Persian Apricot Chicken
This recipe takes it's inspiration from the Parsee tradition of using fruit in cooking, and is clearly rooted in the Persian ancestry of many Indians and their food.
* 175g dried apricots
* 4 tbsp vegetable oil
* 2 small pieces of cinnamon stick
* 2 chopped episodes
* 500 g chicken breast dried into 2cm pieces
* 4 tomatoes chopped
* 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
for the masala:
* 6 large dried red chillies
* 1 t tsp cumin seeds
* 1 t tsp coriander seeds
* 2cm piece of cinnamon stick
* 4 cloves
* 1 tbsp grated ginger
* 1 tbsp pureed garlic
* 4 green cardamom pods
Soak the apricots in 200ml of warm water for a couple of hours until they are soft and swollen.
Grind all the ingredients for the masala in a food processor and leave to one side.
Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole or sauté pan which has a lid. Add the cinnamon sticks, cook for a couple of minutes and add the onions, browning very slowly. Stir in the masala and fry off until the oil begins to separate. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes turning half way through. Season with salt and add the tomatoes and apricots (and any water remaining from the soaking). Simmer with the lid on until the chicken is tender (if the sauce remains thin, empty and allow to reduce for a few minutes until thickened). Stir in the coriander and serve immediately with Indian bread or plain rice.
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