Once in a while I make a curry that takes me completely by surprise – this appeared to be a recipe with not too much out of the ordinary but when I tasted the first mouthful I was absolutely amazed just how fantastic it was. The sheer richness and intensity is almost too much to take and almost too hard to explain. Northern Indian curries, like this, are often rich and full of heavy ingredients like ghee and cream – they make for a very luxurious curry just packed full of flavour – albeit not the healthiest choice. That said, this curry is one in a million, it’s up there as one of the best curries I’ve ever tasted. Superb!
1kg chicken thighs (cut into chunks)
2 onions (blended into a paste)
4 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
5 cloves garlic (grated)
7 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3cm piece cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon garam masala
400ml chicken stock (or water)
1 teaspoon salt
15 blanched almonds (pounded into a powder)
½ cup thick cream
Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the onion paste and fry gently for 10 minutes until brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the cardamom, chilli powder, cayenne and cinnamon stick. Cook, stirring over a lower heat for 5 minutes until fragrant. Add the chicken, turn up the heat slightly and cook for 5 minutes until cooked on the outside. Add the chicken stock and salt and stir well. Partially cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the almond powder and cream and bring back to a simmer. Remove from the heat, sprinkle over the garam masala and stir well before serving.
Serve with chapati, paratha, roti, naan or even rice!