Bharta or bhurta means minced or mashed. It can be a vegetarian dish, like baingan bharta(egg plant grilled and mashed), or non-veg like chicken bharta. Today I made Chicken bharta. It is a very popular dish in the restaurants of Kolkata and I have tasted it so many times on several occasions. I was thinking of making chicken bharta for a long time...but was not sure whether I can recreate the Kolkata style chicken bharta...then I came across this video in YouTube. And the restaurant they mentioned in this video is just a walking distance from my home in Kolkata. So I made up my mind to recreate that Kolkata style chicken bharta in my kitchen. I did came across several other recipes on the Internet. I took bits and pieces from all the these and made this chicken bharta.
I could not manage to capture every single steps, but in near future I will post step by step pics for sure. So this time I managed to take few pics while making the chicken bharta, hope this will help you.
Things needed to make Chicken Bharta:To prepare the chicken:
- Chicken breast boneless: 250gm
- Garlic: 1 large clove
- Onion: 1/4th
- Bay leaf: 1
- Black peppercorn:5-6
- Cinnamon: 1inch stick
To make the gravy:
- Hard boiled egg: 1
- Onion (finely chopped): 3/4cup
- Garlic paste:1/2 tbsp
- Ginger paste:1/2 tbsp
- Tomato (finely chopped): 1/2cup
- Yogurt: 3tbsp
- Fresh cream: 3tbsp
- Cinnamon: 1inch stick 2-3
- Cardamom: 3-4
- Cloves: 5-6
- Bay leaf: 1-2
- Chicken Tandoori masala: 1tbsp
- Degi mirch powder: 1 tbsp
- Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
- Butter(melted): 1tbsp
- Garam masala powder: 1tsp
- Kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves: 1/2tsp
- Salt to taste
- Sugar to taste
- Kewra essence: 4-5drops
- Coriander leaves(chopped): to garnish
Steps of making Chicken Bharta:
1. Wash and clean the chicken breast. Cut into large chunks. In a pan take the chicken and water with a clove garlic, a quartered onion, black peppercorn, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, salt. As the water boils, reduce heat and cook for 15 to 20 min. 'Scum' (white foamy frothy stuff) may float on top, discard with a ladle. Take out the chicken pieces and let them cool down. Do not throw away the broth, it can be used to thin the curry or to make soups and other dishes. I used boneless chicken breast, as that was I had in my refrigerator. But it is wise to use chicken with bone, as the bones imparts flavor to the dish.
2. As the chicken pieces cool down, shred the chicken into thin strips. Give good time to shred the chicken, long thin shredded chicken makes a good chicken bharta. For me it was the most time consuming part during the whole process bharta making process. Keep the shredded chicken aside.
3. In a kadai or pan add oil, when the oil is hot add bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves and cook till the spices release a nice aroma.
4. Add chopped onion, and cook on a medium heat till the onions turns golden brown. Take care, do not burn the onions.
5. Add ginger and garlic paste, cook for 2min. Add the chopped tomatoes. I seeded the tomatoes before chopping them, but I kept the skin for the nice red color. Add a pinch of salt, mix well. cover the pan and cook on low medium heat till the tomatoes are done.
6. Add tandoori masala, it is a key ingredient for that typical restaurant like smell in your chicken bharta. Go to your closest Indian grocery store and pick one small box of tandoori masala, any brand is good.
7. Add degi mirch powder, mix well and cook for 1-2min. Add the yogurt. Always bring the yogurt to room temperature before adding. I beat the yogurt with a teaspoon of sugar and little water. Cook till oil separates, add the shredded chicken, salt and mix well. Add some chicken stock, let it boil.
8. Separate the yolk and the white part of the hard boiled egg. Mash and add the yolk to the chicken and keep the white part to garnish.
9. Cover and cook for 10min on medium heat. Stir in between. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Add kewra essence, another key ingredient for that restaurant like flavor.
10. Reduce the flame and add the fresh cream and kasuri methi(dry fenugreek leaves). Mix well. Switch off the heat. Add melted butter and garam masala powder and immediately cover the pan. Let it stand for 10min. Transfer it to a serving bowl, garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with naan or roti or chapati...
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