Indiska is a chain of Swedish shops, founded way back in 1901, selling all sorts of things made in India, including incense, furniture, tea, clothes, and a lot more besides.
In the early 1990s they decided to produce an Indian cookbook, the aptly named “Indiska Kokboken” ( literally, The Indiska Cookbook ). Despite being only sold in-house at Indiska stores, it went on to become one of the country’s most popular cookbooks.
I received my copy as a Christmas present, in 1998.
It’s seen so much use since then that the sauce splattered pages are quite literally falling apart. I still refer to it on a weekly basis.
Its recipes are what we call husmanskost in Swedish – solid, dependable, everyday recipes. Not dinner party glitz and glam dishes, but the kind of thing you’d cook up on a wet Wednesday evening.
The cool thing is that the recipes have been tweaked so that all of the ingredients will be easy to source for those of us living in this part of the world.
Back when they were planning the book, Indiska made a brilliant decision. They couldn’t have chosen a better place to start looking for a consultant, for starters.
Bradford is home to one of the largest Indian communities outside of the sub-continent itself, and is often noted as being the Curry Capital of Britain.
Then, they made another winning move – the man who they chose to be the brains behind the book was none other than Mumtaz Khan himself, owner of the legendary Mumtaz restaurant.
We ate there once, making a foodie pilgrimage of sorts. To our great joy, they had a copy of “Indiska Kokboken” in a display cabinet, and yes, we took photos of us and it, not caring how utterly dorky we looked.
This recipe, then, is only slightly altered from the Mumtaz original that appears on page 50 of the book.
It’s a fairly mild sweet and slightly sour dish from Gujarat. Enjoy.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some fairly urgent cookbook repairs to attend to…
Chicken And Apricot Curry
- 1kg skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 150g soft dried apricots
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- a 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Jalapeño chilli, finely chopped
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground cardamom seeds
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- coconut oil
- Place the ground cloves, ground cardamom seeds, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, turmeric, and salt and black pepper to taste in a small bowl. Add just enough water to produce a thin paste. Stir well, and set aside.
- Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick lidded pan over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the apricots, ginger, and chopped fresh chilli to the pan. Continue to stir fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the pan. Stir fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the water and spice paste. Stir fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato purée, white wine vinegar, and coconut sugar to the pan. Add sufficient hot water to produce a sauce. Stir well.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pan. Stir well to coat the chicken pieces with the sauce.
- Bring the pan up to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often, adding a splash of hot water if needed. Check that the chicken is properly cooked – it should be white all the way through when cut in half.
- Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Serve, together with a side of cauliflower rice, and Kachumber.