Bangladeshi Chicken Chaap Recipe

The enticing aroma of spices wafting from a sizzling pan, the juicy texture of the marinated chicken, and the creamy saffron-tinged gravy make this Bangladeshi Chicken Chop Recipe an exquisite delight.

Part of the rich tapestry of Mughal cuisine in the Indian subcontinent, this dish has earned a special place in the hearts of foodies globally with its distinctive flavors and elaborate cooking process.
In this post, we will introduce ourselves to the flavors of Bangladesh, and share with you the preparation of the famous Chicken Chop recipe, to make the classic recipe and delicacy an unforgettable dish.

Introduction to Chicken Chaap Recipe

The word ‘chaap’, not to be confused with ‘chop’, translates to ‘lick’ in Persian, alluding to the irresistibility of the sauce. Chicken Chaap, an emblem of Kolkata’s Mughal heritage, has been mesmerizing taste buds for decades, particularly during festive seasons and special occasions.

Traditionally cooked in a blend of spices, a slow-cooked technique is employed to allow the chicken to fully imbibe the complex medley of flavors, creating a dish that is succulent, aromatic, and undeniably luxurious.

Historical Context

The genesis of Chicken Chaap dates back to the royal kitchens of the Mughals, where curry-making techniques emphasized patience and precision. This technique was braced with regional spices, and over time, it found its way into the culinary practices of Bengal and beyond, evolving into the signature Chicken Chaap of today.

Ingredients for Chicken Chaap

Before we fire up the stove, it’s essential to assemble the right ingredients. The key to a sensational Chicken Chaap is the balance and quality of spices used.

Shopping List

Gathering the following ingredients is your first step toward crafting this sumptuous dish.

  • Chicken – 1kg (preferably bone cut into large pieces)
  • Onion paste – 2 large onions ground into a paste
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tablespoons
  • Hung curd – The thick, creamy texture of hung curd is crucial. Approximately 1 cup.
  • Garam masala – A blend of cumin, coriander, and cardamom, freshly ground or store-bought.
  • Nutmeg – A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Saffron – A few threads steeped in a tablespoon of warm milk for color and aroma
  • Green chili paste – As per your preferred spice level
  • Vegetable oil – Enough for frying and cooking the chicken
  • Fresh cream – For that rich, creamy texture
  • Lemon juice – For a citric zing

Preparation Steps

Cooking Chicken Chaap is not just a culinary exercise; it’s an art of patience and precision. Each step adds a layer of depth to the flavors.

Marination Process

  • Start by making deep slits on the chicken pieces. This will ensure the marinade penetrates the meat, enhancing its taste.
  • In a bowl, mix the chicken with half of the onion paste, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala, nutmeg, saffron-infused milk, green chili paste, and some salt to taste.
  • Add the hung curd and whipped with a fork until the mixture becomes a smooth marinade.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight. The longer the marination, the richer the taste.

Cooking Method

  • Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the marinated chicken on medium heat until it is golden brown. Be patient this step seals the flavors in the meat.
  • Once the chicken is browned, remove it from the pan. In the same oil, add the remaining onion paste and cook until it becomes golden.
  • Lower the flame and return the chicken to the pan. Mix well to coat the chicken pieces with the onion paste.
  • Add a cup of warm water and cover the pan. Allow the chicken to simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until it is fully cooked and the sauce thickens.

Sauce Preparation

  • In a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and add the remaining green chili paste.
  • Pour the sauce from the chicken pan into this new pan, leaving behind the chicken pieces.
  • Cook the sauce on low heat and add the fresh cream. Stir gently until it thickens to your desired consistency. This step ensures the sauce is smooth and not grainy.
  • Once your sauce is ready, gently add the chicken back into the pan and heat through.

Recipe Card

For your convenience, here is a recipe card to make your cooking experience hassle-free.

  1. Serves: 4
  2. Prep time: 30 minutes (plus marinating time)
  3. Cooking time: 45 minutes


  • 1 kg chicken
  • 2 large onions, ground into a paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cup hung curd
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • A pinch of grated nutmeg
  • A few saffron threads soaked in a tablespoon of warm milk
  • Green chili paste, to taste
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Fresh cream, as required
  • Lemon juice, for finishing
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions for Chicken Chaap Recipe

  1. Marinate the chicken with half the onion paste, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala, nutmeg, saffron milk, green chili paste, and salt. Add the hung curd and refrigerate.
  2. Shallow fry the chicken until golden. In the same oil, cook the remaining onion paste until golden.
  3. Return the chicken to the pan with warm water. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until cooked.
  4. Prepare the sauce in a separate pan with green chili paste, the sauce from the chicken, and fresh cream.
  5. Combine the sauce and chicken, heat through, and finish with a squeeze of lemon before serving.

Tips and Variations

While the above steps lead to a classic Chicken Chaap, creating your version by tweaking the spice blend is encouraged. Here are a few suggestions.

Spice It Up

For those who enjoy a bit more heat, increase the amount of green chili paste. You can also add a half teaspoon of red chili powder to the marinade.

Lentil Twist

In some versions of this dish, a small amount of chana dal or red lentils is added to the saucepan for texture and earthy taste.

Nutty Notes

Add a tablespoon of almond or cashew paste while making the sauce for a richer, nuttier flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Indulge in the decadent flavors of Chicken Chaap with a serving of aromatic Basmati rice or warm, flaky parathas. A fresh, tangy salad of cucumber, onion, and tomato with a squeeze of lemon acts as a delightful palate cleanser between bites of the luscious dish.


What is Chicken Chaap Recipe?

Chicken Chaap Recipe is a famous Bangladeshi dish made with chicken marinated in aromatic spices, shallow-fried, and then cooked in a rich, creamy sauce.

Is it necessary to refrigerate the marinated chicken overnight?

No, but refrigerating for at least 2 hours is recommended to allow the flavors to develop and penetrate the meat.

Can I use boneless chicken for this dish?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken if you prefer, but using bone-in chicken adds more flavor to the dish.

Can I make this dish vegetarian?

Yes, you can substitute the chicken with paneer or tofu for a vegetarian version of Chicken Chaap. However, the cooking time may vary.

Can I adjust the spice level of Chicken Chaap?

Yes, you can adjust the amount of green chili paste or add red chili powder to increase the heat in this dish according to your preference.


Cooking a Chicken Chaap Recipe might seem like a complex process, but with the right ingredients and a methodical approach, it is a gratifying experience that will be well worth the effort. This is more than a recipe; it’s an immersion into a centuries-old tradition of culinary finesse.

The next time you want to elevate a simple meal to a grand feast, do not hesitate to dazzle your guests with a serving of Bangladeshi Chicken Chaap. The flavors and the stories behind this dish are as rich as its saffron-dyed gravy, providing a delightful culinary experience that is sure to delight.

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