Chicken with Apricots and Potato Straws


  • 1 (3 pound) skinless chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 4 whole dried hot red chiles
  • 1 (2-inch) piece cinnamon stick, broken
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 7 cardamom pods
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 4 ounces pitted dried apricots
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound onions, cut in very fine half rings
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree mixed with 8 ounces hot water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white malt vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 7 ounces potato, peeled
  • Oil for deep frying


  1. Put red chiles, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom and cloves in a grinder and grind finely.
  2. Put chicken in a large bowl.
  3. Put 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1/2 teaspoon garlic and half the dry spice mix on the chicken. Mix well, rubbing seasoning into the chicken. Set aside for one hour.
  4. Put the apricots into a pan with 3/4 pint water. Boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender but not mushy. Turn off the heat and leave apricots in juice.
  5. When the chicken has marinated, heat 6 tablespoons oil in a pan over medium heat.
  6. Add onions and stir and fry until they are a rich reddish-brown.
  7. Set heat to medium and add remaining garlic, ginger and dry spice mix. Stir, then add chicken. Stir and brown for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the tomato puree mix and salt. Boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Add vinegar and sugar; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. Turn off the heat and spoon off as much fat as possible from the surface.
  11. Put the apricots and 3 tablespoons of their juice into the pan with the chicken and let set for at least 30 minutes.
  12. Make potato straws. Fill a large bowl with 3 pints water.
  13. Add salt and mix.
  14. Grate potato coarsely, put into the bowl of water and stir. Remove the potato, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Drain and dry on paper towels.
  15. Heat the oil slowly. When hot, add the potato straws. Stir and fry until crisp and pale golden.
  16. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  17. Heat the chicken through gently and serve with potato straws.

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