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Chicken Chaap

Jul 14, 2020

  • Serves: 4

Created by the Nawabs of Bengal, Chicken Chaap is essentially an adopted version of it’s mutton counterpart. Extremely famous in Bengal, by which I mean both West and East Bengal. The later currently known as Bangladesh.

Chaap is considered as the most essential accompaniment of Kolkata Biriyani, later finishing the meal with Royal Phirni is a tradition.

The name Chaap comes from the cut of the meat. The English word ‘chop’ probably mis-pronounced as ‘chaap’ by the royal khansamas or cooks. As I mentioned earlier Mutton Chaap is original dish later the chicken alternative was replicated. Both being equally famous and cherished.

Rich with the use of ghee, cashewnuts, poppy and saffron. Mitha attar, rose water and keora being the flavouring along the spice blend of mace, cardamom and nutmeg. We also see the use of braising technique in the method of cooking.

In this recipe I have slightly changed the method from the traditional version


Marinade with:

  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric pwd – 1tsp
  • Red chilli pwd – 1.5tsp
  • Ginger- 1inch
  • Garlic – 6 big cloves
  • Onion – 1/2
  • Yoghurt – 1/2 cup
  • Green Chillies Slit- 3
  • Saffron – a pinch
  • Oil – 4 tbsp
  • Cashewnuts – 50gm
  • Poppy seeds- 25gms
  • Cardamom green – 6
  • Black cardamom – 2
  • Mace – 3
  • Nutmeg- 1/6
  • Ghee- 6tbsp
  • Ginger julienne – 1/2 tbsp
  • Chopped coriander – 2 tbsp
  • Rose water – 1 tbsp
  • Keora water – 1 tbsp
  • Metha attar – few drops


  • Put gashes on the chicken.
  • Grind to a paste – ginger, garlic and onion
  • Grind to paste – poppy seeds and cashewnuts ( soak the cashewnuts in hot water for 10 minutes) and mix the beaten yoghurt with the paste.
  • Grind to a powder ( chaap masala)- both the cardamoms, mace and nutmeg
  • Soak the saffron in warm milk.
  • Marinate the chicken legs with salt, turmeric, chilli powder, 1 tsp of chaap masala and oil for atleast 3 hours.
  • Heat the ghee in a pan and add the marinated chicken.
  • Slightly pan fry, giving bit of coloration and add the cashew, poppy and yoghurt mix.
  • Add bit of water if required, mix the masala well and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the chaap masala, saffron milk, half the julienne ginger and chopped coriander.
  • Cook the chicken in a very slow flame while basting it continuously.
  • Amount of water should be very less in the recipe.
  • Check seasoning, garnish with chopped coriander and rest of the julienne ginger.
  • Best enjoyed with mutton biriyani.

In this Recipe

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