahi jeera, you can use whole cumin seeds too. or you can add 1/2 tsp cumin powder while marinating the chicken.
  • If you do not have whole white peppercorn then you can add 1/2 tsp white pepper powder to it. You can add it a little more or less quantity as per your taste, but remember it is a very less spicy dish.
  • Red chili powder is not used in this dish as traditionally this dish is white in texture and mildly spicy. However, you can use a little red chili powder in the absence of white or black pepper powder.
  • Must use hot water to make its gravy otherwise, the taste gets bland.
  • Don’t add the whole dry 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 to the oil rather add it later. You may add it in the beginning oil or later that doesn’t matter.
  • If the ground powdered masala remains, store it in an airtight container for later.

Even you may try some of my other bengali chicken recipes

You may try this chicken rezala and have with my kolkata special chicken biryani recipe or Bengali fried rice or white pulao recipe .

Bengali chicken rezala recipe step by step

Prep time: 30 mins

cooking time: 55 mins

Served in: 3 hrs 25 mins

Servings for: 68 people

Course: Main course

Cuisine: Bengali/Mughlai

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
  • 15 Cashew Nuts
  • 1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
  • 1 tsp Melon Seeds (Charmagaj)
  • 5 Dry Red Chilies
  • 1+1/2 tsp Kewra Water/ Kewra essence
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1+1/2 cup of Hot 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

Grind all the spices above until making a powder of it.

How to make bengali chicken rezala recipe step-by-step with pictures

Step 1- Marination of chicken

  • First, clean the chicken pieces with lukewarm water, squeeze them to remove excess water, and keep them aside to use later.
  • Take a mixing bowl with 3/4 cup curd and 3+1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste, and mix it well.
making bengali chicken rezala recipe
  • Add the chicken pieces into the mixing bowl and nicely coat it with curd and ginger garlic paste. keep it aside.
chicken pieces or murgir mangsho is in mixing bowl with curd and ginger garlic paste for making Bengali chicken rezala recipe
  • Now take 15 cashew nuts, 1 tbsp poppy seeds, and 1 tsp melon seeds (charmagaj in Bengali) in a pan and dry roast it for 2-3 mins.
dry roasting cashew nuts, poppy seeds (khaskhas), melon seeds(magaj seeds) the secret ingredients for making bengali chicken rezala recipe
  • Then transfer it to a bowl and soaked it in normal water for 15-20 minutes.
  • No warm water is needed for soaking as the nuts and poppy seeds are already hot.
soaked poppy seeds, cashew nuts and melon seeds in water
  • Take 5 small to medium-sized onions, peel them out and make a deep slit from its top.
  • Boil the onions well. As shown in the pic. After boiling cool it down for later use.
boiling onions in the water to remove its raw smell for making chicken rezala recipe
  • When the onion cools down, take the onions, soaked and strained poppy seeds, cashew nuts & melon seeds, and 2 green chilies in a blender jar. 
masala paste is going to be ready by grinding with boiled onion, green chillies, soaked poppy seeds, cashew nuts and melon seeds for making chicken rezala recipe
  • Blend it to make a smooth paste of it, even you may add little water to it if required.
smooth masala paste is ready for making mughlai chicken rezala recipe
  • Then add the paste(which contains cashew nuts, poppy seeds, charmagaj, boiled onion, and green chillis) to the chicken and mix it well.
  • Then marinade the chicken for at least 2 hours preferably in the refrigerator.
marinating the chicken pieces for the preparation for making mughlai chicken rezala recipe

Step 2 – Making 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 them into a fine powdered form. keep it aside.

Step 3 – Preparation of chicken rezala recipe

  • For making this chicken curry, first, place a thick bottom pan in low heat, let the pan heat up, then add 3 tbsp ghee and 4 tbsp of oil to it.
  • Once the ghee and oil get hot then add all the whole grama masala spices(cloves, cinnamon, cardamom & black peppercorn) to the pan. Stir it well for 30 secs.
whole garam masala spices including green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks in the mixture of ghee and oil for making mughlai chicken rezala recipe
  • Then take out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and add it to the pan, stir it well and let it cook. In the meantime raise the heat to medium to high.
marinated chicken or murgh is added to the pan for making murgh rezala recipe
  • After 3-4 mins add 4-5 dry red chilies to the pan and give a good stir.
5 dry red chilies are added to this murgh rezala recipe
  • Then cover the pan with a tight lid, keep the heat at low 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.
making bengali chicken rezala recipe or bhopali or pakistani murgh rezala recipe
  • 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.
after 15 mins cooking, Bengali chicken rezala curry starts boiling
  • 15 mins later remove the cover and add salt to it(as per your requirement) and mix it well.
adding salt to this Bengali chicken rezala curry
  • Then add 2 tsp of ground powdered rezala masala to the gravy and give a good stir.
ground Bengali rezala curry masala is added to this chicken curry
  • Now cook it for 8-10 mins without a lid and stir it occasionally to infuse the masala in the chicken.
making best homemade bengali chicken rezala
  • After 10 mins add 1+1/2 cup of hot water to it and stir it well. At this time raise the heat to medium-high and let the gravy boil.
adding hot water to aminia style chicken rezala
  • Once the gravy starts boiling add 1 1/2 tsp of kewra water (or kewra essence) to it and mix it well.
adding kewra water (kewra essence) to make this aminia style chicken rezala recipe
  • At this moment, you may add 1/2 tsp of sugar to balance the sourness of the curd or just skip it. Even add salt as per your taste.
adding sugar to this restaurant style kolkata chicken rezala which is almost same with its Pakistani version
  • Now cook it for more 5-6 minutes in medium flame and turn off the heat.
  • Restaurant style Bengali Chicken rezala is ready. Serve this hot chicken curry with roti, paratha, or biryani.
restaurant style authentic  chicken rezala is ready

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2 thoughts on “Bengali chicken rezala recipe step by step”

  1. This chicken rezala is the best, my friend. We loved this chicken curry. Every information you gave about this recipe was really helpful.


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