My father has made his chicken curry at least once every month since I can remember, and as a little boy my job was to taste it at the end and recommend any adjustment of seasonings. It was never made the same way twice, though the core of the recipe is a braise of dark meat in onions. Tomatoes and coconut are alternately left in or out. Root vegetables go in when on hand. Using plenty of onions and plenty of spice is the thing. After some trial and error, here is my version. You could serve it with rice, naan, or bread. And try some sliced raw onion and cucumber dressed with salt and lemon juice. —asabnis
skinless chicken thighs
skinless chicken drumsticks
large onions, diced
cloves garlic, minced
inches ginger, peeled and minced
large, waxy potatoes, cut into chunks
large carrots, sliced into coins
diced tomatoes (canned is fine)
dried, unsweetened coconut flakes (or canned coconut milk)
Wash and clean the chicken parts. Coat all over with a dusting of: salt, black pepper, turmeric, cayenne, coriander, cumin, and garam masala. The spices should stick to the chicken and coat it completely.
Prepare coconut milk: 1 cup dried coconut + 2 cups hot water. Run in a blender until smooth. Separate liquid from solids through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large heavy pot, like a Dutch oven. Brown the chicken parts on all sides, in batches if necessary, and remove from pot.
Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon to the pot, and cook a few minutes until onions soften.
Add 1 heaping tablespoon each of cumin and coriander, and 3 heaping tablespoons of garam masala to the onions. Continue cooking and stir occasionally for a few minutes.
Add chicken, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and coconut milk to the pot. Add enough chicken stock or water so that the top of the chicken is just exposed. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat and cover and simmer for 1-2 hours. Stir occasionally, and near the end of cooking, remove the lid to thicken the curry, simmering for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Taste and correct seasonings. Remove the cinnamon stick. Squeeze in some lemon juice, and toss in a few cilantro leaves, prior to serving.