Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chicken Bharta.....a kolkata dhaba speciality

There are some items which roadside eateries of Kolkata excel in making...chicken bharta is one of them.Chicken bharta, in my opinion, should make it to the international culinary arena right alongside Chicken tikka masalas and butter chickens. It's so versatile in spices that a little less to suit international palates does not make this a lesser version.I have tried making "chicken bharta" a few times before....every time I felt "not quite there yet".My standard  was a roadside eatery somewhere between Kolkata and Liluah.I just can't remember the name.This time I was able to achieve something I felt did justice to what I had eaten in that dhaba.
Step 1 :Boil the chicken in the spices
Chicken -4 thigh pieces/Breast pieces will also do
Vinegar-2 tablespoons
Crushed peppercorn-1 teaspoon
Crushed garlic-2 cloves
Crushed coriander-  1 tablespoon
Salt -1 tablespoon

Boil the chicken with just enough water to cover the chicken.Place a lid on the pan and boil for about 20 mins or till chicken is tender.

Step 2 :Shred the chicken
Once chicken is done take them out and pull them into thread like pieces with a fork.Reserve the water for gravy.

Step 3 : Making  the gravy
Onion-1 big chopped
Tomato-1 medium chopped(optional...if you want your bharta to look whiter you can skip tomato)
Ginger paste-1 tablespoon
Garlic paste-1 tablespoon
Cashew paste-1 cup ( can be substituted with charmagaz )
Bay leaf-1 big
Green cardamom-5
Heavy cream or Sour cream-1/2 cup
Red chili powder-1 teaspoon
Coriander powder-1 tablespoon
Cumin powder-1tablespoon
Kasuri methi/Dry Roasted and ground fenugreek seeds-1 tablespoon
Boiled eggs-2 sliced into quarters.
Salt to taste
Oil-4 tablespoons
Butter-2 tablespoons

In a kadhai/wok heat the oil and add the bay leaf,the green cardamom and cloves.Once they release their fragrance add the onions.Fry the onions till light golden and add the ginger and garlic paste.Fry a little and then add in the tomatoes.Once the tomatoes are done and start to leave the oil add the red chili powder,coriander powder and cumin powder made into a paste with some water. Once these dry spices are cooked add in the shredded chicken and add some salt.Stir for 3-4 mins so that the chicken takes on some color and the spices.Now add the cashew paste and stir.Add in the sour cream or the heavy cream.Now add in the sliced eggs.Let the yolks mix into the spices with the stirring.The boiled yolks will become a part of the gravy....that is the specialty of chicken bharta. Now add in the reserved water in which the chicken was much you want to add will depend on how much gravy you want.In the end add the kasuri methi or the ground fenugreek seeds.Serve hot with the butter melting on top.

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