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Kolkata chicken Stew - 7

Kolkata style chicken stew with a twist on a scorching Summer sunday

Madhushree Basu Roy
A light chicken stew which is white in colour with carrots, papaya and potatoes make for a hearty meal.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Non Vegetarian
Cuisine Bengali, Indian
Servings 4 persons


  • 1 kg chicken (see notes)
  • 2 large onions
  • 1/2 a green papaya
  • 2 -3 nos potatoes
  • 2- 3 nos carrots
  • 1.5 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 10 nos black peppercorn
  • 3 nos green cardamom
  • 4 nos cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1.5 tsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock optional


  • Wash the chicken and marinade with salt, ginger paste and garlic paste. Keep aside while you prep the vegetables.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into halves or quarters depending on the size of the potatoes. What we need here are large sized pieces.
  • Same with the papaya. Discard the seeds and cut into big pieces about 3.5 inches in length. Peel the carrots and cut them length wise into 3 - 4 large pieces.
  • Wash all the vegetables under running water and them keep aside.
  • Finely slice the onions too.
  • In a large saucepan or a kadai, heat the vegetable oil. Add black peppercorn and the other whole spices.
  • When the spices release aroma, add the sliced onions and gently fry the onions. This step is crucial for getting the correct texture of the stew. You cannot fry the onions but you have to let the sliced onions sweat.
  • What I mean is that keep the heat at medium and spread the onion and slowly let the onions become soft and translucent. At that point, add the chicken and increase the heat and stir fry the chicken for a couple of minutes.
  • Then add the vegetables and give everything a good stir. Stir around for another 3 - 4 minutes.
  • Then transfer everything to a pressure cooker. Add chicken stock and water to completely sink the vegetables and chicken in liquid. If you don't have stock, just add water.
  • Add salt to taste and sprinkle sugar. Let it boil and then cover the lid and cook for two whistles or upto 15 minutes.
  • Once done, release the pressure and open the lid.
  • In a small tadka pan or a small frying pan, melt the butter and add flour to it. Stir and add 2 - 4 tbsp of water or liquid from the stew and make a roux. Add this to the stew and stir.
  • Give it another boil and chek the seasoning. If you want, you can add a few green chillies to this.
  • Serve chicken stew with buttered toast or hot rotis or even rice.


  1. Alternately, you can buy one whole bird. Buy a smaller weight of chicken, preferably 1. 2 kg bird. And cut it into 8 to 10 pieces.  
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