Famously created for Mughal royalty by the chefs of Bengal, chicken rezala is a rich fragrant dish with it’s masala made from almonds or cashew paste, poppy seeds and yogurt. These subtle spices make it very different to any “typical” curry you’d come across on a restaurant menu. I’ve paired it with a simple broccoli and jeera rice but it can be eaten with any rice you choose!
Servings: 6 portions
Prep+cooking time: 1hr
For Bengali Chicken Rezala
Ingredients for the marinade:
- 6 chicken quarters, cleaned and scored
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 cup natural yogurt
- 1 tsp salt
Ingredients for the masala:
- 1 onion, cut into thin slices
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3-4 green cardamom pods
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 star anise
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 2 tbsp ground almonds (cashews can also be used)
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
1) Create a marinade of yogurt, salt, ginger and garlic before making sure each chicken piece is well coated. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2) Create a paste using ground almonds and poppy seeds and leave aside.
3) Heat the ghee and oil together and fry the whole spices until they become fragrant. Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes until they become soft and translucent.
4) Add the marinated chicken along with any remaining marinade in the bowl and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes.
5) After 20 minutes, add the cashew and poppy seed paste and cook for 20 minutes with the lid on.
6) After 20 minutes open the lid and boil the masala until it becomes thick. Stir well and serve with rice or naan.
For Broccoli Jeera Rice
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ onion
- ½ tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
- pinch of mustard seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1) Heat oil in pan and lightly fry the garlic, onions, jeera and mustard seeds.
2) Once the onions have browned slightly, add the broccoli and cook covered for 5 minutes.
3) Add cooked rice, salt and pepper and stir everything well. Leave with lid on for another 5 minutes and serve immediately.