Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Penance and the Simplest Chicken Rezala Ever

A very happy New Year to all you guys.

Sometime ago I did something to hurt a very dear friend, one of my best buddies. I slept through the day I had promised to visit her while she waited for me. And boy was she cross, and was I guilty. What made it worse was her mother had turned out a feast for me despite feeling unwell that day. It took a few months before I could convince her of my regret, how much I was repenting. She said she was ready to forgive but I would have to pay. FRIENDS. So, she made a list of things I would have to do for her to win her back, and of course few of my other friends helped her make that list, following the sole criteria of driving me up the wall and...over it. I couldn't be happier to oblige. This was supposed to be a penance of sorts.

The first thing on the list was "Cook for me whenever and wherever I demand you to...and cook for me often. This Chicken Rezala, my mother had got the recipe from a cooking class she attended years ago, and this is one of the first things I learnt to cook, was my first step towards atonement. I was a little intoxicated (yes, rum and coke for me of course) while I cooked it for her the evening before last but this one is so simple you could turn it out even if you were seeing two of everything.It was delish and she was a happy, happy woman. Phew.

And I thought I'll share the recipe with you. This dish has a message for the new year. Keep it simple and spicy!!!!!


Chicken - 2kg
Curd - 400g + 100g
Onion paste - 2 cups
Garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp (heaped)
Whole black pepper - 2 tbsp
Whole dried red chillies - 8- 10
Ghee - 75g
Cardamom - 3-4
Cloves - 3-4
Cinnamon stick - 1inch
Bay leaves - 3
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Kewra water - few drops (optional)


  • Marinate the chicken with curd, onion paste, garlic paste, ginger paste, coriander powder, salt and sugar. Keep for 2 hours.
  • Heat ghee in a kadhai, add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Once done, add the chicken, along with the marinade. Cook covered on low heat for 20 minutes.
  • Turn up the heat to medium. Add the whole black pepper and whole red chilies. Cook until water reduces and the gravy is to your liking.
  • In a bowl whisk the remaining curd (100g) with a little water to make a creamy paste. Add it to the chicken minutes before taking it off heat.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of Kewra Water and serve hot with bread of your choice.