Coriander Chicken Curry

This is a deliciously fragrant and flavoursome curry from Southern Tamil Nadu. The use of coriander creates a beautiful rich and aromatic gravy that compliments the chicken perfectly. I like my curries with plenty of sauce so I made sure I upped the liquid to do just that – lots of sauce to soak up the plentiful basmati rice I served alongside.

1.5kg chicken (skinned and jointed into 8 pieces)
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions (finely chopped)
7 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons white poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 cardamom pods
20 fresh curry leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
800ml chicken stock
3 cups fresh coriander leaves and stalks (pounded in a pestle & mortar into a paste)
1/2 lemon (juice of)

Heat the oil in a large pan over a moderate heat until just hot. Add the onion, garlic, fenugreek, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, pepper, cardamom pods and curry leaves and fry for 5 minutes until the onion is softened and golden brown.

Add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, ginger, cayenne pepper and salt and stir for 5-10 seconds before adding the chicken pieces and 1/2 cup water. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes before adding the chicken stock and half the fresh coriander. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently (uncovered) for 45 minutes. Stir in the remaining coriander, remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice just before serving.

Serve with lots of basmati rice to soak up all the delicious sauce.

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