Chicken with Apricots and Potato Straws

  • 200g dried apricots soaked in 250ml warm water for 2-3 hours
  • 4 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2x 2cms cinnamon sticks
  • 2 onions finely sliced
  • 6 cloves crushed garlic
  • 5cm finely grated ginger
  • 600g boned chicken cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 4 tomatoes finely chopped and lightly salted
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into juliennes soaked in cold water with 2 tsp salt for 15 minutes
  • Oil for deep frying
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1tsp finely chopped coriander
  • For the Masala
  • 4-6 dried red chillies
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 5cm cinnamon stick broken into pieces
  • 1tsp green cardamom
  • 6-8 cloves

1. First grind together all the ingredients for the masala in a coffee grinder and set aside.

2. Heat the ghee or oil into a large heavy -based pan until hot. Add the cinnamon sticks and allow to sizzle for a few seconds or so. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook until the onions turn golden brown.

3. Now add the masala and saute until the oil begins to separate from it. If the mixture begins to stick, add a dash of water and scrape across 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 into the mixture.

4. Add the chicken and continue to saute for another 5 minutes. Now add the soaked apricot along with the soaking liquid. Bring to the boil, cover, simmer for approximately 5 minutes.

5. Add the lemon or lime juice along with the sugar, cover and continue to simmer until the chicken is tender. Stir in the coriander and adjust seasoning.

6. Drain and spread the potato juliennes onto a tea towel and pat dry.

7. Heat the oil in a deep pan or wok until hot, add the potato juliennes in batches. Fry until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with chilli powder and fold in some chopped coriander.

8. Serve the potato straws on top of the chicken or alongside.

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