Taking Achari chicken to the next level by using it as a tart filling. The flavours of the five-spice chicken blends well with the crisp and buttery tart.
Chef Sapna Anand is a renowned chef who puts a modern twist to traditional Indian dishes. This recipe is from her cookbook, New Indian Kitchen, which is available at MPH bookstores. She also conducts cooking classes at At 19 Culinary Studio where she shares her cooking experiences and techniques. She blogs at My Test Kitchen and has a FB page under the same name. Photo courtesy of Sapna Anand.
Measure the flour into a large bowl, add a pinch of salt, and mix.
Using your fingertips, combine the flour and cold diced butter (avoid using the palm of your hands) until it starts to form a crumbly texture.
Add the cold water and knead very lightly to form a dough.
Shape the dough into a flat disc, cling wrap the disc and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare two 12”x12” baking sheets and a rolling pin.
Sprinkle flour over one of the sheets. Place chilled dough over the baking sheet.
Cover the dough with the second baking sheet and roll them to achieve an even thickness. Tip: Placing a sheet over the dough keeps it from sticking onto the rolling pin.
The dough should be rolled out 2-3 inches wider than your tart pan so that there is enough dough to line the edges of the pan. In this case, it should be rolled to 11”x11”.
Take off the top layer of the baking sheet and slowly start to roll the pastry onto the rolling pin.
Unroll the pastry sheet onto the pan.
Seal the sides, ensure the edges and corners are well secured by pressing it with your fingertips.
Use the rolling pin to roll out the extra dough from the edges.
Pierce the dough evenly with a fork.
Chill the lined tart pan in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Meantime, preheat the oven to 180C.
Place 2 cups of any large beans (example: kidney beans or soy beans) over the baking sheet, making sure they're spread well all over the tart. (To keep the weight of the tart dough down so that it bakes evenly and avoid bubbles from forming on the base).
Place the tart pan on a baking tray, and bake at 175C for 20 minutes with the beans on.
Take out the tart out of the oven, remove the sheet and beans, and put it back into the oven for another 7-10 minutes to make sure all the moisture is gone from the tart.
Leave the oven on. What you are looking for is a half-baked tart.
For the filling:
Cut the chicken into even 1-inch cubes.
Rinse and marinade the chicken with ginger, garlic, salt and lemon juice. Set aside.
Cut the onions and all three peppers into even-sized cubes.
In a small bowl, mix all the five spices and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat.
Add the five spices and stir for about 2 minutes.
Add the onions, stir for 5 minutes until onions are soft.
Then, increase to medium heat, add the chicken, turmeric, and chilli powder.
Season with salt and pepper.
Saute until the chicken is 90 per cent done.
Add diced peppers and saute for another 5-10 minutes.
Add the yogurt, reduce the heat, and bring to a light boil for 2 minutes.
Toss the cooked chicken into the half-baked tart, spreading it evenly over the tart.
Sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
Place the tart back into the oven at 175C for another 25-30 minutes or until cheese melts and start to lightly brown.
You can also used ready-made pie crust for the tart. Vegetarians can replace the chicken with fresh paneer or any other vegetables.