For the Chicken Marinade:

2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (see note)

1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon red chili powder

1 pound (450g) bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs, optionally cut in half through the bone with a cleaver

Kosher salt

For the Spice Paste:

1 teaspoon unroasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

6 dry Kashmiri chiles

5 peppercorns

One 1/2-inch stick cinnamon

3 cloves

2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut

1 cup (240ml) water

For the Curry:

2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil

3 slit green chiles

3 bay leaves

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Fluffy white rice, for serving



  1. To Marinate the Chicken: In a small bowl, mix together ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, and 1 tablespoon of the red chile powder. Season chicken all over with salt, then rub all over with marinade. Set aside.

  2. For the Spice Paste: Heat a cast iron skillet until smoking, then turn the heat down. Toast sesame seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, Kashmiri chiles, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and cloves until they release their aroma, about 15 seconds, stirring constantly so they don’t burn. Set aside to cool.

  3. Once toasted spices have cooled, using an immersion blender or countertop blender, blend spices with coconut and 3 tablespoons (45ml) water until a smooth paste has formed. Set aside.

  4. For the Curry: In a heavy-bottomed, lidded saucepan, heat oil until shimmering, then turn the heat down. Add green chiles and bay leaves. Stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add onion and keep stirring until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.

  5. Add spice paste and keep stirring until fragrant and until oil floats on top, about 10 minutes. Add marinated chicken pieces and stir until coated in the spice mix, about 5 minutes. Add remaining water to thin out the mixture for more gravy.

  6. Season with salt, stir once, and cover pot. Turn heat to medium. Cook for about 15 minutes or until chicken is tender. Open lid, stir, and serve hot with fluffy white rice.


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