Monday, October 12, 2015

Balti Chicken Curry and Roasted Apple Sauce

Balti  Chicken Curry
     A couple of months ago, I cooked my first Balti curry.  So delicious, but the recipe was quite elaborate, toasting and grinding many spices.  I simplified the recipe and it was delicious as well, perhaps as delicious as the more elaborate version.
     Balti curry is simply a curry type stew that is wonderful served over a bed of steamed basmati rice.  Balti curry may have originated in a region called Balitistan in northern Pakistan and spread to England where it is very popular.  Or it may have been invented in Birmingham, England.
     Balti curry is named after the steel pot in which it is cooked.  I prefer to use a large stainless or cast iron frying pan with lid.

Chicken Balti Curry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil not so good here.  I usually use canola.
6 chicken thighs with bone(I used the skin, but skinless is fine.  Also can  
    use half breasts instead of all thighs
3 Tablespoons curry powder (I used Penzey's "Balti" seasoning with excellent   
     results. Divided use, one tablespoon for the chicken, the other 2 when you  
     add the rest of the ingredients
1 teaspoon salt, sea or Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, up to 1 teaspoon
1 medium onion or shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes,14 to 15 ounce can
2 cups garbanzo beans, drained
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cube

1 cup fresh cilantro , minced as garnish ( chopped fresh Italian parsley may
   be substituted for those who dislike cilantro and feel it has a soapy taste.
   I love cilantro now, but must admit my first encounter with it in my youth 
   was unenthusiastic) .

1. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the curry powder (or Balti  seasoning). Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Brown chicken in frying pan over medium heat, ten minutes each side.  Remove most of the oil in the pan, leaving enough to sauté the onions( or shallots ) .  Add the garlic after five minutes and sauté another three minutes. 
Deglaze the pan with a cup of water .
3. Return the chicken to the pan, then all the rest of the ingredients, except for the sweet potato and cilantro.
4.  Add enough water to mostly cover the chicken.  Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Then add the sweet potatoes, cover, and simmer again for another 20 or 25 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.  Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.  Serve over rice.  Basmati works beautifully with the Balti curry.

Roasted Apple Sauce
      One of Papa's dishes.  A sort of apple pie without the crust or guilt, if you are so inclined.  Need I say, gluten free?
Recipe for Roasted Apple Sauce

3 pounds apples ( variety of crisp good eating apples works well, such as 
   Golden Delicious, Jonagolds, Pippins, or Galas)
Pitch of salt (do not omit, seems to make a difference .
Up to a Tablespoon of sugar, if needed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 

1. Cut the apples into quarters after peeling and coring them.
2. If apples are quite sweet, no sugar is needed.  Toss the apples with the pinch of salt.
3.Spread the apples in a shallow baking dish, trying for a single layer.
4. Dot with small pieces of butter.
5.Cover with aluminum foil tightly. 
6. Bake in oven (preheated to 375 degrees) until apples begin to soften, approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
7. Remove foil (careful it can be steamy),turn oven heat up to 500 degrees and return pan to oven, uncovered.  Bake for another 10 or 15 minutes until apples have dried out and have a bit of color. 
8.Put apples in a bowl,can stir them a bit to make a bit of a chunky mash.  May also add a bit more sugar if desired.

Note:  today papa made the dish for a friend who cannot eat sugar, so he left it out completely.  It was delicious hot.  Yummy warm too.

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