Chicken Bharta, Restaurant Style

9:35 PM

October, my favourite time of the year is here again. Yes I love October not only because it's my birthday month or it announces the onset of our biggest festivities around Durga Puja. But October for me is a magical month when suddenly after a long stretch of extreme heat, humidity, incessant rain, waterlogged road, sweat dripping clothes the weather suddenly changes to a beautiful one. Like the touch of a magic wand the gray moody clouds makes way to a fluffier whiter ones on a clear blue sky. Suddenly the wet air turns crisp, the scortching sun  softens, the heavy humid monsoon air becomes redolent with the sweet smell of Shiuli and suddenly on a morning you wake up, look outside and feel happy for no reason.

Yes October with it's clear autumn sky and with the promise that winter is not far by is finally here.

 A change in the season which has so much to look forward to. That  fresh nip in the air, those cute as a button like new cauliflowers in the market, little bauble of dew drops glistening in the morning light and a riot of colour almost everywhere to uplift the withered spirit. After Harsh Summer it gives you a chance to feel alive again and crave for rich spices, warm flavours. It's wonderful how  just a change of weather has the power to rejuvenate everything.

And just because it's October, just because I am happy and just becasue your palette needs a spicy boost up here is my recipe for Chicken Bharta...the real one with deep ruby red oil oozing at the sides, with warm comforting spices and a tongue tantalising taste.

Chicken Bharta

Boneless Chicken: 500 gms
Onion: 4 medium ones, chopped 1 cup
Ginger -garlic paste: 11/2 tbsp
Tomato: 1 medium
Yogurt: 1/4 cup (please see notes)
Cashew paste: 11/2 tbsp (soak cashew for an hour and make a smooth paste)
Cream: 2 tbsp
Kasuri methi: 1 tbsp
Cumin powder: 1/3 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder: as per taste, use Kashmiri chili for a better color
Shah Jeera: 1/3 tsp
Whole cloves: 3-4
Cinnamon: 1/2" stick
Green cardamom: 1
whole black Pepper: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/3 tsp
Oil: 4 tbsp (at least a spoonful of mustard oil)
Butter: 2 tbsp

Boiled eggs: 2

Wash and cut the boneless chicken in 1/3" thick strips. The restaurants cut them even thinner but then they cook smaller quantities as per order and on a very high heat which is not possible in a home kitchen. And when thin strips of breast pieces are slow cooked they become dry.

Drain any excess water and mix with salt, pinch of chili powder, 1 tbsp yogurt and a tsp of mustard oil. Keep aside.

Chop the onion very fine and keep aside.
Chop the tomato and keep aside.
Mix cumin-coriander-chili powder-turmeric powder with 2 tbsp water and keep aside.
Mix the rest of the yogurt and cashew paste and keep aside.

Heat the oil and 1 tbsp of butter or ghee. Lightly pound the whole cloves, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and shajeera and add to the oil. Once they release the aroma add the chopped onions. Sprinkle little salt and cook on medium flame till they turn soft and golden. If the heat is high they will brown fast, in that case add a few drop of water to soften them. (8-10 minutes). Add the ginger garlic paste and again cook till the raw smell is gone (4-5 minutes). Mix in the water with the dry spices. again cook till oil starts to ooze at the sides. Cumin has a very heady aroma, make sure the raw smell is gone or your dish would reek of cumin only.

Next add the tomato, pinch of more salt and cover. Once the tomato mixes through the spice(3-4 minutes) add your chicken pieces. Stir and mix through to coat the chicken with the spices. Keep the heat on medium and cover the pan after sprinkling half of the kasuri methi and the garam masala powder. The chicken pieces will release water and will turn white. Let it simmer for at least 4-5 minutes before adding the yogurt cashew paste. Mix and cover. Let it simmer Once the Chicken is cooked through add 1/4 cup warm water and bring it to a boil.

Sprinkle the rest of the kasuri methi and the cream , check the seasoning and adjust. Cover it tightly. Let it simmer on the lowest flame for 2-3 minutes. Open add the rest of the butter and switch off the flame. Keep it covered till you are ready to serve.

Serve with chopped boiled egg on top. Pairs best with Roti and paratha.

A Home maker's Notes:
Use homemade fresh, thick and not tangy yogurt. If not homemade then use Greek style yogurt or Nestle yogurt.

Chop the onion as fine as possible.

Sending this to the Puja special recipes at KFB.

You Might Also Like


  1. Ki bolbo bhebe mouth is watering. ..just tooo good

  2. Love the way the bhartha looks... really delicious...

  3. that sounds new to me but looks tempting...interesting recipe...


Popular Posts