- 1 kg chicken, cut into medium size pieces
- 2-3 tablespoons of ghee
- salt to taste
For the masala:
- 10-15 dried red chilies (Kashmiri or Bedgi – deseeded)
- 1 inch stick of cinnamon/cassia
- 5-6 cloves
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 10 peppercorns (reduce if you wish)
- 3 medium sized onions
- 5 -7 fat flakes (10-12 thin flakes) of garlic
- ½ tablespoon of coriander leaves
- ½ tablespoon of mint leaves
- 2-3 dates (stone removed)
- 1 small ball of tamarind * see notes
1. Wash and drain the chicken on a colander. Optional step: Marinate the pieces lightly with salt so that the meat pulls the flavours adequately.
2. On a medium hot skillet/tawa dry roast the red chillies, cinnamon/cassia bark, cloves, cumin, coriander and peppercorns one by one. Take care to see that the heat is not so high that the ingredients are burnt. They will taste bitter and aweful.
3. Let the roasted ingredients cool for a bit before transferring them into the dry grinding jar of your mixie. Grind to a fine powder and then add the onions, garlic, mint and coriander leaves, tamarind and dates. Add a few teaspoons of water to grind it to a fine paste. Remove the masala and retain the water from the mixie jar for further use.
4. In a heavy based pan or kadhai/wok heat the ghee and add the ground masala and fry it on a medium heat till the ghee separates (masala leaves the sides of the pan)
5. Add the chicken pieces and fry for about 2-3 minutes and then add 2-3 cups of water depending on how much gravy and the thickness/consistency of the gravy desired. It is better to begin with less water and add if you need more later rather than diluting it in one go.
6. If you haven’t marinated the chicken with salt in step#1 you can add the salt now or adjust it to taste. Cover the pan and cook the chicken on a medium low heat for about 15 minutes or till the chicken is nice and tender and the gravy has thickened.
7. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice or chapathis or dinner rolls/buns
If you wish, instead of adding the tamarind to the ground masala it can be added later (directly to the gravy) by soaking the tamarind ball in a little water and then extracting a thick juice from it. This way you can adjust the sourness according to the taste. The curry should have a fine balance of spiciness, sourness and sweetness
Use oil instead of ghee although ghee gives a better aroma and flavour and is highly recommended