5. Mandi (Sajji)

Baluchi-style chicken sajji


  • 1.5kg chicken
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sajji masala (a special spice mix, see Know-how below)
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Rub the chicken all over with the salt, pepper and garlic. Heat a pan big enough to hold the chicken, then add the oil. When hot, add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, for 5-6 minutes until the bird is lightly browned all over. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Put the chicken in a roasting tin and loosely cover with foil. Roast for 1 hour, basting the chicken several times with the juices, until the top is golden and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the meat is pierced with a skewer. If you have a digital thermometer, push it into the thickest part of the meat to check it has reached 70°C.
  3. Lift the chicken onto a board and let it rest for 15 minutes, then cut into quarters. Sprinkle over the sajji masala, squeeze over the lemon juice, then serve with steamed rice.


  1. You can use the chicken sajji carcass to make a stock base for a great soup. Put it in a large pan with enough cold water to cover, then add 3 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, a 5cm piece fresh ginger and some fresh coriander stalks. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 2 hours. Discard the carcass, strain the stock through a sieve, then reheat in a pan. Serve topped with shredded leftover chicken, a sprinkle of chaat masala (an Indian spice mix that’s widely available) and a squeeze of lime juice.
  2. If you want to make your own Sajji masala, here’s how:
    In a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, grind 3 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tbsp black peppercorns, the seeds from 6 green cardamom pods, 3 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tbsp fennel seeds and 1 tbsp amchoor/amchur (dried green mango) powder

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