Sajji is Balochistan's most famous dish. At its most traditional, it consists of a whole lamb cooked over an open fire. In modern days, this has been substituted by lamb parts or whole chickens, which are skewered and cooked in the same manner. The smoke from the fire gives the dish a smokey flavor.
While there are ingenious ways to replicate this method at home, many home cooks instead cook the chicken in the oven, relying on a spice mix to approximate the original flavor.
The results of the recipe I used were pretty good, everyone enjoyed the chicken.
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2" ginger root, peeled
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 whole chicken
For the Spice Mix
- 12 white cardamon pods
- 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 Tbsp dried pomegranate seeds or lemon juice
Using a spice grinder or small blender, combine the ginger, garlic and vegetable oil and make into a paste. Mix in the white vinegar.
Pat dry the chicken and spread the ginger-garlic paste on the outside. Let stand for an hour, or cover and refrigerate up to overnight.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet to medium. Add the cardamon pods, peppercorns, cumin, feel and coriander seeds and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove to the bowl of a spice grinder. Add the pomegranate seeds to the spices and grind until powdered.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Coat chicken with spice mix. Place on a roasting pan and roast for about 20 minutes per pound, until it achieves an internal temperature of 165°F.
Adapted from Maria Nasir's recipe at Foodaholic
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