Healthy chicken stew recipe – how to make chicken stew

Chicken stew recipe – A healthy, delicious, easy-to-make chicken stew recipe for just about 30 minutes. Chicken stew is a less spicy, soupy curry made with chicken, potatoes, carrot, beans, papaya & onion, flavors blended with butter, crushed black pepper, and whole garam masala 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.

served this bengali style butter, garam masala, pepper flavoured healthy chicken stew with carrot, raw papaya & potato in a white pot with butter toast bread served served this bengali style butter, garam masala, pepper flavoured healthy chicken stew with carrot, raw papaya & potato in a white pot with butter toast bread served

In this 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 the 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, this chicken stew recipe 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.

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, onionflavored with crushed black pepper, and whole garam masala spices.

Ingredients for chicken stew

  • 450 without skin Chicken pieces(Chicken thighs or Chicken drumsticks)
  • 8 long cut pieces of Carrot
  • 8 long cut pieces of Raw Papaya
  • 2 peeled potatoes(cut into half)
  • 8-10 Green Beans(cut into halves)
  • 1 cubed Onion(cut into four pieces)
  • 1/2 inches Ginger
  • 8-9 Garlic cloves
  • 4 cubes Butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed Black pepper
  • Salt(as per taste)
  • Water as required)

Whole garam masala spices required for chicken stew

  • 8-9 Black peppercorns
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 3/4 inch Cinnamon
  • 2 Bay leaves

Utensil requires for making chicken stew

  • Pressure cooker

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Servings: 4 people

Course: Main course

Cuisine: Indian/Bengali

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make healthy chicken stew recipe with step-by-step detailed pictures


Step 1- Clean the chicken

  • Take 450 gm without skin chicken thighs or chicken drumstick pieces, clean and wash it, and keep it aside.

Step 2 – Cut stew vegetables

  • Take half of a medium-size carrot, half of the green papaya(medium), and 2 potatoes(medium size), & beans, wash them, and peel them out.
  • Cut the carrot and papaya(take the white part of the papaya, not the green part) into 8 long pieces and the potatoes into halves.
  • Cut the beans in half.

Cooking chicken stew in pressure cooker

Step 1- Add butter & oil

  • Heat the pressure cooker add 2 cubes of butter and vegetable oil to it.

Step 2- Temper whole spices(garam masala) in oil

  • First, add the whole garam masala spices(black pepper, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves as described in the ingredients) and a little sauté.
making chicken stew by putting butter and whole garam masala spices(cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf) in pressure cooker

Step 3- Saute Onions

  • Add the onion(cut into cubes or four pieces) to the oil, stir it well and separate its petals while sautéing.
sauteeing white petal of onion

Step 4- Adding crushed ginger-garlic

  • After a min of frying, add the ginger garlic paste(or crushed ginger-garlic) to the cooker. Stir it well. 
adding crushed ginger garlic

Step 5- Add chicken to the cooker

  • Add the chicken pieces to the cooker, mix it well with the spices and cook it for a min.
making chicken stew recipe by sauteeing chicken thighs or legs in butter with onion, whole garam masala spices and ginger -garlic paste

Step 6- Adding vegetables to the cooker

  • Then add the carrots, papaya, potato, and beans to the cooker one by one and stir them well. Cook it for one more min with chicken and vegetables.
making chicken stew recipe in pressure cooker with long cut carrot, raw papaya, half cut potatoes & beans

Step 7- Adding salt & water

  • 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 crushed black pepper, white salt and adding water for making chicken stew

Step 8- Pressure Cook the stew

  • 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 recipe in pressure cooker

Step 9 – Check the cooked stew

  • Remove the lid and first check the bottom of the cooker to assure the veggies or chicken does not stick to the cooker, then check its taste.
  • In the meantime, check whether the vegetables are perfectly cooked or not.
after pressure cooking perfectly cooked vegetables and chicken in stew

Step 10- Add salt & pepper seasoning

  • Then you may add salt and pepper and again boil it for 1-2 mins until it tastes perfect. 
chicken stew seasoned with white salt and black pepper to make a perfect soothing stew

Step 11 – Make ready chicken stew with butter cubes

  • Lastly, add 2 more small butter cubes(optional) to the gravy, once it melts down, turns off the heat.
  • Our quick & healthy chicken stew(bengali style) is ready, serve this hot stew with bread toast, bun, even rice, noodles, or dumplings.
white butter the most important ingredient for making this chicken stew recipe

Tips for best chicken stew recipe

  • 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.

Serving suggestion

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.

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(reduce the risk of heart diseases too).
  • Even vegetables are rich in fiber or roughages 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 cold and cough & 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 question(About Chicken stew recipe)

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 a 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, and 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 chicken drumsticks. Especially for health reasons, chicken breast pieces are best for making this recipe. Even here I have used without skin chicken pieces, 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 may easily replace the butter by using 2 tsp of vegetable oil or olive oil or low-fat butter margarine. 

Are whole spices mandatory for making this stew?

Whole spices are nothing but our Indian garam masala, which makes a wonderful flavor in this stew. It is necessary for making a Kolkata-style stew recipe. Even 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 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 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, create an extra flavor and bring rich color 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, slice 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 can use any veggies as per your choice, beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, turnip even you may use boiled sweet corn and sautéed mushroom 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 the white portion of the egg(as used in most chinese soups), beat it well before mixing it to its gravy, just after when meat and vegetables are perfectly cooked. Eggs will make it more healthy. 

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