"Dried Fruit" is our theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), where we are currently cooking from Madhur Jaffrey's recipes. What's my favourite dried fruit? Apricots! I love apricots and have used it in some bakes, but never in a savoury dish before. So when I came across this recipe of MJ using apricots in a chicken dish, I knew that sooner or later, I'll be cooking it! And when IHCC selected dried fruits as this week's theme, I just knew exactly what I will be cooking.
According to MJ, this is a sweet and sour dish of the Parsi community in India, and is one of their culinary tradition. "This dish is generally served with a mountain of very fine, crisp potato straws but it may also be served with rice". Well, I served it with rice, but I do not like this dish very much.
Firstly the apricots are boiled in some water for about 15 minutes to soften the fruits. The chicken pieces are marinated with some salt and lots of ground black pepper, then fry in a little oil with cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds, remove and keep aside. Saute the sliced onions until lightly brown, add the ginger, tomato puree, and all the chicken pieces. Some water and salt is added, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, and add the garam masala, cayenne pepper and the apricots. Now the recipe calls for some sugar and red wine vinegar. I tasted the dish before I added in these two ingredients, and it was good. I thought of omitting the sugar and red wine vinegar, but then this is really a sweet and sour dish, so I followed the recipe and added these two ingredients in. However, I only used half a teaspoon of sugar (original is 1-1/2 tablespoons), as I do not like very sweet dishes, especially curries! And the apricots do have its own sweetness too. I added in only 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar (original is 2 tablespoons). And after the addition of these two ingredients, I tasted the dish again, and I did not like it! The taste is sweet and sour, just as MJ describes, but to me somehow, the addition of sugar and red wine vinegar does not blend well with this dish. Maybe it is just me, but if I happen to cook this dish again, it will be without the sugar and red wine vinegar, as I prefer this dish BEFORE these two ingredients are added in.
My son thinks this is OK, maybe he wants to make me feel better, seeing how disappointed I am with this dish. The hubby thinks that it is a little sweet. Overall review : There's nothing wrong with this dish, just that it is not my cup of tea, or my family's. But if you like sweet and sour dishes, then this might be for you, as I have read good reviews about this dish when I googled for it. This may not be my cup of tea, but it could be yours!
Please stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) to view the other yummies that my friends are sharing.
For the full recipe, you may get it here Curry Nation, Madhur Jaffrey