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Indian Chicken and Beet Khuta ( Sweet and Sour Curried Chicken )


2 chickens ( 3 pounds each) , cut into serving pieces 
1 pound fresh beets or 1 1-pound can 
3 cups finely chopped onion 
1 clove garlic, finely minced 
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger 
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 
1/2 teaspoon garam masala or cayenne pepper 
3 tablespoons lemon juice 
1 tablespoon tomato puree 
1 tablespoon brown sugar 
11/2 cups water 
Salt and pepper to taste 

6 servings


  1. Place all the pieces of chicken except the breasts in a heavy casserole or Dutch oven. Bone and skin the breasts and split each in half. Add the breasts to the casserole.

  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, salt, pepper, tomato puree, and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for about 60 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

  3. Meanwhile, trim the beets and place them in a saucepan. (Or add the beets from the can to the saucepan) Add water to cover and salt to taste. Partly cover and simmer until the beets are tender. Do not drain but set aside.

  4. When the chicken is done, remove the cover. Stir the pieces around while mashing the onion with the back of a spoon. Cook until the chicken starts to brown lightly. Add the beets (sliced) , one cup of beet juice ( either from the cooking liquid or from the can), the lemon juice, and sugar. Simmer slowly about fifteen minutes, or until all the flavors are well blended. 

  5. Add more lemon juice or brown sugar if desired. 

  6. Serve with a rice pilaf sprinkled with raisins and toasted almonds.

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