Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tamarind Chicken with Almonds/ Mama Nazima's Jewish-Iraqi Cuisine









 Mama Nazima's Jewish-Iraqi Cuisine by Rivka Goldman

This is one of my favorite cookbooks.
It's more than a cookbook!
I am drawn to the history and cultural heritage that is preserved in this book. Rivka draws the reader into the recipes with comments and reflection, revealing glimpses of old Jewish-Iraqi culture. She speaks of  memories of her mother, a woman revered for her wisdom, to whom the book is dedicated ; and a third, Iraqi anti-Semitic persecution culminating in a pogrom in 1941, and the community’s exit from their ancient home in 1950.
I decided to prepare this recipe tonight , thinking about my love for tradition. Thinking about Rivka's mother and how I wish I could have leaned over her shoulder and watched her cook.
I want to make and eat food that has a history.  Try this! You will not be able to just eat one serving!

Chicken with Almonds
serves 8
2 tablespoons tamarind sauce ( can be found in Middle Eastern and Indian stores)
1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cubed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup sliced almonds

preheat oven to 350
Combine the tamarind sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika. Brush chicken with the mixture.
Brush a baking sheet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place chicken on the tray and cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over high heat  and add the onions. Reduce to low. Add raisins and almonds to the onions. Stir for a minute and remove from heat. Remove chicken from oven and top with the onion mixture. Serve with saffron rice.

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