Malabar Chicken Curry
For the spice blend:
2.5cm piece cinnamon or cassia bark
2 bay leaves
4 black peppercorns
For the curry:
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
4-6 shallots or 2 onions, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2cm pieces
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp salt
200g or half a can of coconut milk
1 tsp peeled and grated root ginger
For the tempering:
1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil
1/2 tsp brown or black mustard seeds
2 green chillies, slit lengthways
Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add the cinnamon or cassia bark, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns. Dry roast until you can smell the aroma of the spices. Once cooled, grind the spices in a coffee mill or in a pestle and mortar until fine to medium and set aside.
Heat the oil on a medium heat in a saucepan and add the shallots. Fry till soft. Tip in the garlic and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes until the chicken turns white on the outside. Add the ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Mix well, then add the spice blend. Cook for a minute. Add 200ml of water and cook for 5-7 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through and when a piece is cut in half, it’s white on the inside. Tip in the coconut milk and cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes more. Mix in the ginger.
Heat a frying pan and add the 1tsp of oil. Add a few of the mustard seeds, if they start to crackle, add the remaining seeds followed by the chillies. Sauté for a minute. Pour the mixture over the chicken curry and cook for a further 2 minutes.
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