Perfect Chicken Curry
- 31 - 60 Minutes
- Serves 4
This is THE perfect chicken curry. It has layer upon layer of flavour, a hint of sweetness and just the right amount of chilli heat! The beauty of this dish is that you can add more or less heat, you can tweak the spicing to your taste, you can add more tomato to make more sauce – in short, you can make this YOUR perfect curry.
240g Tilda Pure Basmati Rice
75g desiccated coconut
2 cinnamon sticks
2 x star anise
3 whole dried red chillies
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp fennel seeds
3 tsp powdered coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp powdered turmeric
½ tsp salt
5 tbsp vegetable oil
3 x red onions, finely chopped
4 x cloves garlic finely chopped
2 x tsp grated fresh ginger
6 x tbsp fresh curry leaves
8 tomatoes finely chopped
500g boneless chicken thighs (skin removed)
200ml water or chicken stock
1 x small bunch cilantro finely chopped
A squeeze of lemon
1 x green chilli finely chopped (optional if you like it hot!)
- Toast the coconut in a pan over a low heat, stirring until it turns golden brown.
- Remove the coconut to a plate and into the same pan add the cinnamon sticks, dried chillies, peppercorns, star anise and fennel seeds. Roast in the pan for 3-4 minutes then add the ground coriander and chilli powder and stir for a minute. Add 100ml of water to form a paste and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon sticks, star anise and whole chillies and keep for later. Add the toasted coconut, turmeric and salt to the pan. Add everything to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a smooth paste.
- Heat the oil in the same pan and slowly cook the onions until they are soft – this will take about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes then turn up the heat and add the curry leaves and stir for a minute.
- Add the tomatoes and the spice paste, return the cinnamon stick, star anise and chilli to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring until you end up with a smooth paste and the oil starts to separate out.
- Remove half the mixture and freeze or place in an airtight container which will keep in the fridge for a week or so.
- Add the chicken and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Add 200ml chicken stock remove the lid and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the star anise, cinnamon and chilli, stir through the lemon juice and green chilli (if using) and scatter with the cilantro.