Rustom’s Chicken

A spicy dish from Bombay, Rustom’s Chicken is served on a bed of browned rice and garnished with roasted cashew nuts, coriander leaves and fried bananas.


2 garlic cloves, crushed

1½ teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 X 4 lb. chicken, cut into serving pieces

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced

2 green chillis, chopped

1-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons ground almonds

8 fl. oz. chicken stock

1 oz. butter

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoons sugar

4 fl. oz. water

12 oz. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in cold water for

30 minutes and drained seeds of

4 whole cardamoms

1 teaspoon salt

1 oz. butter

2 large bananas, peeled, sliced in half lengthways then halved

3 tablespoons chopped roasted cashew nuts

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves

In a saucer, combine the garlic, salt and lemon juice. Rub this mixture all over the chicken pieces and set aside for 1 hour.

In a large, deep frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and fry, stirring occa- sionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Add the chillis, ginger and turmeric and fry for 1 minute.

Add the chicken pieces and fry, turning frequently, for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown all over. Adjust the heat so that the chicken pieces do not burn.

Stir in the ground almonds and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the stock and stir to mix. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes or until the chicken pieces are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, cook the rice. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the sugar and cook until it is brown and caramelized. Pour in the water and, stir-ring constantly, bring the mixture to the boil. Add the rice, cardamom seeds and salt and stir to mix. Add just enough water to cover the rice by ½ inch. When the water boils vigorously, cover the pan, reduce the heat to very low and simmer the rice for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the garnish. In a small frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the banana slices and fry them, turning them once, for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are golden. Remove the pan from the heat and keep warm.

Spoon the rice on to a serving dish. Arrange the chicken pieces on top. Pour the cooking juices from the pan over the chicken pieces. Scatter the cashew nuts over the top and sprinkle over the coriander leaves. Arrange the fried banana slices around the chicken pieces and serve immediately.

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