THIS IS MY COMFORT FOOD. I’VE HAD IT SINCE I WAS A CHILD. IT’S A MOGHUL DISH THAT ORIGINATED IN BENGAL. EVERY FAMILY HAS ITS OWN VERSION. THIS IS THE RECIPE TAUGHT TO ME BY MOTHER AND HER SISTERS.
Rezala is a curry with a creamy white gravy made from stewing yogurt in an array of fragrant spices. It can be made with chicken or mutton pieces.
Traditionally you marinate the chicken or mutton for as long as possible, and then slowly cook it on a stove. My mother taught me this ultra easy version. You put the all the ingredients into a roasting pan and cook it in the oven. It’s incredibly delicious and simple that you’ll want to make it ALL THE TIME.
HERE’S MY TAKE:
*This is just a guide. When you get used to making this, feel free to increase/decrease any of the ingredients. DON’T overdo the ginger though. Its proportion should always be less than the garlic.
- 6-8 pieces of chicken (I use thighs and drumsticks)
- 1 1/2 cups yogurt (I use 2% but you can used full fat if you want. NOT Greek yoghurt)
- 3 tbsp garlic paste (if you can’t get ready-made paste, mince garlic in a processor with a bit of water)
- 3/4 tbsp ginger paste (if you can’t get ready-made paste, mince ginger in a processor with a bit of water)
- 8-10 green cardamom pods (crack them open)
- 6-8 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp chili powder (more to taste, if needed)
- 1 tbsp salt (more to taste, if needed)
- 3/4 cup clarified butter
- Pinch of saffron, soaked in a bit hot water (about 2-3 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp raisins (or pitted prunes – I actually prefer them)
- 2 cups crispy onions (store bought or fried 2-3 sliced yellow onions in a neutral oil like canola until crispy)
- 1 tbsp paprika (you can add more for color)
- Oven-proof dish
*Don’t forget to scroll down for your Savory Sounds cooking soundtrack.
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- In your dish, add all the ingredients except the chicken and paprika. Mix together well with a spoon.
- Taste the marinade and adjust seasoning (add more chili powder if you wish).
- Add the paprika and mix through.
- Add the chicken. Mix well and make sure the chicken is well coated in the marinade.
- Cover the dish with foil and put in the oven.
- Check the chicken after about 40 minutes, but it’s likely to take an hour or so, depending on your oven.
- When the chicken seems like it’s cooked, remove the foil. Brown the chicken for about 10 minutes (be careful not to burn it.)
- Serve with rice or bread.
I’M GOING BACK TO MY CLUBBING COOKING MUSIC ROOTS THIS WEEK. THESE ARE MY LATEST SONG ADDICTIONS.
First, Notorious from the mysterious Banksy-esque DJ Malaa.
Then there’s this Gwen Stefani remix.
And since I became a Belieber in the past year…