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Indian cooking: Balti dishes?

Leucadian | Feb 14, 200807:23 AM

A recent thread prompted me to post about a new UK Indian cookbook I recently found, that included a section on Balti dishes. These are new to me (non-Indian), and are apparently single dish meals based on Kashmiri cooking, that don't need much else as accompaniment. They're popular ('perfected') in Birmingham, the author says. ('Best Ever Indian Cookbook' at Costco, $5.99)

Is anyone familiar with this type dish? How would you characterize them? Here's one recipe as an example, which seems to have a little bit of everything:

Balti Chicken Pieces with Cumin and Coriander
2/3 C yoghurt
1/4 C ground almonds
1 1/2t ground coriander
1/2 t chilli (hot chile) powder
1t garam masala
1T coconut milk
1t grated ginger
2T chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
1 red chile seeded and chopped (looks like a long thin one, sliced in rounds)
8oz chicken breast, skinned, boned, cubed
1T oil
2 onions sliced
3 green cardamom pods
1in cinnamon stick
2 cloves

Spicy potatoes
1T oil
8 baby potatoes, thick slices
1/4 cumin seeds
1T chopped cilantro

basic instructions: marinate the chicken in the first ingredients for half an hour, reserving half the cilantro and half the fresh chile. Meanwhile, stirfry the potato mix for 2-3 minutes, and then bake it covered at 350F for about 30 minutes till done. Back to the chicken: fry the onions and remaining spices for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the chicken to the onions, and fry for 5-7 minutes, then cover and simmer at lower heat for another 5-7 min. Top with potatoes and garnish with reserved cilantro and fresh chile.

This sounds pretty good, and none of the ingredients is especially exotic these days.

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