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Everyone loves a good chicken dish. I know I certainly do. Roast chicken, chicken salad, fried chicken (ahem…) or chicken kebabs, I love all of them. My absolute favourite though, is a chicken casserole served with rice and a tomato and cucumber salad.

I like to combine *soft* spices with a mild curry powder to give it a bit of a zing and it certainly makes the cold days a bit more bearable on a Sunday afternoon around the table with your family or in front of the television watching a movie.

Here’s the recipe for a simple chicken casserole. Enjoy!

 Ingredients

4 chicken legs chopped into the drumstick and thigh (or diced chicken breast depending on preference)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomato
100g yellow split lentils (chana dal)
1 tsp mild curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp ground saffron
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Fry the onions in two tablespoons of oil for five minutes on a high heat then add the curry powder, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, garlic salt and salt and pepper.

Fry for a further five minutes until soft, then add the chicken pieces. Make sure they are all covered with the onion and spice mix. Turn the heat down to medium and turn the pieces constantly for two minutes to prevent burning.

Add the tin of chopped tomato, cover with water, add the yellow split lentils, bring to the boil then simmer for one hour if using the chicken legs or thirty minutes if using the chicken breast.

Serve with fluffy rice and a chopped tomato and cucumber salad.

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Otherwise known as Khoresht e Bamiyeh (khoresht-casserole, bamiyeh-okra) in Iran, this is a simple dish to make and extremely tasty but be warned it needs a good couple of hours to simmer away so the meat cooks nicely and is very tender.

It’s even good for the children because even though they won’t eat the okra, it oozes it’s juices and goodness into the casserole sauce, giving it a nice simple spicy flavour that they will enjoy! I even get away with mashing an okra or two up for my little ones!

 Enjoy!

Diced Lamb Casserole with Okra

700g Diced lamb (preferably shoulder, not leg)

400g firm okra, washed

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp cooking oil

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp garlic powder OR 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

 

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions.  Fry until golden brown, then add the turmeric, garlic and a little salt and pepper.  Continue to fry on a high heat for 5 minutes then add the lamb. 

Keep stirring the lamb into the onion mixture making sure it is all covered, bring the heat down to medium and allow the meat to cook for 20 minutes whilst stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Add the chopped tomatoes, and cover with water.  Bring it to the boil then simmer for 60 minutes.

After the 60 minutes, add the okra, (putting it in too early will result in a mush of okra) and simmer for a further 40 minutes or until the lamb is nice and soft.

Serve alongside white rice and some cool fresh yogurt or greek yogurt!

 Note:  You can substitute the lamb for beef, but increase the cooking time by about 20 minutes.  If you prefer vegetarian, cook your preferred vegetables along WITH the okra for about 25 minutes or until cooked.

You can make this in the slow cooker but be aware that the flavours come from frying the onion along with the spices and meat for 20 minutes before cooking.  It won’t taste exactly the same but will still be a delicious meal all the same!

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