Umabai’s Spiced Almond Chicken <

Though Uniabai comes from Bombay this baked chicken dish is definitely North Indian in style. The almonds, yogurt and cream combine to make a rich, delicately flavoured dish. Garnish with thinly sliced onions and tomatoes, and serve with lemon quarters and Naan. x

4 lb. chicken juice of I-2 lemons

1 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon saffron threads soaked in

2 tablespoons boiling water for

10 minutes

2 oz. butter, melted

MARINADE

1 oz. raisins

1 oz. flaked almonds

1 tablespoon clear honey garlic cloves, peeled

2-inch piece chopped fresh ginger

½ teaspoon cardamom seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

5 fl. oz. yogurt

4 fl. oz. double cream

Pat the chicken with kitchen paper towels. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slits in the breast and thighs. In a small cup, combine the lemon juice, salt and cayenne. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, pushing it well into the slits. Put the chicken into a large bowl and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the marinade. Place the raisins, almonds, honey, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cumin and turmeric in the jar of an electric blender. Add

Two exotic Indian dishes – Umabai’s Curried Partridges and Umabai’s Spiced Almond Chicken.

1 tablespoons of the yogurt and blend at high speed until the mixture forms a puree, adding more yoguit if necessary.

Scrape the puree into a bowl and mix in the remaining yogurt and the cream.

Pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover the bowl and put it into the refrigerator to marinate for 24 hours, turning the chicken over occasionally.

Remove the chicken from the refriger-ator and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 °F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Place the chicken in a deep-sided roasting tin. Combine the saffron mixture with the remaining marinade in the bowl and pour this over the chicken. Spoon a little of the melted butter over the top. Pour 5 fluid ounces of water into the roasting tin. Place the tin in the oven and roast the chicken, basting frequently with the liquid in the roasting tin and the remaining melted butter, for 1 hour or until the chicken is very tender.

Remove the tin from the oven and transfer the chicken to a warmed serving dish. Scrape the bottom of the roasting tin and spoon the juices over the chicken.

Serve immediately.

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