Andhra Curry Leaf Chicken

Serves: 4

There is yet to be a Christine Manfield curry that hasn’t amazed and this one is no different.

It is moorish, spicy, colourful with a few layers of flavour, the cashew paste adding a wonderful creaminess at the end: we added more of the cashew paste than was asked and didn’t look back.

The real winner however – as Nat observed – is the fried curry leaves and the fun and flavour they add.

And it’s a simple dish. Marinate overnight, cook in under 30 minutes the next night.

I’ve written it many times, though the excitement for us in cooking Indian food is finding new flavours and styles. Christine does not let anyone down with this one.

Ingredients

1.2kg chicken thighs, cut into 4cm chunks
1/3 cup cashew paste
2 large dried red chillies
2 tbsp shredded curry leaves
2 tbsp fried curry leaves

Marinade

1 tsp chilli powder
1 large dried red chilli, broken into small pieces
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
3 tomatoes, chopped
150gm thick natural yoghurt

Method

  1. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper in a bowl. Add chicken chunks, mixing to coat. Marinate for 10 minutes (or overnight).
  2. For the cashew paste, blend equal parts raw cashews and water in a food processor to make a thick, smooth paste.
  3. For the fried curry leaves, heat some vegetable oil in a saucepan to 170c and fry fresh batches of curry leaves for 20 seconds until their colour darkens. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  4. For the ginger and garlic paste, process equal parts garlic and ginger in a food processor with a little water until smooth.
  5. Tip the chicken and marinade into a large, non-stick frying pan. Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 10 minutes or until the mixture is not too wet and the marinade has reduced and is coating the chicken.
  6. Stir in the cashew paste, chillies, 1 tsp salt and the shredded curry leaves and cook for another few minutes.
  7. Serve sprinkled with the fried curry leaves.

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