Dhruv’s Perfect Chicken Curry
For me, this is THE perfect chicken curry. It has layer upon layer of flavour, bags of depth, 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 palate, you can add more tomato to make more sauce – in short you can make some small changes to make this YOUR perfect curry. Serve with some perfectly cooked basmati rice and if you really want, some extra side dishes but I hoenstly don’t think you need then. Enjoy!!
You only need half the paste from the below recipe so freeze one half ready to use when you next fancy this delicious curry! If you have the paste ready then this dish is ready in 20 minutes!
- Toast the coconut in a pan over a low heat, stirring till 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.
- 75g desiccated coconut
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 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 cinnamon 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!)