Healthy chicken stew recipe- how to make chicken stew

A healthy, delicious, easy-to-make chicken stew recipe just in 30 minutes. Chicken stew is a healthy, less spicy, soupy curry made with chicken, potatoes, carrot, beans, papaya, and onion. This is a gluten-free and low-carb soup. Chicken stew is best to serve in winter or in cold weather and perfectly paired with bread toast, however, have it as the way it comes.

In this stew, chicken and vegetables are cooked in butter, and whole spices, along with ginger, garlic & onion. Well, mixed flavors of butter and whole spices make the gravy divine. Stew is generally prepared in a slow cooker. But that takes several hours to cook. So I made it in a pressure cooker just in 30 minutes.

served chicken stew in a white pot with butter toast bread

In Kolkata, the chicken stew was created through Anglo Indian cuisine during the British era. An English dish served with an Indian taste. Due to being the capital of British India, Kolkata easily gets the first chance to take this healthy soup on its palate. It was welcomed by the foodies of Bengal and 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 recipe 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 by college/ university-goers to book buyers, so the waiting time was a bit long. However, that was worth tasting their delicious stew. That piping hot soup would come in a big bowl, with a piece of chicken along with a buttery soft potato and carrot and served with bread toast.

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 often make chicken stew, to energies myself after a day-long tiring work, to make a quick dinner on chilling winter nights, 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 your requirement.

You can also try some of my other delicious soup recipes – Creamy Chicken Soup, Chicken Clear Soup, Healthy corn soup.

Healthy chicken stew recipe

A healthy, delicious, easy-to-make chicken stew recipe just in 30 minutes. Chicken stew is a healthy, less spicy, soupy curry made with chicken, potatoes, carrot, beans, papaya, and onion.


  • 450 chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • 8 long pieces of carrot
  • 8 long pieces of raw papaya
  • 2 potatoes(medium)
  • 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 spices(garam masala)

  • 8-9 black peppercorns
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 2 cardamom
  • 3/4 inch cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Servings: 4 people

Course: Main course

Cuisine: Indian

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make healthy chicken stew with step by step pictures


Preparation of chicken stew

  • Take 450 gm chicken thighs or drumsticks, clean and wash it, keep it aside.
  • Take half of a medium-size carrot, half of the green papaya(medium), 2 potatoes(medium size), peel it out. Cut the carrot and papaya into 8 long pieces and the potatoes into halves. Also, take the beans and, cut them in half too.

Cooking chicken stew in the pressure cooker

  • Take a pressure cooker, heat it up, add 2 cubes of butter and vegetable oil to it. First, add the whole spices, a little sauté.
making chicken stew by putting butter and whole spices in pressure cooker
  • Add the onion(cut into four) in oil, stir it well and separate its petals while sautéing.
sauteing onion
  • After a min of frying, add the ginger garlic paste(or crushed ginger-garlic) to the cooker. Stir it well. 
adding ginger garlic crush
  • Add the chicken pieces to the cooker, mix it well with the spices and cook it for a min.
making chicken stew in pressure cooker by sauteing chicken thighs in butter with onion, whole spices and ginger -garlic paste
  • Then add the carrots, papaya, potato, beans to the cooker one by one and stir them well. Cook it for one more min with chicken and vegetables.
cooking chicken stew in pressure cooker with carrot, papaya, potatoes and beans
  • Lastly, add salt and crushed pepper and stir it gently then add 3-4 cups of water to the cooker. Give it a good stir.
seasoned with pepper and salt and adding water for making this healthy chicken curry
  • Raise the stove flame on high, cook it until the water 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 pressure cooker until it automatically releases its pressure.
making chicken stew in pressure cooker
  • Remove the lid and first check the bottom of the cooker to assure the veggies or chicken does not stick to it, then check its taste. In the meantime, check the vegetables are perfectly cooked or not.
after pressure cooking perfectly cooked vegetables and chicken in stew
  • Then you may add salt and pepper and again boil it for 1-2 mins until it tastes perfect. 
chicken stew seasoned with salt and pepper to make the taste perfect
  • Lastly, add 2 more small butter cubes(optional) to the gravy, once it melts down, turns off the heat. Our quick & healthy chicken stew is ready, serve it hot with bread toast, bun, rice, noodles or even with dumplings.
butter the most important ingredient of making flavourful chicken stew recipe


  • For making its more portions, proportionately increase the quantity of all ingredients.
  • Though I used chicken thighs or 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 while cooking with spices. Otherwise, that 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 the lid is closed before water starts to boil.

Serving suggestion

Chicken stew is best to have with bread toast/ bun. Though you may serve it with rice, noodles, dumplings or even you may have it as the way it comes.

Storing suggestions

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, a very rich in protein, helps us to manage our weight & reduces the risk of heart diseases.
  • vegetables are a good source of nutrients including vitamins and antioxidants(reduces the risk of heart diseases too).
  • Even vegetables are rich in fibre or roughages that also helps to manage weight loss and are great to solve constipation like digestive issues.
  • Black pepper has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, good for cold and cough & controlling sugar in the blood.
  • Butter is a good source of vitamin D, makes our bones strong, prevent tooth decay, so it is best for growing kids.

Frequently asked question

How to make chicken stew in a pan?

Take a pan or slow cooker, heat it up, add butter and vegetable oil in it, add whole spices, add onion and sauté for a minute, add ginger garlic paste again sauté for few seconds, add chicken pieces sauté for a minute, then add vegetables to cook it with chicken and spices, add salt and pepper to taste. Add water, let it starts to boil, add salt and pepper if requires. Tightly cover the pan or cooker, 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 in stew instead of chicken thighs or drumsticks?

You can use any type of chicken piece, it is not mandatory to use only leg pieces or drumsticks. Especially for healthy reasons, breast pieces are best for making this recipe.

Can I make it without butter?

Though butter is used in making soup and stew for bringing good flavor and taste. However, some of us could not consume more calories, which contains in butter. So you may easily replace the butter by using 2 tsp of vegetable oil or margarine. 

Are whole spices mandatory for making this recipe?

Whole spices are nothing but our Indian garam masala, which makes a wonderful flavor in this stew. If you want to get that Indian flavor, must use these spices. That is good for cold and cough too.

Can I use milk in this recipe?

I never used milk in my chicken stew. 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 south Indian touch.

Can I use tomato in this stew?

You may 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, adjusts the flavour and bring rich colour to this gravy. Even, you may use lemon juice too instead of tomato.

How to toast the bun or bread for serve with this stew?

Take the buns, sliced them up, or take the sliced bread, spread some generous amount of butter to it. Place it in a pan kept in low heat. When one side gets golden brown then flip the bread and make the other side in the same manner. Butter toast bun or bread is ready to serve with this dish.

Which vegetables I can use in this stew?

Basically, my recipe is influenced by Kolkata’s old Anglo Indian cuisine, where carrot, beans, potato, and papaya are generally used in the stew. However, you may use boiled sweet corn and sautéed mushroom too.

How to make creamy stew without using milk?

Without using milk, only flour or cornflour can make it more creamy. Though cornflour and flour both make it 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 healthy 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 a well-beaten egg to its gravy, just after when meat and vegetables are perfectly cooked. Eggs will make it more healthy too. 

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