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Indian Chicken Takatan

What's The Big Idea?

This is in many ways similar to a stir-fry, but the flavouring is definitely Indian. It is traditionally cooked in a huge metal frying pan (but a wok works perfectly), using metal implements or even serving spoons to mix and stir the ingredients as they cook; the name is said to derive from the "taka-taka-taka" sound of these implements bashing against the metal of the frying pan as the dish is cooked.

This dish doesn't have to use chicken; prawns or mixed vegetables will work just a well. Serve with naan bread and an ice-cold Indian beer!

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1½lbs chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, very finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 red chilli, very finely chopped (remove the seeds if you want to reduce the heat)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 12-20 cherry tomatoes, halved

What To Do

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a wok and fry the whole seeds for 30 seconds only
  • Add the chicken, onion, garlic and ginger, and fry for about 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile, make a paste by combining the ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, fenugreek and turmeric with the vinegar
  • Add the paste to the wok and continue frying for 5 minutes
  • Add the remaining ingredients and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through

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