Today I am going to share again a recipe of chicken preparation called "Chicken Chanp or Chaap". Let me first say thanks to my friend Swagata, whom I received the base recipe from. It was the picture of her wonderful preparation which attracted me towards this dish and later I modified or added a few things on my own. In Bengali, another meaning of “chaap” is pressure and there is a common phrase called “chaap nis na” or don’t take pressure. But trust me, this dish won’t be a “chaap” to you. It’s actually very easy to make, though it has some specific steps for preparation, they are pretty simple.
Chicken Chap is a Mughlai dish and this Awadhi cuisine introduced to Bengali by the Nawabs of Bengal in the early eighteenth century. It didn’t take long to become very popular to the foodie Bengali. Several Mughlai restaurants in Kolkata like Arsalan, Aminia and Shiraz are very famous for their Chicken Chaap. If you and your family love Mughlai taste, it’s an absolutely must-try recipe.
Chicken chap is the spicy and juicy chicken preparation, where chicken leg quarters or large pieces of chicken are marinated with hung curd and some spices. Then they are fried and cooked. This is a very rich, aromatic dish which has creamy-thick gravy. As per original recipe, you are supposed to cook the Chicken with ghee (clarified butter) but I just added little ghee with the oil, only for flavor. If you want richer version, you may add more ghee. The first part is marinating chicken and then cooking slowly in a covered pan. In this process, oil would release a lot and start floating over the gravy. Other most important ingredients for this dish are poppy seeds, cashew paste, Kewra water and a special type of “garam masala”. The kewra water has a powerful aroma, so don't use much. Chicken Chaap is generally served or best enjoyed with some Biryani or Naan or tandoori rotis.
Recipe of Chicken Chaap or ChaaNp ( Chicken cooked in rich aromatic gravy) Serves - 4
Chicken - 2.5 lb / around 1 kg cut into big pieces, preferably 4 leg quarters
Hung curd / Greek Yogurt - 1 cup
Onion - 1 big sliced
Garlic paste - 1 1/2 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Kashmiri Red Chili Powder - 2 tbsp
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp or as per your tolerance
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Poppy seeds - 2 tbsp
Whole Cashew - 15 pieces
Cardamom - 4
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Clove - 4
Javitri (Mace ) - 3-4 blades
Star anise - 1
Oil + Ghee (clarified butter ) - 4 + 2
Kewra water - few drops
1.. Take cardamom, cinnamon, clove, mace and star anise, dry roast them. Let it cool down first, then grind it to a fine powder. Set it aside the spice powder.
3. Soak the poppy seeds and cashew in half cup of water for 10 to 15 minute and make a paste.
4. Take the chicken pieces, wash and pat dry with kitchen towel. Take a big bowl add the chicken to it then add the yogurt, salt, sugar, the onion paste, garlic paste, ginger paste, Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, the poppy seeds and cashew paste ( and a pinch of corn flour or plain flour to avoid curdling from yogurt) and mix them well. Let it rest for 4 to 6 hrs.
5. Add oil and ghee to the pan and heat it up, once it is ready, add the chicken pieces from the marinade. Saute the chicken piece for couple of minutes, then add the marinade also. Stir it occasionally and let it cook over medium to high flame and cover it with a lid. Check it in few minutes and again give some stirs until oil comes up from the sides of pan and chicken gets soft and tender.
6. Check the seasoning, add 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of the spice powder ( garam masala), add few drops of kewra water. Give some stirs and mix it well. Chicken Chaap is ready, serve hot with Biryani or Naan or tandoori rotis. Enjoy!!
Note : You can make 'Mutton Chaap' following the same recipe, add one cup of grated raw papaya while marinating mutton.
Related recipes, you may like :
Easy Yogurt Chicken
Murgh Badami ( Chicken in Almond Sauce )
Chicken Korma ( Chicken in a Rich Aromatic Yogurt - Nut Based Sauce )