To prepare this curry, you make a sauce from vegetables and spices first, then add the meat and stew it. The sauce is then thickened with yoghurt, and the sweetness of the curry is balanced with a little sour lime juice.
4-6 medium tomatoes
1 medium onion
4 tbsp vegetable oil
3cm/1in piece root ginger
2 garlic cloves
1-2 mild green chillies
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100ml/3½fl oz water
1 free-range chicken, jointed into 8 pieces, or 8 thighs and/or drumsticks
2 tbsp yoghurt
1 lime (or lemon)
a small bunch of coriander leaves
cooked rice, to serve
1. To skin the tomatoes, nick the skin of each tomato with the point of a sharp knife, then put the tomatoes in a bowl next to the sink and pour over some very hot water from the kettle to cover. Count to 20, then carefully pour away the water. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel away the skin, halve the tomatoes, squeeze out most of the pips and juice into an empty bowl, and discard. Chop the flesh roughly and put it down on a plate to one side.
2. Peel and finely chop the onion. Fry the onion in the vegetable oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over low to medium heat for about ten minutes, stirring from time to time so that it turns an even golden brown. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.
3. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the ginger and the garlic.
4. Slit the chilli using a sharp knife. Slice the flesh away from the cluster of seeds in the middle. Avoid touching any part of the chilli with your fingers if you can, as it is very easy to get chilli in your eyes, and that will sting. You can use a fork to hold the chilli down or wear rubber gloves. Chop the chilli finely.
5. Measure the ground spices into a teacup. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli to the pan, stir them around and fry for another minute or so. If you want your curry to be hot as well as spicy, include some or all of the chilli seeds. Then add the spices in the cup into the onions. Fry the spices for a minute or two, stirring all the time so that they do not stick. Add some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Pour in the water and the tomatoes, bring to the boil, turn down the heat a little and let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes.
7. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and stir them around so they are covered with the sauce. Put the lid on the pan, turn the heat down and let the chicken cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chicken thighs will take longer to cook than breast pieces.
8. Now add the yoghurt to the chicken and stir it in. When the sauce is gently bubbling again, scoop up a little in a teaspoon, blow it cool and taste it. The sauce will probably taste quite sweet because of the tomatoes. Cut the lime in half and squeeze its juice into the sauce. Stir and taste again, and decide whether you want to add the second half.
9. Finally, chop the fresh coriander leaves and sprinkle them on to the curry just before you serve it with the rice.
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