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Bargain Balti`s in Bulgaria

Normally our recipes feature traditional Bulgarian dishes, however, often when living overseas, one gets the odd craving for a taste of home! It's not easy here to find really good Indian food unless you are prepared to drive to Sofia or Varna and eat in an Indian restaurant. Here's our recipe for a cheap, authentic tasting, Chicken Balti. In this recipe I'm using leftover chicken from a roast. One essential ingredient in this dish is a Balti Spice Mix available in Bulgaria from the British Lion Food Store, along with many other spice mixes for other indian dishes (Korma, Rogan Josh, Jalfrezi, etc.).

These spice mixes cost only 3.60 leva per packet and are enough to make 12 good portions of curry (depending how strong or mild you like your Indian food), which at 30 stotinki per portion for the spices, value for money bulgarian vegetables and leftover chicken makes this meal extremely cost effective.

500g leftover roast chicken meat
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
1 small piece of fresh, peeled ginger (leave it out if you don't have it!)
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
Balti Spice Mix
3 tbsp Tomato Purée (or half a tin of chopped tomatoes if you don't have purée)
250 ml Chicken Stock
Flat leaf Parsley
Vegetable Oil

Chop the onion, garlic and ginger and then place all three in a blender and blend to a coarse paste.

Heat a large frying pan and add a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter. When heated, gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger mixture for 6 minutes whilst stirring.

Add five to seven teaspoons of Balti Spice Mix (depending on how strong you like your Balti's) and continue cooking for a further 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomato puree and continue to cook for another five minutes, then add the chicken stock and cook for another 30 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.

De-seed and chop the red and green peppers. Heat some olive oil in a separate pan and fry the peppers for around seven minutes.

Add the peppers and leftover chicken to the Balti, stir well and cook for a further five minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh, chopped parsley. Serve with rice and a large glass off chilled Bulgarian lager!

If you're in the UK and fancy trying this dish, then you can check out the Balti spice mix (and many others) on the Green Cuisine website: