CHICKEN CURRY WITH COCONUT MILK
This dish is best reheated and eaten at least 24 hours after it is cooked.
1 chicken, skin removed, cut into curry pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-in (5-cm) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons oil
2 medium-sized onions, halved and finely sliced lengthwise
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seed
2-in (5-cm) piece of cinnamon stick
1 stalk curry leaves
1 ½ -2 cups (375-500 ml) thin coconut milk
½ cups (125 ml) tamarind water made from 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp
Salt to taste
1 cup (250 ml) thick coconut milk
1 tablespoon coriander seed or ¾ tablespoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon cumin seed or ½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
½ teaspoon peppercorns or ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
8-12 dried chilies, seeded, soaked in warm water until soft and squeezed dry or 2-3 teaspoons ground chili
Dry roast all the Spice Paste ingredients lightly in a pan then grind them to a powder, adding the soaked chilies last (if using). Add sufficient water to blend to a thick paste. Cook the paste and mix it thoroughly with the chicken pieces. Set aside for an hour or two.
Grind the garlic and ginger into a paste. Heat the oil and fry the onions, fenugreek, cinnamon and curry leaves until the onions are transparent. Add the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant. Add the thin coconut milk and stir as it comes to a boil. Add the spiced chicken, tamarind and salt to taste, mix well, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until the chicken is nearly cooked. Add the thick coconut milk and cook until the chicken is tender.