This recipe is from Christine Manfield’s gorgeous book, Tasting India.
If you ever needed convincing to visit India, leaf through her book and you have it; an afternoon with this wonderful book was enough to seal it for us and in 2017, we’re heading there!
This dish is from the Chettinad region and is as unusual as it is tasty. It isn’t spicy, though the pepper gives it a lovely peppery taste. Really unique.
It’s also pretty easy to prepare, something we did for an Indian-dinner at Nat’s sister’s place.
If you love curry like we do, this is definitely one to try.
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3cm piece cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods, cracked
2 white onion, finely sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
2 tsp salt
1kg chicken thigh fillets, chopped into 3 cm pieces
3 tsp fennel seeds
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
4 small dried red chillis
- To make the pepper masala, dry roast the spices over a gentle heat. Cool, then grind to fine powder.
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and ginger to a smooth paste. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the cinnamon and cardamom over a moderate heat for 30-seconds until fragrant. Add the onion and stir for a few minutes until golden. Add half the pepper masala and stir until fragrant. Add the ginger garlic paste and the tomato and fry for a few minutes, then season with the salt and cook, stirring, for a minute or two.
- Add the chicken pieces and stir until they are coated. Fry for 3 – 4 minutes until the chicken is beginning to colour. Add 2 cups (500ml) water, then cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken is cooked and tender; remove the lid, and cook down any remaining liquid until you have a thick gravy. Serve.