This rich and comforting curry, with just a hint of spice, is a much-loved dish in Tamil Nadu in the south of India.






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (50 votes)


  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • ½ cinnamon quill, broken in half
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 cm-piece ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 large red onions, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 750 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 4 cm pieces
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 135 ml coconut milk
  • coriander sprigs, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place spices, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon of black pepper in a small food processor and process to a paste.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add spice paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, chicken and chilli powder, and cook for 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften. Season with salt.

Add 500 ml water, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Reduce heat to low and stir in 125 ml coconut milk. Cook for a further 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Drizzle over remaining coconut milk and serve scattered with coriander.



Photography Chris Chen. Food preparation Leanne Kitchen. Styling Berni Smithies.


As seen in Feast magazine, April 2014, Issue 30.