2 tbsp gee
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 green chilies, deseeded
2 bay leaves
4 cardamom pods
2 long cinnamon sticks, broken in two
1 Kg chicken thighs, with bone and skin
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 tomatoes, blended
1 orange, zest plus juice
2 medium carrots, grated
2 Iranian dry limes
2 Knorr chicken stock cubes
2 tsp hawaij spice mix (see below for recipe)
½ tsp turmeric
2 tbsp Basbas Date & Tamarind sauce
500g basmati rice, washed until water is clear then soaked for 45 minutes to 2 hours
Freshly ground black pepper
5g parsley, chopped
5g dill, chopped
5g coriander, chopped
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, seal the chicken, turning, until golden and crisp on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat the ghee and 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the whole spices and fry for 1 minute to flavour the oil. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion become soft and golden brown. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilies and sauté for 1-2 minutes more.
- Stir in the tomato paste, followed by the blended tomatoes, orange zest and juice, carrots, dry limes, and bay leaves. Crumble in the stock cubes, mix well and add ½ cup hot water to loosen the mixture. Next add the hawaij and turmeric, mix everything well, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the simmering sauce and add enough hot water to almost cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, season well with salt and pepper, then cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, on medium-low heat. Make sure to taste and adjust for seasoning throughout.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Remove chicken from sauce and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with Basbas Date & Tamarind sauce and transfer to the oven until cooked through, about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain the rice and stir into the sauce. Top the rice with about 2 cups of boiling water (the water should cover the rice but only by half an inch). Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes.
- Whilst the rice is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan and fry the almonds until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove to kitchen paper-lined plate to drain. Add the raisins to the pan and fry until puffed, about 1 minute. Use your slotted spoon to remove to kitchen paper-lined plate to drain.
- Remove the rice from the heat and fluff gently with a fork to combine.
- To serve, spoon rice onto a serving platter and top with the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with the fried almonds and raisins and garnish with the herbs. Serve with a side of Basbas Date and Tamarind sauce (or Chilli and Lemon and Coconut and Coriander).
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cardamom pods
1 tsp black pepper corns
1 small cinnamon stick
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Lightly toast the whole spices in a small pan until they are aromatic. Place all the spices in a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Store in a sealed jar for up to 8 weeks.