Chicken - 1 kg (cleaned, skinned, fat trimmed, and cut into medium sized pieces)
Onions - 2 bigSmall onions (shallots) - 10 nos
Ginger - 1 teaspoon (ground to fine paste)
Garlic - 4-5 big cloves (crushed)
Green chillies - 4-5 (slit lengthwise)
Tomatoes - 4 (medium sized)
Bay leaves - 1-2
Curry leaves - 4-5 sprigs
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Chillie powder - 2 teaspoons (more if you want it spicier)
Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons.
For dry masala
Cinnamon - 3 sticks
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 2
Mace - 1-2 threads
Nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon (crush a seed and measure out half a teaspoon)
Star anise - 3
Fennel - 1/4 teaspoon
Dry grind the spices in a mixer bowl and set aside.
Heat a little oil in a thick bottomed skillet. Throw in a teaspoon of mustard seeds and let crackle. Add the crushed garlic followed by the ginger paste. Once a light aroma emanates add the shallots and sliced onions. When pink in colour add the sliced tomatoes and green chillies. Saute for a minute. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and the coriander powder. Fry for a minute. Add in the chicken pieces along with the bay leaves and curry leaves. Add 1/2 the quantity of the dry masala powder you have made and allow the chicken to cook on slow fire with the lid closed.
DO NOT ADD WATER, the chicken has to cook in it's juices. Stir once in a while to avoid burning.When the chicken is almost done add the rest of the dry masala powder and salt to taste. Add a few more curry leaves and saute for another 2 minutes. Let stand for about an hour in the vessel it has been cooked in. This allows the flavour to really come out.
PS: We do not add water to this curry. So, remember to use a thick bottomed vessel to avoid burning the dish.