This a healthy, soothing, delicious, Bengali Chicken Stew recipe for chilling winter nights to stay away from cold and cough, easy to make at home just in 30 minutes.
What is Chicken Stew?
Chicken Stew is a less spicy, soupy curry made with chicken and veggies with butter, black pepper & whole spices. Though I used the most common veggies in this soup, however, cook it with any fresh veggies as per the availability of the ingredients or which suits you best. No use of cream or milk or not used starch in this stew gravy so it is a gluten-free and low-carb soup. Best to serve in winter or in cold weather as a wholesome meal, even perfect if paired with bread toast, however, have it as the way this dish comes.
For making Chicken Stew, chicken and vegetables are cooked in butter, spiced up & flavored with crushed black pepper and whole spices, along with ginger, garlic, onion, and salt. Well, mixed flavors of butter, pepper, and whole garam masala spices make the gravy divine. Stew is usually prepared in a slow cooker, But that almost takes several hours to cook. So I made it in a pressure cooker which takes just 30 minutes.
My Chicken Stew recipe is completely influenced by Bengali cuisine. That is not because I’m a Bengali, the reason is simple, the taste of this dish. Being a healthy food, how it could be so tasty, after having this dish for the first time, my first reaction was just like that. But later I heard about some of Kolkata’s food joints that are just popular for preparing this healthy Chicken Stew for decades. Even the famous people of Bengal was a true fan of their stew. So being a great fan of that healthy yet tasty food, I too visit some of those places, one of them was YMCA canteen at college street.
In Kolkata, Chicken Stew was created through Anglo-Indian cuisine during the British era. Then Kolkata was the capital of British India and stew was one of the popular food among British people. Due to being the capital of British India, Kolkata easily gets the first chance to take this healthy soup on its palate. However, to make it more flavourful and tasty, we bengali spiced it up with whole garam masala and pepper give it a distinct Identity. Started serving that English stew with an Indian taste. Bengali foodies community welcomed it and it turned into a Bengali delicacy forever. As a result, Chitto babu’r dokan in Dacres Lane, YMCA canteen in college street got huge popularity for making this dish in their kitchen.
Nothing can be healthy yet delicious than stew, among all Kolkata street foods. Though never visit Dacres lane, however, often visit the YMCA canteen whenever passing through college street. Fully crowded with college/ university-goers to book buyers, so the waiting time was a bit long. However, that was worth tasting their delicious stew. A piping hot soup would come in a big bowl, with a piece of chicken along with a buttery soft potato and carrot, sprinkled with crushed black pepper and served with bread toast. Healthy, tasty, and pocket-friendly too.
But since we moved out of Kolkata, I have been missing such delicacies. However my craving is not stopped, so I started making it at home. I never think it is such an easy recipe that I got passed on on my first try. Since then I have often made this chicken stew at home. I make it to energy myself after a day-long tiring work, to make a quick dinner on chilling winter nights, to prevent my kid from winter-time cold and cough, or even when want to prepare a simple yet healthy & light food for my entire family. Prepare it as per my requirement. Just follow my step-by-step recipe and you are in even just 30 mins.
So what are you waiting for? Try it today and let me know your valuable feedback about this recipe in my comment section below. I will be waiting for your comments.
You can also try some of my other delicious soup recipes – Creamy Chicken Soup, Corn soup, Chicken clear soup.
Quick & Healthy Bengali Chicken Stew recipe step by step
Chicken Stew is a healthy, soothing, delicious curry made with chicken, potatoes, carrot, beans, papaya with onion, ginger, garlic, black pepper, and whole garam masala spices. Perfect for chilling winter nights to stay away from cold and cough, quick & easy to make at home just in 30 minutes.
- 450 Chicken (without skin)
- 1 Carrot
- 2 potatoes
- 8 pcsRaw Papaya
- 8-10 Green Beans
- 1 Onion
- 1/2 inches Ginger
- 8-9 Garlic cloves
- 4 cubes Butter
- 1+1/2 tsp Vegetable oil
- 1+1/2 tsp Black pepper(crushed )
- Salt(as per taste)
- Water as required)
Whole garam masala spices required
- 8-9 Black peppercorns
- 4-5 Cloves
- 2 Cardamom
- 3/4 inch Cinnamon
- 2 Bay leaves
- A Pressure cooker
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main course
Author: Moumita Paul
How to make Quick & Healthy Bengali Chicken Stew recipe step by step
- First, clean & wash the chicken pieces. keep it aside. I used without skin chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks. keep it aside.
- Wash, and peel out a carrot and 1/4 of medium green papaya. Cut them lengthwise.
- Then wash & peel out 2 medium size potatoes and cut them into 4 pieces.
- Take 8-10 pcs of beans, wash them, and cut into halves.
Cooking Chicken Stew
- Heat a pressure cooker on medium flame and add 2 cubes of butter and 1+1/2 tsp vegetable oil to it.
- Add the whole garam masala(8-9 black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 3/4 inch cinnamon, 2 pcs cardamom, and 4-5 pcs cloves) to the oil and a little sauté.
- Add the onion to the oil, stir it well and let separate its petals while sautéing. As shown in the below pic.
- After a min, add the crushed ginger-garlic or ginger-garlic paste to the cooker. Stir it well.
- Then add the chicken to the cooker, mix it well with the spices and cook it for a min.
- Then add the veggies (carrots, papaya, potato, and beans) to the cooker and stir them well. Cook it for one more min.
- Lastly, add 1 sp salt and 1 tsp crushed pepper (or powdered paper) and stir it gently.
- Then add 3-4 cups (≈ 1 liter) of water to the cooker. Give it a good stir.
- Raise the stove flame on high, cook it until the gravy starts boiling, then cover the lid of the pressure cooker.
- Keep the stove on medium to high heat. Wait for one whistle to blow. Turn off the heat.
- Don’t remove the cooker lid until it automatically releases its pressure.
- Once remove the lid, first check the bottom of the cooker to assure the veggies or chicken are not stuck to the bottom, then check its taste.
- In the meantime, check whether the vegetables are perfectly cooked or not.
- Then add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (crushed or powdered) and again boil it for 1-2 mins until it tastes perfect.
- Lastly, add 2 more small butter cubes (optional) to the gravy, once it melts down, turn off the heat.
- Chicken Stew is ready, serve this hot stew with bread toast, bun, or even rice, noodles, or dumplings.
- For making more portions, proportionately increase the quantity of all ingredients.
- Though I used chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks, you may use chicken breast pieces too.
- Don’t heat the butter for a long time, it may change the colour of the gravy. The gravy may be dark brown in colour.
- Always stir the chicken and vegetables, especially while cooking with spices. Otherwise, chicken or vegetables may stick to the bottom of the pan or it may get burnt from the bottom too.
- After adding water, let the water starts boiling. Then first you can check the requirement of salt & pepper and secondly, the gravy tastes bland if you close the lid before the water starts to boil.
Chicken Stew is best to have with bread toast/ bun. Though you may serve it with piping hot rice, noodles, or dumplings or even you may have it the way it comes.
You may store the leftover stew in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Healthy Benefits of Chicken Stew
Ingredients used in this recipe have different health benefits, such as
- Chicken, very rich in protein, helps us to manage our weight & reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Vegetables are a good source of nutrients including vitamins and antioxidants(reduce the risk of heart disease too).
- Even vegetables are rich in fiber or roughage that also help to manage weight loss and are great to solve constipation-like digestive issues.
- Black pepper has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, good for colds and coughs & controls sugar in the blood.
- Butter is a good source of vitamin D, makes our bones strong, and prevents tooth decay, so it is best for growing kids.
Frequently asked questions (About Healthy Chicken stew recipe)
How to make chicken stew in a pan (without using a pressure cooker or instant pot)?
For making chicken stew in a pan, the procedure is the same as I mentioned in this recipe. Only after adding water, salt, and pepper. Tightly cover the pan, slow the heat to its minimum and let it cook. Check it after every 10 minutes. When the veggies and chicken are perfectly cooked, that indicates it is done.
Can I use chicken breast pieces or boneless pieces in this recipe?
Yes, you can use any type of chicken piece. It is not mandatory to use only leg pieces or chicken drumsticks. Especially for health reasons, chicken breast or boneless pieces are best for making this recipe. Even here I have used without skin chicken, but you can use with skin chicken pieces too.
Can I make this stew without butter?
Though butter is used in making soup and stew for bringing good flavor and taste to it. However, some of us could not consume more calories, contains in butter. So you can easily replace the butter by using 2 tsp of vegetable oil or olive oil or low-fat margarine.
Are whole spices mandatory for making this stew?
The whole spices are Indian garam masala, which makes a wonderful flavor in this stew. It is necessary for making any Indian and Kolkata-style stew recipe. Whole spices are good for colds and coughs too.
Can I use milk in this stew?
I never used milk in my chicken stew recipe. However, milk can be used to make a rich, creamy, and milky white gravy. Even you may use coconut milk too, just to give it a coconut flavor as well as to get a south Indian touch.
Can I use tomato in this stew?
You can use tomato in it. Then just sauté the tomatoes in oil with ginger garlic paste, to avoid its raw smell. Even tomato will make it a little thick, create an extra flavor and bring rich color to this stew gravy. Even, you may use lemon juice too instead of tomato.
How to toast the bun or bread to serve with stew?
Take the buns, slice them up, or take the sliced bread, and spread some generous amount of butter on it. Place it in a pan kept on low heat. When one side gets golden brown then flip the bread and make the other side in the same manner. A butter toast bun or bread is ready to serve with this dish.
Which vegetables I can use in the stew?
Basically, my recipe is influenced by Kolkata’s old Anglo-Indian cuisine, where carrots, beans, potatoes, and papaya are generally used in the stew. However, you can use any veggies of your choice, like beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, and turnip. Even you can use boiled sweet corn and sautéed mushrooms too.
How to make a creamy stew without using milk?
Without using milk, only flour or cornflour can make it more creamy. Though cornflour and flour make it whitish and slurry, however, more than cornflour, flour is more suitable for this recipe. Take 2 tbsp of flour/cornflour with 1/2 a cup of water. Mix it well. Lastly, add it to the gravy and boil it for 3-4 minutes. Even mashed potatoes are one more option to make it more creamy and thick.
Can I use egg in this recipe?
Though eggs are not used in a stew. However, you can add boiled eggs. Even can add the white portion of the egg (as used in most Chinese soups). Beat the egg white well before mixing it into the gravy. But add it just after when meat and vegetables are perfectly cooked. Eggs will make it more healthy too.