Masala dishes are an Indian speciality; this chicken masala recipe is a fine combination of herbs, spices, fruit and nuts. Masala is normally served with rice.
2 chickens, each weighing 1 kg (2 1/4 lbs)
2 walnut-sized pieces fresh root (green ginger)
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
150 g (5 oz) 2/3 cup set yogurt
3/4 cup (100 g) 4 oz blanched almonds
1/2 cup (75 g) seedless sultanas (golden raisins)
2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g butter
1 cup (8 fl oz) 250 ml water
1. Peel ginger and garlic, place in liquidiser with salt, cardamon, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and lemon juice; blend to a smooth masala paste.
2. Wash and dry chickens, cut in half and lay, cut side down, in heavy metal pan. Spread masala paste over them.
3. Liquidise yogurt with almonds and washed sultanas, then pour this mixture over chickens.
4. Melt butter and sprinkle over chickens. Cover with aluminium foil and leave to marinate for 2 hours at room temperature.
5. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) gas mark 6. Pour 125 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup water around chickens, cover and cook for 20 minutes in oven.
6. Reduce temperature to 175° (325°F) gas mark 3, remove foil and roast chickens for 30 minutes longer, adding more water if required.
7. Serve chickens in the sauce, accompanied by rice prepared with saffron and paprika.
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