Kolkata Chicken Chaap

Kolkata Chicken Chaap

Chicken chaap is an adopted Nawabi dish which is renowned in Calcutta/Kolkata due to the historical reign of Bengal Nawabs. An aromatic rich Mughlai dish, cooked in a unique combination of juicy and moist chicken pieces with rich and thick gravy.

This dish is characterized by the use of cashews, white poppy seeds and yoghurt which creates a thick and creamy sauce.

The dish actually is pretty easy to make. Do not get intimidated by the Steps under Prep. They are all very simple. So if you are all set for a Nawabi meal then go ahead and indulge yourself.

It is very popular in Bengal usually serves with Rumali roti, Briyani, Naan etc.

Prepare time: 25 min
Cook time: 60 min
Ready in: 1 hour 25 min


  • 2 Chicken legs
  • 1 cup Curd
  • 2 Dry red chilli
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • ½ cup Onion paste
  • 1 tbsp. Ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. Garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp. Cashew paste
  • 3 tbsp. Poppy seeds paste
  • 1 tsp. Kewra water
  • Ghee as required for cooking
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pinch Sugar


  1. Soak poppy seeds in warm water for 20 minutes. Clean the chicken, wash well, pat them dry and with a fork, prick all over the chicken till the bone in several places.
  2. In a blender, put the soaked poppy seeds and cashew together to make a smooth paste, by adding a little water. Transfer it out in a bowl.
  3. With the help of a little water, grind coarsely chopped onions, ginger and garlic cloves into a fine paste. Keep aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add curd, ground onion-ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, a little salt and a pinch of sugar and whisk with a hand whisk until evenly combined.
  5. Pour the marinade all over the chicken, mix well. Add a spoonful of ghee on it and coat. Cover and put the chicken in refrigerator for a minimum of 5-6 hours.
  6. Take the marinated chicken out from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature before cooking.
  7. In a wide Wok/ Pan add about 2 tablespoons of ghee on medium heat. Once the ghee is hot, temper with bay leaf, whole red chilli and cinnamon stick and stir for a little while.
  8. After the aroma of cinnamon rises, shake off the marinade from the chicken legs and put them in hot ghee. Turn the heat to medium and slow cook for about 15- 20 minutes flipping the legs from time to time.
  9. Once the leg is almost cooked, add the remaining marinade and cook for about 10-15 more minutes for all the raw smell of onion ginger garlic to disappear.
  10. Add cashew and poppy seed paste. Cook for another 20-30 minutes and till the spices are dried and the dish comes together and smells divine. Add 1 or 2 drops of kewra water, stir and switch off.
  11. Serve Kolkata Chicken Chaap with Biryani, Naan or Rumali roti or with any paratha.

Kolkata Chicken Chaap

Kolkata Chicken Chaap

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