1 tbsp fennel seeds
1tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder or hot chilli powder
50 mls vegetable oil
1tsp fennel seeds
Large stick of cinnamon (roughly 7cm broken in half)
150g shallots, diced
Handful curry leaves
700g skinless chicken thighs (bone out), cut into roughly 5 cm pieces
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Thumb sized piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp suger
Put all the dried spices for the spice blend in a grinder and blitz to a powder (or use pestle and morter).
Heat oil in a heavy, deep frying pan over medium heat, then add the fennel seeds and cinnamon and fry for about 1 minute. Next add shallots and curry leaves and fry for around 10 mins until the shallots are soft and golden, keep stirring. Then add the chicken and fry for a further 2 minutes until the meat is sealed all over. Next add garlic, ginger, sugar, the ground spice blend and season with salt. Fry this for about 2 minutes then add a splash of water and cook for around 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Keep adding water a little at a time – you don’t want a wet of sauce, it should be thick and clinging to the chicken but you also don’t want it to burn or stick to the pan. Serve with plain basmati rice or chapatis if you prefer.