Balti (Serves 4-6)
This tomatoey based dish is probably best known for its origins influenced by North West India, yet rooted in the Midlands of England. Its beautifully rich sauce is pepped-up with whole dill and onion seeds for little flavour bursting sensations, backed by fragrant green cardamom and cloves, all tempered with pungent asafoetida. Comforting and tingling, it’s brilliant when cooked with lamb or chicken!
What you need
Onions 500g/1lb, peeled and diced
Ghee or butter 60g/2oz (clarified butter or 3 tbsp vegetable oil are perfectly fine)
Garlic 3 or 4 cloves crushed, grated or blitzed
Ginger, fresh root 30g/1oz or 1 fat inch, crushed, grated or blitzed
1 packet of GREEN SAFFRON Balti Spice Mix
Lamb, stewing lamb
(or *chicken thigh meat) 1kg/2lbs, diced to mouth-sized chunks
Tomatoes chopped 1 tin (or 400g)
Tomato purée 35g or 1 heaped dessert spoon
Stock, chicken, hot 750ml/26floz
How to make it
1. In a large casserole dish or saucepan on a medium heat, sweat the onions in the ghee or butter until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 mins.
2. Turn the heat up to medium, add the garlic and ginger and stir for another couple of minutes.
3. Next, add the whole packet of your Green Saffron Balti Spice Mix and stir for a minute or so.
4. Add the lamb (see *‘Alternative Suggestions’ below if you’re using chicken) stir thoroughly, then turn down the heat and allow to sizzle away gently for about 10mins, stirring occasionally.
5. Turn the heat up to medium-high and immediately add the tomatoes, tomato purée and stock, stir.
6. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a gentle ‘bubbling’ and pop the lid on.
7. After 30 mins, take the lid off and allow to reduce, bubble and cook until the meat is beautifully tender, about another 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.
8. When the meat is tender and the sauce is rich, red and unctuous, it’s ready to serve…enjoy!!
Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander and serve with Green Saffron’s Aged Indian Basmati rice, our Naans and spiced banana riata.
I’d always recommend chicken thigh meat, over breast. To me, there’s more flavour and it’s more likely to stay tender in this style of cooking. Either way, make the sauce following steps 1 to 6 using only 250ml of stock. Then, once the sauce is the type of consistency you want, add the raw chicken chunks into the hot liquid and continue to cook for about 25 to 30mins or until the meat is only just cooked….beautiful!
This recipe has been tried and tested by the Green Saffron Masaalchi and is pretty much guaranteed, but if you want to change the quantities of a couple of ingredients go for it….experiment and enjoy your cooking. With Green Saffron spices you can’t go wrong!!!