Though everyone is in the process of preparing the traditional chicken or beef biryani for Eid-Ul-Fitr, I chose to make this deliciously spicy chicken dish. The Mauritian Khalia will no doubt spike your culinary curiosity with its fragrance of spices perfectly balanced with a generous dose of plain yogurt and fresh herbs. Other than potatoes and peas, some prefer the addition of hard boiled eggs or cauliflower florets to the khalia gravy but you can very well try other vegetables if you do not mind exposing your tastebuds to unusual flavours. To compliment the main dish, rice or faratas [I'm getting addicted to wholewheat ones] is the common accompaniment along with green salad and cucumber raita.

CHICKEN KHALIA

Ingredients:

500g potatoes, peeled

1 cup vegetable oil

2tbs ghee/clarified butter

2 large onions, cut into rings

500g chicken, skin removed

2 tbs khalia spice mixture

1 tbs ginger& garlic paste

4 tbs unsweetened yogurt

2 large onions, chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 bunch fresh mint leaves

2 green chillies, chopped

1 small can green peas

2 tbs white vinegar

1tsp table salt, to taste

Method:

  • Cut potatoes into quarters and fry over medium heat in a mixture of oil and ghee until well cooked.

  • Remove and set aside. Next fry the onion rings until crisp, drain well and set aside to cool slightly.

  • Marinate chicken with khalia spice, ginger& garlic paste, vinegar and yogurt, coating chicken well.

  • Add onion rings, chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro, mint, salt and chillies to the chicken marinade.

  • Lastly add the oil used to fry potatoes/onions. Mix everything well. Cover and leave for about 1 hour.

  • Transfer chicken marinade to a large heavy based pan. Add peas and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.

  • Stir occasionally and cook until sauce thickens and chicken is tender. Serve hot with wholewheat faratas.

Eid Mubarak