- 1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2cm cubes
- For the marinade:
- Lemon or lime juice
- 6 cloves
- 8 - 10 peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 g coriander seeds
- 3 g cumin seeds
- 3 cardamom seeds
- 8 - 10 whole almonds
- 1/2 t dried chillies
- 1 t turmeric
- 250 ml full-cream plain Greek yoghurt
- 30 ml coconut cream
- For the stew:
- 20 ml sunflower oil
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 10 g fresh ginger, finely grated
- 480 g tomato purée
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 1 handful curry leaves
- Salt, to taste
- Sugar, to taste
- 45 g butter
- Fresh coriander, for garnish
Place the chicken in a glass or plastic bowl and add the lemon or lime juice. Cover and set aside until you’ve prepared your spice and nut mixture.
To do this, heat a dry, clean pan over medium heat and add the cloves, peppercorns, piece of cinnamon stick, bay leaves, coriander, cumin, cardamom seeds, chillies, turmeric and almonds.
Gently roast the spices and nuts for a few minutes or until lightly toasted and aromatic, stirring frequently.
Allow to cool slightly then tip the contents into a coffee grinder and grind into a powder before stirring it into the yoghurt.
If you do not have a coffee grinder, place the mixture into your processor and add the yoghurt and coconut cream, then blitz.
Now add the spiced yoghurt mixture to the chicken, stir well, cover and set aside to marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
To cook the dish, heat the sunflower oil in a large pan and add the onions. Sauté until golden then add the garlic and ginger.
Cook lightly for a few seconds then add the tomato puree, bring to boil, then add the chicken stock and curry leaves, I like to chop them up, your call.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until the sauce has reduced considerably and thickened to your liking. This can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes
Now add the chicken and the yoghurt-spice mixture to the simmering sauce and stir.
Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for a few minutes until the chicken is just cooked right through: any longer will make the chicken tough and stringy.
Finally, add the butter and stir through. At this point do not boil again as the butter will separate from the rest of the ingredients.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice, sambals and naan breads.
Cook's note: If you dislike the extreme tart taste of the tomato and yoghurt combo, add sugar to taste. If the dish is not salty enough to your liking, add salt.