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December 31st, 2005


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07:53 pm - Shah Jahan's Chicken
From: http://www.candidadiet.com/recipes/redefault.shtml

This dish has always been a family favourite but I have modified it to exclude the raisins. Dishes that incorporate almonds, raisins and youghurt are typical of the Moghul's that invaded India from Persia in the 16th century. Shah Jahan, one of the most famous of the Moghul emporers is best known as the builder of the Taj Mahal, the palace that he built as a memorial to his dead wife. This dish has a mild creamy flavour.

Serves 2-4

4 - 6 Chicken Breast
1 Teaspoon Salt
Black Pepper (freshly ground)
2 - 2½ tablespoon Ghee (it is possible to use a butter and oil mixture if you do not have ghee)
9 - 12 Green Cardamom pods
2 Bay Leaves
2 ins stick of Cinnamon
9 - 12 Cloves
12 - 15 Almonds
1 Cup Yoghurt
1 Teaspoon whole Cummin Seeds
½ Teaspoon Chilli powder
(Tip:- If your almonds still have the brown skin on them, then cover with boiling and very cold water alternately. This will loosen it and make it easier to peel off)

Slice the chicken breasts, sprinkle them with salt and pepper then put aside until needed.

Heat the ghee or butter and oil mixture in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Place the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves in the pan and stir around in the melted butter then carefully add half the chicken pieces. When they have sealed turn them over and continue cooking for about another five minutes or until they started to brown lightly. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and place in an ovenproof dish. Put the rest of the chicken pieces in the pan and repeat as above. Put the almonds into the pan. Stir them around a few times then pour the almonds, spices and remaining ghee over the chicken.

In a small bowl mix together the youghurt, cumin seeds and chilli powder. Pour this over the chicken and cover with a lid or foil. Bake in a medium oven (350°F) for 30 - 40 minutes. Stir the chicken to distribute the flavours halfway through the cooking time.

Serve this with Indian breads, rice or savoury couscous and salad. My favourite salad to go with this dish is made from slivers of raw red onion, tomatoes and fresh coriander leaves. The bright colours of the red, purple and green compliment the pale creamy colour of the chicken. The Indian way to eat the salad is to provide people with salt and a wedge of fresh lime to squeeze and sprinkle over just before eating.

***This recipe is AWESOME, especially if you like Indian food. The flavors were subtle at first, but after I mixed everything in the brown basmati rice I served it with, the flavors exploded. Beyond delish! I will cut down on the ghee by half next time, it was a little greasy. I'll also have to either cut out the almonds all together (since Chris didn't like them) or put them in mine only and keep mine separate from Chris's. Even he enjoyed it and now the house smells yummy! I ♥ the smell of cardamom and cumin!
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