Gilligan's Gourmet: Chicken Balti recipe
The vast majority of Balti houses are situated in the Sparkbrook, Balsall Heath, and Moseley areas of South Birmingham, which essentially forms the famous Balti Triangle. Most of the restaurants are unlicensed with diners bringing their own wine, beers, etc. with a number of off-licences conveniently situated in the area.
SPICES FOR BALTI
½ tsp mustard seeds, crushed
2 tbsp fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
1 tsp Garam Masala
4 dried curry leaves, crushed
1 tsp palm sugar
1½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp turmeric
3 green chilies, chopped
4 cardamom pods, split
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½"/1 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
2 large chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
250 ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp tomato purée
Salt to taste
1 bay leaf
1 large tomato, sliced
Assemble all the spices. You will find it easier to make the curry if you get all the spices ready beforehand.
Heat the oil in a large roomy pan until hot but not smoking, add the mustard seeds, cook for 30 seconds only then add the chopped onion, reduce the heat and cook for 3 - 5 minutes until soft. Add all the spices, the garlic and the ginger and cook on a medium heat taking care to ensure the spices don't burn.
Add the chicken, sugar and stir well making sure all the chicken is coated in the spices. Cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the stock, tomato purée, a pinch of salt and the bay leaf. Stir then lower the heat and cook gently for 25 minutes. Finally add the cilantro/coriander and tomato, stir and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Serve piping hot in balti dishes with naan breads on the side.
AND FINALLY…Two Blues fans, both hard of hearing and strangers to each other, were about to ride the London Underground. One of them, peering at the station they were entering, said,
“Pardon me, Sir, but is this Wembley?”
“No,” said the other, “Thursday.”
“No, thank you,” said the first. “I’ve already had a little drink.”
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