Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chicken bharta...kolkata style..

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
  • Salt
  • Water

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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  1. I never ever had chicken bharta before. I recipe is completely new to me and i would love to give it a try!

    1. I would be delighted see those mouth-watering delicious pics of my favourite dish..I'm a big fan of your photography as well as cooking...thank u.

  2. Hi Chitrangada

    I made this last sunday and it turned out yummy like a restaurant, did not make any changes, followed the recipe to the tee and had amazing results.
    Thank you or your recipe.

    Take Care

  3. On my daughter's birthday I cooked chicken bharta following this really turned out very well. Guests really appreciated it. Thank you very much.

    1. Wish your daughter a very happy birthday, God bless. Good to know you all liked it. Thank you.

  4. dear chitra..thank u for sharing this wonderful i don't have to go to indian restaurants that often! :) -niza-

  5. Hi! could you let me know what is degi mirch? does it have a different name?

    1. Hello,
      Degi mirch or deggi mirch is a blend of chili powder, that imparts red color as well as mild hotness to the dish. If you have an Indian grocery store near you ask them about Degi Mirch(specially the MDH brand). Unfortunately I do not know any other name for that. I found this link, hope this will help you

    2. Hi Chitranagada, from what you have given the discription of degi or deggi mirch, I figure out it is called Lalmirch Powder and is available in the market with the same name (Lalmirch powder) of Everest brand.

    3. TIKHALAL MIRCH -red and hot
      KSHMIRILAL MIRCH - Only red colour.
      All are available in renowned brands

  6. I can totally see how you have tried to recreate the restuarnt style bharta. Loved the recipe. It's on my to-do list now.

  7. Hi! For a long time i was thinking about making this dish...finally i made it yesterday night for dinner following your recipe. It turned out just awesome and my husband just loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  8. Hi Chitrangadadi,

    I am planning to cook this recipe.Given I am a lazy cook I was wondering I was wondering if I could just cut the raw chicken into thin slices and add them directly instead of first boiling the chicken.What do I lose from not boiling the chicken?

    1. Arka, To get that restaurant like taste I will advice you to boil the chicken and shred it. Boiling the chicken with spices leads to more flavors in the chicken and as you shred them the shredded meat will absorb juices and spices and it will definitely taste better than meat cut into strips. But as we are all busy we can modify as per our need, but again boiling and shredding is highly recommended... :)

    2. Finally tried this. Inspite of my pathetic skills as a cook and cutting a few corners (no boiled eggs,no fresh cream) it turned out great.Thanks a lot Chitrangadadi.

    3. Good to know that Arka. You are most welcome.

  9. dearest chitra,its really nice to come across like minded people....the recipe was just perfect !!! thanks a ton it turned out to be amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! god bless!!!!

  10. Hi, I have eaten chicken bharta at honey da dhaba many times as kid and teenager. Then I moved on to bangalore, and presently residing in US. I used to get nostalgic remembering those mouth watering kolkata dishes, specially their chicken bharta was one of my favorite. Yesterday I followed your recipe with very changes. Like while boiling chicken I also added 1 cloves, 1 cardamom and 1 crushed garlic. Instead of tandoori masala I added 1/2 tsp chole masala, and I didn't have degi mirch so used regular kashmiri chilli powder. I only had 1/2tbsp cream left, so I used only that much. Rest I followed just as you mentioned. The end result was amazing, almost similar to one I devoured at honey da dhaba. Same smell, same look, same taste. Aahhaa !! I am super delighted. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe.

  11. I tried this out last night and turned out really nice. I think the tandoori masala is a very crucial ingredient as already mentioned by you in the recipe! Although initially I was surprised that there's no mention of "cashew paste" in this. Most websites and videos showed it as a key ingredient! But this tasted as yummy as the restaurant!

  12. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe with us.My family is very fond of murg bharta and they simply loved it..More power to you!!!

  13. Chitrangada it was awesome I made it during my weekend party and appreciated by all my friends. Now it has became the favourite dish for our weekend parties. Thanks for sharing.



  14. I tried this last Saturday it turned really like restruent style.Thanks for this best recipes.In my home every body like and said thank you sir/mam.......
    chicken Bharta Recipes

  15. Before I cook any special dish, I, generally check various websites. I this case also, I started with marinating the chicken in vinegar and a bit of salt for an hour, While boiling I added cardamoms, cloves and a spoon of honey. I added a spoon of sugar to the oil before putting bay leaf and cinnamon sticks and all. While cooking spices I added cashew nut paste after adding the tomato. Rest I followed exactly the same. The result is... my daughter asked me to leave everything and start cooking this dish and deliver every home, f not opening a restaurant immediately.

    Thanks a lot Chitra...

  16. I tried your recipe today and everyone in my family loved..
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe :) :)

  17. In my Husband's birthday I made this awesome receipe by slightly modifying it and it really turned out delicious.all my guests really appreciated me for making this lovely receipe. Thank you so so much.

  18. Hi! Made Chicken Bharta as per your recipe. Turned out to be fantastic. This is a keeper. Thanks.