Friday, November 12, 2010

Balti Chicken (Chicken cooked in Balti Style)

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This is the second Balti Dish I'm posting here today..Before I posted two vegetarian balti side dishes as a combo meal, one Balti Dal and one balti potatoes with aubergine/brinjal. Today, I'm posting a Non-veg. dish, Balti Chicken. which I made during Festival time, as a festive menu with Tricolor pulao, Potatoes with roasted poppy seed and Balti Chicken. Together it was a great festive dinner. Thought to give this recipe a special touch, when I saw the event, 30 best recipes of the year. My dear friend, Alka of Sindhi Rasoi, is co-hosting this event with 3 other judges and I am proudly sending this recipe to them with very little hope to be selected.

If you are unaware of Balti cuisine(unfortunately it is not so well known in India or other parts of the World, but very popular in United kingdom/Britain), here is an insight of this flavourful cuisine............
Origin of Balti Cuisine:
Balti cuisine originates from the Northern Pakistan region of Baltistan, once a kingdom with its own royal family high in the harsh and cold Karakoram Mountains. One of the most remote regions in Asia, Balti folk are surprisingly welcoming. Once nomadic people who carried little in the way of cooking utensils, the Baltis developed a cooking technique that was quick, simple and involved just one small pot.
What is Balti Cuisine :
'Balti' translates literally as cooking bucket, and the balti dish, known as a karai, is a two handled pan like a small, shallow wok in which the dish is both cooked and served. This cuisine is greatly influenced by the neighbouring cuisines of India, China, Iran and Afghanistan. The cooking style is quick, like a stir fry, and assembled straight in the pot, thereby retaining the freshness of the ingredients and the heat. Balti is traditionally served sizzling with a large naan bread which is used to scoop up this tasty dish. Balti cuisine includes from non-veg. Chicken, goat, lamb, prawn dishes till vegetarian potato, Aubergine, courgette dishes flavoured with whole Indian spices and fresh herbs. 
Balti Fever takes over Britain :
The Balti in the 21st century is more about Birmingham than Baltistan. During the 1950's - 70's, thousands of Pakistani immigrants arrived in Britain and formed a community in the industrial 2nd city of England, Birmingham. They brought with them the unique Balti cuisine and pretty soon their cheap cafes selling traditional fare. This area expanded and is now known as 'the balti belt' or 'the balti triangle'. Whilst the traditional Curry has distinctive tastes and varying degrees of hotness, the Balti serves a flavour and zest that accommodates most appetites.
I hope, I could give you a generous amount of information on Balti Cuisine..Now, let's move on to the recipe.............
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Ingredients :
Whole Chicken : about 1 kg.
Onion : 3(medium)
Tomatoes : 3(medium)
Ginger : 1 tblsp.(grated)
Garlic : 1 tblsp.(crushed/grated)
Green chillies : 2-3(slitted from middle)
Turmeric Powder : 2-3 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2-3 tsp.(accr. to your taste)
Garam masala : 1 tsp.
Yogurt(dahi) : 2-3 tblsp.
Lemon juice : 2 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Oil(vegetable/Canola) : 4 tblsp.
Fresh Coriander leaves for garnishing
Finely chopped green chillies for garnishing(optional)

Whole Spices :
Cinnamon Stick : 2-3(1inch pieces)
Black/green cardamom pods : 4-5 pcs.
Black Peppercorns : 4-5 pcs.
Black Cumin seeds : 1tsp.

Method :
  • Preperations: 1) Wash and take the skin out of the chicken. Cut into medium size pieces with a sharp Knife. Marinate the chicken pieces with 1 tsp. turmeric powder, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tblsp. oil. Keep aside for 1/2 - 1 hour.    2) slice the onions thinly and cut the tomatoes lengthwise.
  • Cooking: Heat oil in a cast iron karahi(preferably) or in a wide frying pan or wok, add the onions and fry till they are golden brown. Add the tomatoes and stir fry well in medium-high flame.
  • Add all the spices under whole spices section, when tomatoes are half done. Mix well with onion-tomato paste, also add grated ginger and garlic, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder and little salt. Lower the heat and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
 
  • Then add the marinated chicken pieces few at a time, stir-fry for another 7-8 minutes or till the chicken pieces are almost brown and the spice mixture is well coated to the chicken pieces. 
  • Add the yogurt at this moment and mix well. Stir-fry till oil seperates. Add about 2 cups of hot water. Cover with a light lid and cook in low heat until chicken pieces are done. Check the seasoning and stir in between to avoid burning. [ I have added a few potato pieces in there, as we love potatoes in chicken curries, if you want to add, then cut potatoes in big chunks, fry with little salt, add after water starts to boil.]
  • When you have your desired consistency of gravy(this is not a completely dry gravy dish) and chicken are done, add lemon juice. Mix well. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and finely chopped green chillies.

  • Serve at once from your cooking pan, I mean from your Balti, with a naan or paratha or with any Indian Flatbread. Any rice dishes, like Pulao or biriyani also goes very well with Balti Chicken.
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I'm very happy to announce that This recipe has won the Title of "30 Best Recipes of 2010"

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11 comments:

  1. chicken looks super delicious and tempting

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  2. Thats a fingerlicking and mouthwatering balti chicken..yummy dish..

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  3. awesome recipe and so beautifully presented.

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  4. Delicious and spicy chicken,awesome recipe.
    Nice write up so nice to know about Balti cuisine...thanks for sharing

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  5. Nice recipe. The pics look tempting

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  6. Thanks, Chaitrali, Priya, Sayantani, Suja and Bergamot....

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  7. Dear Indrani
    How are you? Na na Kaj-e and A-kaj-e byasto ,,sab blog systematically PoD-te parina..Jemon ei dish almost miss hoe-giye chhilo ..
    Darun...this Balti funda is great , if you order balti dish in Delhi, they invariably serve it in a cute balti as if any thing served in Balti is Balti dish ( in fact before reading your earlier disg, Iwas under the same impression..). It is like " Do peyaja " dishes which has nothing to do with onion Bhalo theko , tomra sabai

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  8. Just to let you know dear your recipe is on 'The 30 Best Recipes of 2010' ~ thanks for your nomination. Regards Susan and Abraham

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  9. Congratulations! A well deserved winning recipe for the 30 best recipes of 2010 event. Thanks for the recipe and for the information about Balti cuisine, a new thing for me.

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  10. Thanks a lot, Thas..welcome, dear

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