Chicken with apricots and potato straws

Chicken with apricots and potato straws

By
From
Reza’s Indian Spice
Serves
4

A traditional Parsi dish, this is always cooked at special occasions. The potato straws are a traditional Indian garnish. They don’t act as an accompaniment – they aren’t chips! – but instead add a wonderful crisp texture to the chicken. Serve with Saffron Rice for a fabulous meal for entertaining.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the chicken

Quantity Ingredient
200g dried apricots
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
4 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2 x 2cm cinnamon sticks
2 onions, finely sliced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
5cm piece of root ginger, grated
600g boned chicken, in 2cm cubes
1 lime or lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons chopped coriander

For the potato straws

Quantity Ingredient
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into julienne
salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
vegetable oil, to deep-fry
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon finely chopped coriander leaves

For the masala

Quantity Ingredient
4-6 dried red chillies
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
5cm cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon green cardamom pods
6-8 cloves

Method

  1. Before you begin, soak the apricots in 250ml warm water for up to two hours. Remove half of them and blitz to a purée in a blender or food processor with 150ml of the soaking water. Reserve the remaining whole apricots and their soaking water. Set both aside.
  2. Soak the potato julienne in water, with 2 tsp salt, for 15 minutes, to draw out the starch. Lightly salt the chopped tomatoes.
  3. Now grind together all the ingredients for the masala in a coffee or spice grinder and set aside.
  4. Heat the ghee or oil in a large, heavy-based pan until hot. Add the cinnamon sticks and allow to sizzle for a few seconds. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook until the onions turn golden brown. Now add the masala and sauté until the oil begins to separate from it. If the mixture begins to stick, add a dash of water and scrape the bottom of the pan. Continue to stir-fry for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes have incorporated well, then add the chicken and the puréed apricots and sauté for another five minutes. Now add the whole apricots, with their soaking liquid. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about five minutes. Add the lime or lemon juice with the sugar, cover and continue to simmer for 10–15 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Stir in the coriander and adjust the seasoning.
  5. Meanwhile, drain the potato julienne, spread out on a tea towel and pat dry. Mix with the turmeric. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep pan or wok until a potato straw sizzles as soon as it is added, then add the potato in batches. Fry until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with the chilli powder and fold in the chopped coriander.
  6. Serve the chicken with the potato straws piled on top, or in a bowl alongside if you prefer.
Tags:
Indian
spice
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