Bhopali cuisine is wonderfully rustic. It is not as subtle and refined as Lucknowi cuisine with its use of dairy products and use of aromatics but nor is it as bold as Hyderabadi cuisine with its use of coconut, tamarind and red chilies. Bhopal has a culinary nawabi tradition dating back several centuries. The three main dishes from the Nawaabi kitchens of Bhopal are Gosht Pasinda, Bhopali Rezala and the Filfora. Today’s recipe, Bhopali Murgh Rezala originated in the royal kitchens of Bhopal. The dish is native to the capital of Madhya Pradesh, the state known as the heart of India, with its rich culture and history as well as a vibrant cuisine. Made by Nawabi chefs, this Rezala is different from the Kolkata or Bangladeshi Style Rezala which is a rich and heavy white gravy with cream and cashews. Shah Jahan Begum loved colors and would host festivals like ‘jashn-e-hariyali’ where the people wore green, the decor was green and all the dishes were also green! Large amounts of coriander leaf (kothmir or dhaniya) is a defining feature of Bhopali food. The final dish is then garnished with boiled and peeled eggs @sarchakra
- Chicken ½ lb (4 thighs halved)
- Oil ¼ cup
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric 1 tbsp
- Ghee 2 tbsp
- Black cardamom 1
- Green cardamom 2
- Cinnamon 1 inch
- Bay leaf 1
- Cumin seeds 1 tbsp
- Dry red chilies 2
- Green chilies 2 plus for garnish
- Onion 2, large, chopped
- Ginger paste 2 tsp
- Garlic paste 2 tsp
- Yogurt 1 cup
- Coriander leaf 1 cup, chopped
- Hardboiled eggs 3-4, for garnish
- Rose water 2 tsp
- Skin and halve the chicken thighs and make scores over the pieces. Keep aside.
- Heat oil. add bay leaf, black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, cumin seeds and dry red chilies. Cook for a few seconds.
- Add chopped onions. Cook the onions till translucent. Add in ginger and garlic paste. Sauté.
- Add in chicken pieces. Add in sliced green chilies. Season with salt, turmeric, red chili powder. Sauté the spices.
- Beat yogurt and pour into the chicken. Cook covered for 10 mins. Then add a cup of water. Cover again and cook till the chicken is nearly done.
- Add in chopped coriander. Cook till the coriander is cooked. Stir in rose water.
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