The ancho chili is the dried version of the Poblano pepper. Ancho chiles have a deep red color and a wrinkled skin. Anchos are sweet and smoky with a flavor slightly reminiscent of raisins. Their heat is mild to medium-hot.
Serving Size: 3
Bezar spice mix:
2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (cassia)
1 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon chili powder*
heaped ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
600 grams halal chicken pieces, on the bone (with or without skin)
2 onions, finely chopped
2-4 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoon Bezar spice mix
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (cassia)
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 loomi (dry lime), pierced
fine sea salt, to taste (for me ¾ tsp)
2 fresh or ¼ 400 gram tinned tomatoes, chopped
1 potato, washed, peeled and cut into chunks
1 carrot, washed, peeled and finely chopped
3 cups / 750 ml water
Basmati rice or bread
fresh coriander leaves, washed and roughly chopped
*To make chili powder: grind dried chile in a coffee or spice grinder till a fine powder.
Bezar Spice Mix:
In a small bowl mix all the spices together.
In a large pot over medium heat warm oil, add chicken seal / brown on all sides, remove and set aside.
Lower the heat to the pot then add onion and cook until it softens, stirring often. Add tomato paste, stirring always let it cook for a minute or two, before adding garlic, spices, salt, loomi. Cook for another few minutes until fragrant. Be careful do not let the spices burn, you may need to add a splash of water to prevent this and keep stirring.
Add the remaining ingredients: vegetables, tomatoes, water and return the chicken to the pot. increase heat and bring stew up to a boil, then cover the pot, lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cook for approximately 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced. During the last 20 minutes or so, if the liquid isn’t reducing as much as you like, uncover the stew and continue cooking.
One the stew is cooked If you used chicken with skin (I did), take the chicken pieces out of the pot and remove the skin. Serve chicken stew with rice or bread and garnish with coriander.
Leftover Bezar Spice Mix can be used to marinate chicken,lamb or used in other Omani and Emirati dishes. I used 4 tablespoon oil plus chicken with skin (removed before serving). I found the dish slightly too oily, so next time I would use 2 tablespoon oil or if you prefer use chicken without the skin.