chicken · maincourse · mauritianfood

Shelina Permalloo Inspired Braised Chicken in Tamarind

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Bored of the traditional Curry and Chicken Daube style?

Then say Hello to this finger licking good braised Chicken in a succulent Tamarind sauce! Once you tried it, I can guarantee you that you won’t have Chicken the same way again. Sticky, sweet , tangy and delectable, you name it all. This recipe has it all and makes such a great celebration food. Also if you are on search for new flavours to try in the kitchen then I guess you will be more than happy to try this one. Often we are so used to our routine cooking habits that we tend to stick with what we know. And somehow we become reluctant to try new things because these days time seems to be the only constraint. Still you will be amazed how just one single ingredient can make a whole lot of difference in terms of flavours in a dish. And for today our star ingredient is of course, the Tamarind Sauce. As much as I lurrrvvvveeeee the original recipe, I couldn’t resist not tweaking it a little to my own taste.

A little about Shelina Permalloo

Shelina Permalloo has been crowned the winner of MasterChefUk in 2012.She grew up in Southampton with her Mauritian parents and siblings. It was only in 2011 that she decided to follow her heart and enter the MasterChef competition. Since winning the MasterChefUk, she always had that WOW effect anywhere she performs. So much that she is often called upon as to be Sunshine personified.All because of her radiant self and glowing presence really. Her talents and warm personality will certainly win your heart. She has cooked at many events as well as the BBC Good Food Shows, written two amazing cookbooks namely Sunshine on a Plate and The Sunshine Diet and now plans to open her own restaurant serving Mauritian food in her home town of Southampton. You can catch more of her on her Facebook Page and who knows you might fall in love with her too,just like I did!

Serves 4

Preparation time : 30 mins

Cooking time : 45 mins

Ingredients as per cookbook:

  • 4 chicken quarters, skinned and fat trimmed.
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 1 tsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 rounded tsp tomato puree
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 3 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 pak choi,trimmed and halved
  • salt,freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly chopped coriander, to garnish

Ingredients I used (Serves 5) :

  • 5 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 big tomatoes cut into wedges / 200g of tomato puree
  • 1 big shallot coarsely sliced
  • 3 baby pak choi cut in halves
  • 2 tsp of thick tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp of lime juice
  • 1/4 a ginger finely sliced
  • bunch of coriander leaves
  • salt
  • vegetable oil

For the braised chicken marinade :

  • 1 tsp of dry red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of Oyster sauce
  • salt/pepper

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Method:

  • Marinate your chicken with all the above mentioned ingredients for the marinade.
  • Leave to rest for  10 mins while you heat your non stick pan with a tsp of vegetable oil.

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  • Put your drumsticks skin side down on the hot pan and seared until braised and smokey.
    Note: You can remove the skin as well as leave it on the drumsticks really. It all depends on how you like to have yours.I normally do not cook with skin on but then for this recipe, it is mentioned to keep 1 tsp of fat left in the pan for sweating the onions. I thought I leave the skin on for more fat and flavours when I will be deglazing the shallots. Once the chicken is cooked you can remove the skin really. No problem at all.

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  • Remove and strain the drumsticks on a plate while you get on with the shallots.
  • In the same fat/oil, throw in all the sliced shallots along with some parsley leaves, ginger finely sliced and leave to sweat.

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  • When everything starts to soften , add in the tomato wedges with a pinch of salt.
  • Stir generously all the tomato chunks and finally add the tamarind paste as well as the lime juice.
  • Next pour in 1 cup of water and leave to simmer for 15 mins.
    Note :
    I really did not have vegetable stock at home. So 1 cup of water was my only escape here.

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  • When the sauce starts to bubble up , add in your braised drumsticks.
  • Salt/Pepper again accordingly and leave to cook for 20 mins more while stirring occasionally.
  • Throw in the baby pak choi 5 mins before turning off the gas.

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  • Sprinkle over some fresh coriander leaves and leave to cool down before serving over white fragrant fluffy rice and any salad of your choice.

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You can serve it straight away but then I found that leaving it to rest and cooled down brings another depth of flavours to the dish really. The tamarind sauce thickens up and transforms the usual tomato gravy into a sticky bbq flavoured one. To be honest, I am so new to this flavour as I have never cooked chicken in tamarind before. So to describe it to you really, is a little difficult here. But then rest assured that the usual tangy flavour of the tamarind is all gone and what you are left with, is simply finger licking good and addictive drumsticks.

Hopefully you enjoyed this dish as much as I did even if it was through the pictures really. Are you familiar with cooking chicken in tamarind? Is there any other way you make yours at home? Or instead of adding the tomato puree , do you solely cook it with tamarind juice only? I would be more than glad to know how you love making yours. And also if you add any spices like cumin maybe? Please do not hesitate to write to me.

Until another foodie post,thank you for taking the time and reading all what I write. I know sometimes I talk a lot but well that’s the soft spot for food really that is doing all the talking here.

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