Bengali chicken rezala recipe step by step

Bengali-style delicious chicken rezala recipe with step-by-step pictures. Chicken rezala is a popular Mughlai style recipe of chicken, slow-cooked in curd or yogurt, cashew, and poppy seeds based white less spicy gravy, with a perfect blend of ghee, garam masala, and kewra water. In Kolkata, chicken rezala is most popular for creating its magic over foodies for ages with its shahi taste and flavor.

Traditionally, 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 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.

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

Like other Mughlai dishes, rezala has a 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 with 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 traditionally 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 the best bengali chicken rezala recipe

  • If melon seeds are not available around then you may replace them with 5-6 more cashew nuts.
  • Poppy seeds, cashew nuts, and melon seeds must be dry roasted before soaking up to remove the raw smells of it and to quickly soak up the water for getting a fine smooth paste. Though dry roast is not mandatory for the traditional method.
  • 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 the refrigerator. However, in the traditional way, it was kept outside and due to slow cooking took more time.
  • Traditionally, shahi jeera is used in making this dish. However, 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 a little more or less as per your taste, but remember it is a very less spicy dish.
  • Red chilli powder is not used in this dish as traditionally this dish is white in texture and mildly spicy. However, you may use a little red chilli powder in absence of white or black pepper.
  • Must use hot water for making its gravy otherwise, the taste gets bland.
  • Don’t add the whole dry red chillies 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 to have it 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

Ingredients

  • 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 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 with step-by-step 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.
mixing ginger garlic paste with curd
  • 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
  • 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.
dry roasting poppy seeds(khaskhas), cashew nuts(kaju), melon seeds(magaj seeds) the secret ingredients
  • 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 seeds are already hot.
soaking roasted khaskhas, kaju and magaj seeds or 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 the gravy of this chicken 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
  • Blend it to make a smooth paste out of it, even you may add little water to it if required.
smooth masala paste is ready to make this mughlai recipe
  • Then add the paste(which contains cashew nuts, charmagaj, poppy seeds, 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 of this kolkata style chicken rezala recipe

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

Step 3 – 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 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
  • 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
  • After 3-4 mins add 4-5 dry red chillies to the pan and give a good stir.
dry red chilli is added to this mughlai chicken curry
  • 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 or bhopali or pakistani murg 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, curry of chicken rezala or murgh rezala 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 gravy
  • Then add 2 tsp of ground powdered rezala masala to the gravy and give a good stir.
ground rezala masala is added to this chicken gravy
  • Now cook it for 8-10 mins without a lid and stir it occasionally to infuse the masala in the chicken.
making best homemade 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 make this chicken rezala curry
  • Once the gravy starts boiling add 1 1/2 tsp of kewra water to it and mix it well.
adding kewra water 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 Indian 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.
  • Chicken rezala is ready, serve this hot curry with roti, paratha, or biryani.
authentic Bengali style 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.

    Reply

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