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Recipe: Tandoori chicken and vegetable rice

 Tandoori chicken and vegetable rice infused with black lime [Courtesy, Chef Ali Mandhry]

Happy Friday! Today we make tandoori chicken and vegetable rice infused with black lime.


For the chicken marinade:

1 chicken cut into quarters (scored)

3 tablespoons tandoori chicken masala (kuku spice)

1 teaspoon garlic mince 

1 teaspoon ginger mince 

200ml maziwa lala (sour milk) 

Juice of 1 lemon 

Salt to taste 

4-5 tablespoons vegetable oil 

Mix everything and let it marinate for about 30 minutes.

In a pan over medium heat pan sear the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides.

Place the chicken on another pan over low heat and cover.

Steam until the chicken is completely cooked.

Retain the oil and gravy after sautéing the chicken, since it is the same pot you will use to make the rice.

For the rice:

1 onion, diced

1 teaspoon garlic ginger mince 

1 capsicum, diced 

1 tomato, diced 

2 black dried limes (Limu Omani)

2 bouillon chicken cubes 

Salt to taste 

3 cups rice 

4 cups water 

1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped

Saute the onions until soft (use the same pot with the oils you used to fry the chicken).

Add the garlic ginger mince, capsicum, and tomatoes.

Mix well.

Add the black lime crumble in the chicken cubes and mix.

Add the washed rice and two cups of water.

Arrange the cooked chicken over the rice.

Add the remaining water and pour into the pan in which you steamed the chicken.

Mix well to to flavour the water with the chicken gravy from the pan and make yourself an instant chicken broth.  

Pour the broth into the pot with rice and the chicken and boil until the liquid is reduced.

Cover with a tight lid and reduce heat to low and steam for about 15 minutes or until the rice is fluffy.

Remove the dried lime and serve on a platter to enjoy with the rest of the family.

Garnish with coriander. Enjoy!

Ingredient of the week:

Black lime

Black limes are essentially fresh limes that are blanched in salt water (they are briefly scalded in boiling water before being plunged into freezing water) and left to dry until they’re rock hard, resulting in golf size, brown to black coloured balls with a brittle texture that easily yields itself to a grinder. 

While traditionally sun-dried on banana-leaf mats, black lime can also be made in an oven or dehydrator. Dried limes will probably take around two days to make in the oven, but the result can be stored for up to two years. You know the lime is done if it is light and feels hollow.

Dried limes are also referred to as ‘Limu Omani’ (they were first made in Oman) and are an essential flavouring ingredient in the cuisines of Iran, Iraq, and other Gulf States. They were originally obtained in this region by leaving the limes to dry on the trees instead of harvesting them.

This simple ingredient has the potential to transform a whole range of dishes with just a small pinch. 

Images: Chef Ali Mandhry & Amer Mohsin Al- kithiri 


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