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Nadiya Hussain’s Thirty-Clove Garlic Chicken with Roti Jalla

Don't let the garlic scare you in this thirty-clove recipe from Nadiya Hussain. Complete with homemade roti jalla, it makes for a rich and comforting supper.

From the book


Garlic doesn’t scare me, but even just writing 30 cloves made me wonder whether you will think it’s too much! But seriously, you have to trust me when I say whole garlic cooked gently into a rich sauce is a thing of utter beauty. This chicken is smoky, rich and gently garlicky, and is served with netted pancakes that are fun to make.

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For the chicken:
30 30 cloves of garlic (approx. 3 bulbs), unpeeled
500ml water
2 onions, peeled and quartered (210g)
1½ tsp fine salt
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp garam masala
1½ tbsp tomato purée
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lemon, halved
1.2kg chicken, quartered, on the bone, skin removed and flesh scored
50g black olives, thinly sliced
For the roti jalla:
200g chickpea flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion seeds
4 medium eggs
250ml whole milk
2 tbsp tablespoons oil, plus extra for greasing the pan

Essential kit

You will need: a food processor.

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Start by adding the cloves of garlic to a small pan with the water. Pop onto the stove on a high heat and as soon as the water comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and leave to simmer away for 10 minutes.

Add the onion quarters, salt, paprika, garam masala and tomato purée to a food processor or blender.

Drain the garlic cloves into a colander, making sure to reserve the boiling liquid into a separate bowl. Save the garlic cloves for later. Add the cooking water to the processor and whizz to a smooth paste.

Add the oil to a large flat casserole dish that has a lid. Add the two lemon halves to the pan and whack the heat up to high. This will gently release flavour into the oil.

Take the onion mixture over to the pan. Remove the lemon halves. Pour the onion mixture in, squeeze all the juice out of the lemon halves and discard the flesh.

Take the garlic cloves and remove any bits of skin that have not already fallen off. Add the garlic into the pan and cook the mixture with the lid off to dry out on a medium to high heat for 7 minutes or until the mixture is dry and there are no watery bits left in the pan.

Add the chicken, stir through the mixture, cover and leave on a medium heat for 25 minutes. Be sure to give the whole thing a mix and turn the chicken onto the other side about halfway through cooking. If the sauce starts to catch, add a little water to the pan.

Meanwhile, make the roti batter by adding the sifted chickpea flour to a bowl with the salt and onion seeds and whisking through. Add the eggs, milk and oil and whisk till you have a smooth batter.

Take a 24cm pancake pan and pop onto a high heat. Brush lightly with oil and then take tablespoons of the pancake mixture and drizzle all over the pan to make a lacy pancake. You will get larger clumps and smaller threads, which will mean all sorts of textures and shapes. You will need about 3–4 tablespoons of the mixture for each pancake. As soon as they hit the pan, they take about 30–45 seconds to cook. They are ready to flip over when the top has formed bubbles and they look dry on the surface. Turn out onto a plate and keep going till you have used up all the batter.

Once the chicken is cooked, take off the heat, add the sliced olives and stir through. Move the chicken pieces around to create gaps in which to place the roti jalla. Pinch together a couple of the pancakes, bundle them up and pop them into the gaps.

Serve in the centre of the table and spoon up.


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