This is home cooking at its best – not very creamy or buttery. The spices, tomato paste and yoghurt add the required richness. There is not too much sauce or “gravy” with the kadai chicken.
800 grams boneless chicken thighs
6-8 green cardamom pods
2.5cms cinnamon quills
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 star anise
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
60ml of sunflower oil
400 grams onions, peeled and finely sliced
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
5cms ginger, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
150 grams tomatoes, finely diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
200 grams natural plain yoghurt, beaten lightly with a fork
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves and julienned ginger to garnish
Using a mortar and pestle, bash the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, pepper. Dry roast the bashed spices along with cumin and coriander seeds until a fragrant aroma emanates. Cool and powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Set aside.
Put the ginger and garlic in the mortar and pestle and grind to a fine paste. Set aside.
Cut each thigh into three pieces and set aside.
Heat oil in a large kadai or sauté pan. Add the sliced onions and sauté until softened and golden brown.
Add two heaped tablespoons of the spice mix and stir frequently to avoid sticking to the bottom about two minutes. Put the ginger – garlic paste and continue to stir a further two minutes.
Add the chilli powder and turmeric powder and keep frying.
Pour the beaten yoghurt into the kadai. Once you have incorporated the yoghurt, add the tomatoes, and tomato paste along with salt. Cover and cook to allow the tomatoes to break down, about five minutes.
Mix in the chicken pieces and cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, mixing intermittently to ensure the chicken is cooked evenly.
Serve hot with steamed rice garnished with a sprinkling of coriander leaves and julienned ginger.