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Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

INGREDIENTS

1kg boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets
2 Tbsp Oil
6-8 Fresh curry leaves
4 bruised cardamom pods
1⁄4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 large onion finely chopped
3Cloves garlic finely chopped
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp Sri Lankan Curry powder
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Chilli powder
1⁄2 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 ripe tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 stalk lemongrass
1 Cinnamon stick
400ml Coconut cream
1⁄2 cup Fresh coriander chopped

Sri Lankan Curry powder
50g Coriander Seeds
30g Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Cloves
1 tsp Cardamom Seeds
2 Tbsp Dried Curry Leaves

METHOD

Fry curry leaves, cardamom pods and fenugreek seeds 2-3, stirring constantly. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Fry until onion is soft and golden, stirring occasionally. I always add a pinch of salt to this mixture which helps the onions ‘sweat’ and prevents scorching. Add the curry powder, turmeric, paprika, fennel and chilli powder. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes – be careful not to burn as fresh spices can catch really easily. Add salt, vinegar and chicken. Turn chicken in spice/onion mixture to coat. Add tomatoes, lemongrass and cinnamon stick. Cover and simmer gently over a low heat for 40 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add the coconut milk and cook, uncovered, for a further 10 mins. Add chopped fresh coriander and simmer for another minute. Check seasoning, I usually add a little more salt and some freshly ground black pepper at this point. Serve with steamed white basmati or cauliflower rice.

Sri Lankan Curry Powder 
In a heavy based pan over a low heat separately dry roast coriander, cumin, fenugreek and fennel seeds, stirring constantly until each becomes medium-dark brown (ish) (3-4 minutes). Don't allow to burn – you’ll need to watch them like a hawk as once they start to brown, they colour quickly. Put the roasted spices into a spice grinder (you may need to do this in batches) together with the broken cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom seeds and curry leaves. Blend until finely powdered. Store in an airtight container in a cook dark place and use within a year.

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