To begin making Kolkata Chicken Chaap Recipe , first soak poppy seeds into warm water for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the fresh Garam masala quickly. You may also use the stored garam masala but the freshly made garam masala is more flavourful.
Clean the chicken, wash well, pat them dry and with a fork, prick all over the chicken till the bone in several places.
In a blender, take the soaked poppy seeds and cashewnut together to make a smooth paste, by adding a little water. Take it out in a bowl. With the help of a little water, grind coarsely chopped onions, ginger and garlic cloves in a fine paste.
In a big mixing bowl, add curd, ground onion-ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, a little salt and a pinch of sugar and whisk with a hand whisk or a fork till evenly combined.
Pour this marinade all over the chicken, mix well. Add a spoonful of ghee on it and coat the chicken, this will keep the chicken soft and juicy after being cooked. Cover and put the chicken in refrigerator for a minimum of 5 hours. You can marinate chicken overnight to get best results when the recipe is done.
Once done, take the marinated chicken out from the refrigerator and let them thaw to almost room temperature before cooking.
In a wide kadai or handi add about 2 tablespoons of ghee on medium heat. Once the ghee is hot, temper with bay leaf, whole red chili and cinnamon stick and stir for a little while.
After the aroma of cinnamon rises, shake off the marinade from the chicken legs and put them in hot ghee. Turn the heat to medium and slow cook for about 15- 20 minutes flipping the legs from time to time.
Once the leg is almost cooked, add the remaining marinade and cook for about 10 more minutes for all the raw smell of onion ginger garlic to disappear.
Now add cashew and poppy seed paste. Cook for another 20-30 minutes and till the spices are dried and the dish comes together and smells divine. Add 1 or 2 drops of kewra water, stir and switch off.