Saffron or Zaffaron is claimed to help regulate blood sugar levels, perfect after all that Easter chocolate! 

Why not try this saffron inspired dish Murgh-E-Shekam Pur or stuffed chicken, which is often made for celebrations in Afghanistan and would make a great centre piece for any Easter gathering.

Ingredients - Serves 4

25 g yellow split peas

Peel of one orange

50 g red raisins

50 g almonds and pistachios, blanched and flaked

1-2 tbs vegetable oil

50 g lamb mince

1 tsp ground cardamom

Salt and pepper

1 medium chicken

75 g butter

¼ tsp saffron

Method

Wash the split peas and leave to soak in warm water for about an hour, then boil them in plenty of water until soft.

Take the zest off the orange (leaving behind the pith) and cut into matchstick sized strips. (You can use a potato peeler to easily do this). To remove any bitter taste, put the orange strips into the strainer and dip first in boiling water and then cold. Repeat this a few times, then set aside.

Fry the raisins, almonds, and pistachios gently in the oil for a couple of minutes. Remove and set to one side. Now fry the mince in the same oil until brown. Remove and set to one side to cool.

Mix the mince, the raisins, pistachios, almonds and cooked split peas together in a bowl. Add the ground cardamom and salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff the chicken with the mixture. Place the chicken on a sheet of foil large enough to be able to seal and enclose the whole chicken. Melt the butter in a pan and add the saffron and pour over the chicken. Fold over and seal the foil and place in a preheated oven at 190 degrees Celsius or Gas mark 5. Cook for about an hour, then open up the foil, baste the chicken with the juices and cook further for about half an hour or perhaps a little longer until the chicken is golden brown and tender.

Serve with fried potatoes, a simple salad and lemon wedges - delicious!

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