Perfect Chicken Curry
- 31 - 60 Minutes
- Serves 4
- 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 coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 x red onions, finely chopped
- 4 x cloves garlic finenly 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 fresh coriander finenly 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 pestle and mortar 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 chillie 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 fresh coriander.