You are going to love this chicken chaap. It’s great on the barbecue or cooked indoors.
Chicken chaap is one of the most popular street food dishes in Kolkata. The flavour combination is amazing. In the photos below, I used a whole chicken which I deboned but you could use large chicken thighs for ease.
What is chicken chaap?
Kolkata Chicken Chaap is a delicious chicken stir fry that is traditionally cooked on the bone and then cut into small pieces to stir fry. You could just use chicken thighs for ease. There are many ways to prepare chicken chaap but this street food version is a firm favourite at my house.
With this chicken chaap recipe, the chicken is first pounded flat and then marinated in a tasty tandoori style marinade. It’s then shallow fried before getting chopped up to stir fry with vegetables. This is all then finished off with an amazing sauce which is optional.
Is chicken chaap a difficult recipe?
No, especially if you use boned chicken thighs. Cooking chicken chaap the traditional way as in the photos below can be a bit fussy but it looks and tastes great.
Can you work ahead?
Yes. Like so many of my recipes, this chicken chaap can be prepared ahead of time. Chicken chaap is best marinated for at least 24 hours so there is a job you can get behind you a couple of days ahead of cooking.
You can even fry the flour dusted chicken a day or so ahead of finishing the dish off. Then just take your pre-fried chicken and cut it up to stir fry.
The optional onion sauce and also be made a day or two ahead of serving.
What are the other variations of chicken chaap?
There are many different marinade blends but I really like the one I have for you here.
When cooked in the home, chicken chaap is often served as whole marinated chicken breasts or thighs that are shallow fried.
This is of course easier but you will love this street food style chicken chaap stir fry!
What do you serve with chicken chaap?
Chicken chaap is a meal in itself! It’s healthy with lots of good veggies. If you prefer a few more carbs, I recommend trying a good naan recipe such as instant naans, Peshwari naans, stove top naans, keema naans, garlic naans, tandoor naans (if you have a tandoor oven), or if you’re cooking outdoors, karahi naans.
The chopped chicken chaap is also delicious wrapped up in a hot homemade chapati.
If you are planning on cooking this outdoors, you want a reliable, excellent quality charcoal. I can highly recommend Big K lumpwood charcoal or Big K briquettes for this chicken chaap.
Stay away from cheap charcoal that is often drenched in lighter fluid. It could affect the flavour negatively.
Step by step photos
- FOR THE CHICKEN MARINADE
- 3 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp mustard oil or rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 – 2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or to taste)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 8 large chicken thighs
- FOR THE STIR FRY
- 1 cup gram (chickpea) flour
- ½ cup cornflour (corn starch) or rice flour
- 250ml (1 cup) rapeseed (canola) oil for shallow frying
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced and then sliced into smaller pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced and then sliced into smaller pieces
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 3 – 4 green finger chillies, thinly sliced
- FOR THE OPTIONAL SAUCE
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 green birds eye chillies, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp mustard oil or rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- Start by whisking the marinade ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place the chicken thighs on a large piece of cling film on your countertop and top with another piece of cling film. Pound with a meat mallet or something else suitable until the thighs have doubled in size and are quite thin.
- Place the pounded thighs in the marinade and cover. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. If in a rush, you could just start cooking but the longer you can marinate the chicken the better.
- Now prepare the optional sauce. This is optional but don’t leave it out. It’s too good! Blend the onions, garlic, ginger and chillies with just enough water to make a thick paste.
- Heat the mustard oil over a medium high heat and add the paste to fry for about 3 minutes. Then add the vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by about half. Set aside.
- To finish, heat the rapeseed (canola) oil for shallow frying in a pan over a high heat. Your oil is ready for frying when you stick a wooden spatula or chopstick in and thousands of little bubbles form around it on contact.
- Pour the flours onto a plate. Then scrape off any excess marinade from the chicken and place the chicken in the flour to coat. Shake off any excess flour and place the chicken in the hot oil to fry. When your chicken pieces are turning golden brown on the bottom, flip them over to fry the other side for a few minutes. The thinly pounded chicken should cook through quite quickly. Transfer the crispy fried chicken to a clean surface and cut into small bite sized pieces.
- Now add about 3 tablespoons of the oil you used to fry the chicken to a pan over a medium high heat. When visibly hot, add the thinly sliced onion, bell peppers, chillies and tomato and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Then add the chicken and stir it all up to combine.
- Add the sauce. You might not want to add it all but you can if you like a lot of sauce. Continue frying until the chicken is hot and serve with chapattis, naans or parathas.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 791Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 252mgSodium: 2282mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 6gSugar: 12gProtein: 57g