Balochi Sajji – Authentic Pakistani Recipe

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Balochi Sajji, an authentic dish originated from the Balochistan province of Pakistan, is actually skewed lamb or chicken with rice. Traditional Sajji is usually made with the whole lamb, but here as we are preparing the sajji at home, we are going to take chicken instead of lamb. Now let’s prepare our chicken sajji even without tandoor or oven.

Cooking Time
 2 hours 

The ingredients you must need in your hand before preparing the Balochi Sajji are:

  • Whole chicken with skin
  • Salt 3 & 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste 1tbsp
  • Lemon juice 4-5 tbsp
  • Vinegar 5 tbsp
  • Oil 1cup
  • Onion (sliced) 1
  • Black pepper 1tsp
  • Coriander 1tsp
  • Cumin seeds 2 tsp
  • Black salt 1tsp
  • Mango powder 1tsp
  • Rice (Basmati) 500g
  • Green chillies 4
  • Cashew nuts 50g
  • Almonds 50g
  • Raisins 50g
  • Green cardamom 3
  • Black cardamom 1
  • Coal for smoke
 Step 1: Marinate the chicken 

Take a whole chicken (1&1/2 kg) with skin. You can also use the chicken without the skin. I recommend you to use the chicken with skin for getting an authentic touch to your recipe. Add few cuts with knife on the chicken , so that the spices get well into the chicken. Now take a large bowl. Add 1 & 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 5-6 tbsp vinegar and mix well.

Now take the chicken in the bowl and mix the marinades with it. Don’t forget to apply the marinades inside the chicken. Once the spices are well applied, cover the bowl and keep it in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours or overnight. Marination is really vital for Balochi Sajji.

 Step 2: Bake the chicken 

This step is really crucial for Balochi Sajji. We are going to bake the chicken without any oven or tandoor (charcoal fire). So what we need here for baking the chicken is just a large, deep pan. As we are using a deep pan, we will get an even-developed heat and the chicken will bake equally from all the sides. Put the pan on a medium-low flame and add 1kg of salt. Put a steel stand or steel bowl on top of the salt. Cover the lid and let everything heat for 5 minutes. Now place the marinated chicken on a baking plate or steel plate.

Tie the legs of the chicken with a thread, so that it does not lose its shape. Now take 2-3 tbsp of oil and nicely rub it over the chicken. Then place the chicken over the stand, cover the lid and let it bake for 1.5 – 2 hours. Do not open the lid if not necessary, for it will release the heat from the pan. After 2 hours, our chicken will be nicely baked.

 Step 3: Prepare the sajji masala 

Let’s do the main masala for Balochi Sajji. Take 1tsp black pepper, 1tsp coriander seeds, and  1tsp cumin seeds. Dry roast them for a few minutes. Be careful while roasting as they burn pretty quickly if left unattended. When they become fragrant, remove them from the heat and grind them into a fine powder. Once this powder is cool, add 1tsp of mango powder and 1tsp of black salt. Give it a mix and our sajji masala is ready.

 Step 4: Prepare the sajji rice 

While our chicken is being baked, let’s cook the sajji rice. Take 500g of basmati rice and soak for half an hour. After 30 minutes, put a pan on low flame. Add 1cup of oil and fry the dry fruits- raisins, chopped almonds and cashews for 1- 2 minutes. Then remove the dry fruits from the oil and add the sliced onions in the same oil. Also add 3 green cardamoms, 1black cardamom, and 1tbsp cumin seeds to the onions.

Fry everything till the onions are golden brown. After that, add 3 & 1/2 cup of water and give it a mix. Add 4 green chilies, 2tsp salt, 4tbsp lemon juice and bring the water to a boil. Now add the soaked water and wait for another boil. After that, half-cover the pan and cook on medium flame until the water is dry. When the water is dry, fully cover the pan and cook on low flame for another 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, check the rice’s softness and turn off the flame. Mix the fried dry fruits with the rice and our sajji rice is ready.

 Step 5: Finishing touch 

Once the chicken and the rice is cooked, spread the  rice on a plate or tray and put the baked chicken on it. Do not forget to remove the thread from the legs of the chicken. Now sprinkle the sajji masala over the chicken.

 Step 6: Adding a twist 

Finally, place a foil paper/steel bowl on the tray and put a hot coal on it. Add a little oil to the coal and immediately over the tray. This trick will give the sajji a nice smoky flavor similar to that of tandoor (charcoal-fire). After 5 minutes, uncover the tray, remove the coal, and serve your homemade Balochi sajji.

Check out this another must try authentic Pakistani recipe – Lahori Murgh Chholay

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