Chicken Meatballs in Apricot Sauce

In this delicious Kashmiri recipe Mridula Beljekar combines chilli-flavoured chicken meatballs in a spicy sweet apricot sauce
Chicken Meatballs in Apricot Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 30 mins resting
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

Main

  • 450 g minced chicken
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 green chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2.5 cm ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • half tsp salt
  • saffron rice, to serve

Sauce

  • 55 g raw cashew pieces
  • 8 dried apricots, (no-soak) chopped plus 2-3 extra, slivered
  • 225 ml hot water
  • 1 tbsp gram flour, or besan (chick-pea flour)
  • 75 g natural yogurt
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • half to 1 tsp chilli powder
  • half tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • half tsp sugar
  • 300 ml warm water
  • green cardamom, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 5cm long, broken into two
  • half tsp garam masala
  • 150 ml single cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander

Method

1. Place the meatball ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Divide the mixture into 2 halves. Wet your hands and shape 8 lime-sized balls from each portion. Smooth the surface by gently rotating and pressing the meatballs between your palms.

3. Meanwhile, soak the cashew nuts and the chopped apricots in 225ml of hot water for 15-20 minutes.

4. Sift the gram flour and blend it with a little water. Mix in the yogurt and beat together until smooth. Set aside.

5. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion until softened, stirring regularly, around 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric, paprika, salt and sugar and cook for a minute or two. Remove and set aside.

6. Meanwhile, in a saucepan large enough to hold the meatballs in a single layer (around 30cm/12ins) add 300ml of warm water, the cardamom pods and broken cinnamon stick.

7. Bring to a simmer and carefully place the meatballs in a single layer. Cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes.

8. Reduce the heat to low and carefully stir in the gram flour mixture and the spiced fried onion. Cover once more and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

9. In a food processor puree the cashew nuts and the apricots with the water in which they were soaked until smooth and add to the meatballs. Stir and mix, cover the pan and simmer for a further 5-6 minutes.

10. Add the garam masala and the cream, simmer for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the coriander leaves. Remove from the heat and serve garnished with the sliced apricots accompanied by saffron rice.

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