Bahar: A tasty and delicious Indian dish. I found the recipe in a Persian cooking book, Ketab-e Mostatab-e Ashpazi, az Sir ta Piaz, by Najaf DaryaBandari. The original recipe asks for fresh coconut flakes, which definitely gives the dish an authentic fresh taste. If you don't have access to fresh flakes then the dried flakes would also do. If you are using dried flakes, go with unsweetened ones for the original taste. However, if you like sweet dishes as I do, the sweetened coconut flakes would also make an interesting excellent taste.
Chicken: 2 lb (breasts and/or tights cut into pieces) Onion: 2, chopped Shredded Coconut: 1 cup (preferably fresh)* Cinnamon: 1 small stick Black pepper: 2 tsp (use 1 tsp if you prefer a mild taste) Cayenne pepper: 2 tsp (use 1 tsp if you prefer a mild taste) Turmeric: 2 tsp Coriander powder: 1.5 tsp Mustard: 1 tsp Clove: 1/8 tsp, ground Cardamom powder: 1/8 tsp Vinegar: 1 tsp Frying Oil: 3 tbsp Salt: 3/4 tsp (or to taste)
1. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large cooking pan over low-medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until golden.
2. Add all the spices (cinnamon stick, black pepper, cayenne pepper, turmeric, coriander powder, mustard, ground cloves and cardamom powder), mix and saute for few seconds (10-15 seconds).
3. Increase the heat to medium. Add the chicken and saute for 5-6 more minutes, until lightly browned.
4. Add shredded coconuts, 1 cup of water, vinegar and salt. Lower the heat. Put the lid on the pan and let the chicken cook for 30-35 minutes. At the end the stew should have very little water. Serve with rice (You can decorate the dish with fresh herbs such as mints, and use cinnamon powder to garnish the rice).
*If you are using dried coconut flakes, go with the unsweetened one for the original taste. However, if you like sweet dishes, the sweetened coconut flakes would also make an excellent interesting taste.