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Food Tales - Chicken Bharta (Kolkata Style)

Chicken Bharta - Kolkata Style is a delicacy which has been loved by the people of Kolkata for long. My childhood memory of Chicken Bharta was eating at the famous restaurant Dhaba on Ballygunj Phari in Kolkata. That etched the taste and dipping into that awesome creamy gravy of shredded chicken with fluffy naans (Indian flat bread) brings back a rush of memories. Bharta as you know is something which is minced / shredded made in an awesome gravy. I took a dig on to this dish during my #StayHome #StaySafe effort to make India Covid free. Here is the recipe for the same.

Preparing the Chicken

Chicken breast boneless: 250gm

Garlic: 1 large clove

Bay leaf: 1

Black peppercorn:5-6

Cinnamon: 1inch stick

Salt & Water

Take a saucepan / pot and add some olive oil (1 Table Spoon) and add the garlic, bayleaf, black peppercorn and cinnamon. Add water and boil along with the chicken breast and the eggs (to be used in the gravy) for 15 min which should give us a boiled chicken & hard boiled eggs, keep it away for it to cool down. Take out the Scum (white froth) and water aside, the stock can be used for the gravy.

Preparing the gravy

Onion ¾ cup should be finely chopped

Ginger & Garlic paste ½ tbsp each

Tomato (finely chopped): ½ cup

Cashew Paste & Fresh Cream - 3tbsp each

Cinnamon: 1inch stick 2-3

Cardamom: 3

Cloves: 5-6

Bay leaf: 1-2

Red Chilli (Kashmiri Lal Mirch) powder: 1 tbsp

Turmeric powder: ½ tsp

Butter(melted): 1tbsp

Garam masala powder: 1tsp

Kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves: ½ tsp

Salt to taste

Kewra essence: 4-5drops (optional)

We will use a Non Stick Pan / Kadai for making the dish. Add oil, once the oil is hot add the khada masala (bayleaf, cloves, cardamom & cinnamon) till we get the aroma. Add the onions and fry them till translucent. Add the ginger & garlic paste cook for 2 minutes and add the tomatoes and some salt. Cook in medium heat with a lid on, till we have tomatoes cooked.

Now add the red chilly powder, turmeric garam masala, cook for 2-3 minutes in low heat. Add the cashew paste (soaked cashew in warm water and make a paste) . Ensure the heat is low and the cook is not in high temperature else it may curdle. Cook till the oil separates, add the shredded chicken breast, the mashed yolk of the boiled eggs. You can add the one egg white which is finely chopped to add an additional texture to the gravy. Add the chicken stock, check on the seasoning and adjust as required and cook with a lid on in low heat for 10 minutes. Check the gravy consistency normally bharta is a semi gravy dish.

Bring down the heat and add the fresh cream and kasturi methi and mix well. Once you have the right consistence switch of the heat, add the melted butter and some garam masala powder and let it rest for 10 min with lid on. Add some kewra (optional) to give it an additional aroma.

Serve the chicken bharta in a serving dish, garnish it with coriander and the boiled egg cut in half. You can serve it with Indian flat breads like Naan, Roti or Paratha.

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