If the holy trinity of most curries is ginger, garlic and chilli, then coriander has to be a close fourth. There are few curries not improved by it and, in this dish, it takes centre stage with superb results. This is actually very good without any spices at all, but I do like to sprinkle in some garam masala at the end. You can miss it out, or just use a ready-made garam masala instead.
|For the garam masala:|
|1cm||piece of cinnamon stick|
|1 tsp||black peppercorns|
|Seeds from 2 tsp green cardamom pods|
|1||black cardamom pod|
|1 tsp||coriander seeds|
|½ tsp||fennel seeds|
|1||bay leaf (if you can’t find a cinnamon leaf which is preferable)|
|For the chicken and marinade:|
|8||bone-in skinless chicken thighs|
|5cm||piece of root ginger, chopped|
|6||garlic cloves, chopped|
|Juice of ½ lemon or lime|
|1 tsp||sea salt|
|For the sauce:|
|Large bunch||of coriander (reserve some leaves for garnish)|
|3||green chillies, deseeded if you like|
|For the rest:|
|2 tbsp||olive oil or ghee|
|Green chillies, sliced, to serve (optional)|
You will need a spice grinder or coffee grinder kept for the purpose and a blender.
Grind together all the ingredients for the garam masala, in a spice grinder or coffee grinder kept for the purpose.
Cut slashes at intervals in the chicken thighs. Blitz together the ginger, garlic, lemon or lime juice and sea salt with a little extra water until you have a smooth paste. Rub this into the chicken, then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least one hour, preferably overnight.
For the sauce, blitz together the tomato, coriander and chillies with a little water and some seasoning until smooth. Add all of the spice mix, if using.
When you are ready to cook, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Brush the marinade from the chicken and pat dry. Fry the chicken until browned on all sides, this should take around 10 minutes. Pour over the sauce and continue to cook for 10 minutes more over a medium-low heat. Stir regularly. When the sauce is cooked, it will separate from the oil.
Stir in the yogurt and cover. Simmer for a further 10 minutes over a very low heat until the chicken is tender and completely cooked through. Sprinkle with the reserved coriander leaves and a few slices of green chilli for extra heat, if you want it.