HELLO FRIENDS!!! Thanks for all the likes, comments and appreciation here and my Facebook page for my blog! It meant a lot for me. Thanks heartily for the encouragement and mental boost to cook more and more and experiment even more to create good dishes in its original form. I am all up for fusion food, but I guess, some dishes should not deviate from their original form as they carry legacy from generations and proved victorious every time. Among them, one is CHAANP, be it chicken or mutton. CHAANP is a Mughlai Dish and whether you like it or not, it should have oodles of oil in it with a dark rich colour. The colour varies due to the use of mutton or chicken. From childhood, I have been eating this CHAANP at home along with from restaurants nearby. Kolkatans will surely know about Shiraj, Zeeshan and Arsalan restaurants and that CHAANP is the staple food in their menus. I have seen my mom cooking it several times but never bothered to learn then. After marriage, I saw my momminlaw cooking it frequently too and honestly learned a lot from that. Finally, I started experimenting in my own way as even though, both my moms’ dishes tastes awesome, but somehow it didn’t taste exactly like the ones I have mentioned above. So after many trial and errors and hits and misses and thanks to my biggest food critique, my hubby, I finally nailed the exact taste and texture of CHAANP , that we usually get to taste from Shiraj, Zeeshan and Arsalan. Trust me, if you all follow my recipe to the T with your sense of measurements, as it varies due to the quantity of the meat you are using, you will get the exact taste bang on from the comfort Of your home. Yes it needs bit of patience and hard work. But once you get it right, with time you won’t feel the hardship of making The CHAANP at all!!! It’s all about the right technique.
Statutory Warning: CHAANP is a Mughlai dish which screams oil, ghee, Dalda, spices and heavy browning. But then again, you won’t be making it every day or every week. So once in a while, this much of indulgence is necessary as this is one life and we need to enjoy it at par!!! And I guess , eating homemade CHAANP is healthier as you know at least how much oil, ghee or Dalda gets into the dish unlike restaurant bought ones.
So let’s start the proceeding to our aim….making CHAANP. Today am gonna share the Chicken CHAANP recipe. If you want to make it with mutton, you can. I plan to share that pictorial recipe a little later as I am still experimenting on its texture. Anyway, here we go. Fingers crossed, hope you guys like it!!!
Chicken – 500gm ( here I have used leg pieces only, you can ask your butcher to give you CHAANP pieces too )
Onion – 3-4 medium size (blend in a fine paste)
Ginger -Garlic paste – 3 tbsp
Lemon – juice of one
Curd – 150 gm
White paste – make a fine paste of 3tsp poppy seeds, 2 tsp sesame seeds, a handful of cashew nuts and 4tsp dried melon seeds ( charmagaz) in a blender.
Kashmiri Lal Mirch – 1tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1tsp
Coriander powder – 1tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Shahi Garam Masala- 1tsp
Whole Garam Masala-
Cardamom- 4-5 pieces
Cinnamon Stick – 2 one inch sticks
Black Cardamom – 2 pieces
Clove – 6-7 pieces
Black Peppercorn – 7-8 pieces
Whole dried red chilli – 3 pieces
Bay leaves -2 pieces
Nutmeg Powder – 1/2 Tsp ( you can grate the nutmeg into powdery texture)
Javitri – 1 whole
Shah Jeera seeds – 1/2 tsp
Star Annise – 1 whole
Oil, Dalda and ghee (I use the oil more and put Dalda in the beginning for the rich flavour and ghee before turning off the gas oven)
Salt for seasoning
Rose water – 5 tbsp
Keora water – 3 tbsp
Saffron or food colour.
1. First step is always to give the chicken pieces a good rub of lemon juice and salt. So get some lemon juice and some salt and rub the chicken pieces nicely. Don’t forget to pierce them with fork.
2. Now we need to prepare the marinade. First beat the curd properly. Then put the red chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander and a pinch of Garam masala into the curd and mix properly. Now add the ginger garlic paste into it and mix thoroughly. Now put the chicken pieces into this marinade and mix them properly and if needed with your fingers rub the marinade on the chicken, so that it gets inside the chicken in time. Put salt cautiously as you have already gave the chickens a lime and salt rub. So add salt keeping that in mind. Now leave it for a minimum one hour. The more the merrier. What I do when I make CHAANP or rezalla, I usually marinade them in the morning and cook it up in the evening.
3. Make the White paste with all those ingredients mentioned above for white paste. Now in a mortar and pestle, put all the whole Garam masalas and grind them into coarse texture. You don’t have to make fine paste of the masalas. Make a fine paste of the onions too. Now in a cup put the mentioned amount of rose water and Keora water. Now you can add saffron strands in warm milk, or put food colour, a pinch, in this rose Keora water mix. If you don’t have food colour or saffron, then skip this step. It’s ok. You will still get the colour. In this case increase the amount of Kashmiri Lal powder as it is famous for giving colour to the food.
4. Now after the marination time, take it out. Take a deep bottom PAN. Heat it moderately. Now add white oil generously, add two cubes of Dalda into it and let it melt. Add few sugar granules into the oil for the caramel colour. You can skip it if you wish to. Now add the whole Garam masalas that were gently crushed in the mortar and pestle into the PAN. Wait till they pop and spread a beautiful aroma.
7. Check frequently though. Now when you will see watery juice on the PAN, put the white paste into it along with the coloured rose-Keora water or saffron infused milk and mix it properly and keep on cooking, first in high and then let it simmer for ten more minutes or until chicken is tender.
8. Now here comes the main tricky part. Separate out the tender cooked chicken into a bowl outside the hot PAN. Basically, now we have to brown the gravy into the required consistency by frying it for a long time. If you do not separate the chicken then, they will get over cooked and would taste too dry.
9. Now after removing the chicken pieces, now we just have to stir fry the gravy. If you taste it at this point, you will understand it would need more browning , so keep on stirring and frying it on high and if you see the base getting stuck then lower the flame and keep on stirring. You will see that soon that creamy gravy forming up into the coarse CHAANP texture. It’s nothing but frying only. Just don’t burn it out whole. This process is the only hard work and needs attention!!!
10. When you see a lot of oil in the PAN with the gravy forming into a coarse frying texture, then you just need to check on the seasoning factor. We have already added salt in the marination, so you need to be very much cautious about the salt part. Even though at the beginning of the cook no, you might see a lot of water and juices in the PAN, but at the end, it will all get reduced to oil and gravy. So keep that in mind.
11. Now sprinkle some shahi Garam masala and ghee around the gravy and keep it covered with a lid and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Now before serving put the chicken pieces back into the PAN with gravy, switch on the flame and fry them all again mixing the pieces and the gravy properly for a minute or two. And serve it hot hot with naan, tandoori roti, Roomali roti, kulcha, chapatis, biriyani, pulao or paranthas with some salad along side.
P.S. Add rose and keora water a bit more if neede more. If the fried gravy is left for a long time, it will soak up all the oil, don’t panic, in that case, just sprinkle some water on it before heating it up again, you will see all the oil coming out again.
Trust me guys, it took a lot of hits and misses to nail this particular dish. With a perfectionist hubby at home, it was a challenge for me to earn that A+ from him. It indeed gave a great satisfaction seeing the critic appreciating my dish. Lol!!
Go ahead folks, try it out at home. I know it screams hard work, but the end result will be worth the sweating. So if you are a foodie, do try this one. Use your senses and you won’t be disappointed if at all.
Thanks again for all the love and appreciation guys. It meant a world to me.
See you all soon with many more great dishes.