This Chicken Stew Bengali Style is a mildly spiced, comforting soupy curry made with pieces of chicken, vegetables, butter, and whole spices. The dish is typically served with steamed rice, flatbread or dinner rolls, making it a hearty and filling meal. It is also known as Kolkata Style Chicken Stew.
This hearty and flavorful stew takes just under 30 minutes to prepare and is ideal for midweek dinners. Warm stews are said to be ideal for cold winter days or damp rainy days.
However, I would say this chicken stew is for any day of the year. We prefer this mild, less spicy chicken stew even on hot summer days because it can be made quickly in a pressure cooker without standing in the kitchen for a long period of time and is easily digestible. Stew is beneficial when you are sick, especially if you have a cold or sore throat.
Chicken: Chicken curry cut pieces (mix of leg, thigh and breast pieces with bone) are perfect for this dish as we prefer chicken pieces with bones. However, you can also use boneless pieces or only leg pieces for the same.
Vegetables: Normally, I add potato, raw papaya, carrot, beans in this dish. However, you can also add green peas, pointed gourd, etc. in this.
Onion-Ginger: Like other chicken curry, this is not an onion-tomato based gravy. Hence, onion is cut into thick chunks and lightly sauté instead of frying. You can also replace onion with shallots. Use julienne ginger in this recipe.
Whole Spices: For tempering I use whole spices including bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom, clove and black peppercorn, etc.
Oil or Fat: This recipe needs very less oil or fat. I have used mix of vegetable oil and cooking butter.
Others: Salt, turmeric powder, crushed black pepper, etc.
How to make Chicken Stew Bengali Style
Cleaning and washing the chicken pieces is the first step in the preparation. Don't forget to take the chicken pieces out of the freezer ahead of time.
After cleaning marinate the chicken pieces with salt and turmeric powder for 5-10 minutes.
On the other hand, peel vegetables such as potato, green papaya, carrot and cut them lengthwise pieces and keep aside.
Now heat oil and butter together in a pan and add all the whole spices. When the oil turns aromatic, add onion chunks and sauté for few minutes.
Next add the vegetables and stir for few minutes. Later add the marinated chicken pieces and combine well. At this point, add salt, crushed black pepper and julienne ginger pieces.
Add 2 cups of water in this and transfer chicken and vegetables in a pressure cooker. Close the lid and allow for 2-3 whistles on medium to high heat. Allow the pressure to naturally release before carefully opening the lid. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with a dollop of butter (optional).
Instead of cooking in a pan and later transferring to pressure cooker, you can directly cook chicken stew in a pressure cooker as a one pot meal. Instant pot can also be used for this Bengali style chicken stew recipe.
Bengali style chicken stew is best served with steamed rice, any flatbreads or dinner rolls aka pav. You can also have a bowl of stew without any carbs.
You can store leftover stew in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Re-heat it in a microwave or stovetop when necessary.
Although both chicken stews are filling and cozy meals, the flavors are very different. Traditional Kerala chicken stew is tempered using curry leaves, mustard seeds along with whole spices. Generally, it is cooked using coconut oil and later coconut milk is added in the gravy.
Bengali Chicken Stew is cooked using butter and vegetable oil. It is mildly spiced, and no milk is used.
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Chicken Stew Bengali Style
- 500 gms Chicken curry cut
- 1 no Potato, medium cut into elongated shape
- 150 gms Papaya cut into elongated shape
- 1 no Carrot, medium cut into elongated shape
- 6-8 no Beans
- 1 no Onion, medium cut into thick chunks
- 1 inch Ginger julienne
- 1 no Bay Leaf
- 6-8 no Black Peppercorn
- 1-2 no Green Cardamom
- 1-2 no Clove
- ½ inch Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoon Butter
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Marinate the chicken pieces in salt and turmeric powder for 5-10 minutes.
- In a pan, heat the oil and butter together, then add all of the whole spices.
- When the oil becomes fragrant, add the onion chunks and sauté for a few minutes.
- After that, add the vegetables and mix for a few minutes.
- Add the marinated chicken pieces and mix well.
- At this time, season with salt, black pepper, and julienne ginger.
- Pour in 2 cups of water and transfer the chicken and vegetables in a pressure cooker.
- Close the lid and cook for 2-3 whistles on medium to high heat.
- Allow the pressure to relax naturally before carefully opening the lid. Serve in a serving bowl with a dab of butter (optional).
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