Chicken Rezala is very popular and authentic dish originated in Bengal and highly influenced by Mughlai cuisine.This royal dish is simply magical with it’s delicious aroma, texture and lip-smacking taste.The chicken is slow-cooked in a white cashew nut gravy with a blend of aromatic spices which lends a divine flavour to this dish. It has a perfect blend of sweetness and sourness in a mildly spiced gravy which makes it just delectable with Naan, Roomali Roti or Paratha . The juicy succulent pieces of meatdrowned in silky white semi thick gravy which glides through your taste bud without being heavy, besides bringing that perfect balance of sweetness and heat.
Chicken Rezala has so much of complex flavours and layers of taste,which makes it is so distinctive from other Mughlai dishes. The secret behind a successful Rezala is the use of homemade sweet yogurt that nicely compliments the dish giving a nice sweet taste. Though Rezala is synonymous with mutton, some can also prepare it with chicken, mushroom, paneer, fish egg or prawn. The white gravy is made with curd, cashew nut and poppy seeds paste, flavored with subtle spices which are not commonly used in normal dishes. Apart from cardamom, cloves, the dish is spiced with nutmeg powder, white pepper powder and got contrasted by whole dry red chili and garnished with ghee/ clarified butter.
Unlike other Bengali delicacies which has travelled to far away land,Rezalaremain confined to the geographical boundaries of Kolkata.The long period of Muslim rule in the country has greatly influenced the architecture and cuisine of the country and Bengal was no exception.The most interesting thing about this recipe of chickenrezalais the uses of few chosen spices, slow cooking and uncommon blending of onion with curd used for marination as well as for cooking. I have arrived at this recipe after going through many recipes on internet and food magazines, but a special mention to my friend Piyali Muthha from mytrystwithfoodandtravel whose Chicken Rezala has tempted me to try this and blog about it.