Anna's Chicken Curry

Chicken breast cooked in a sweet and sour thick curry sauce. This curry matures in flavour if made 1 or 2 days before required.
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: can be done a day ahead
Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
4 chicken breasts, chopped to bite-sized pieces
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato puree
about 2 pints / 1 litre chicken stock
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
Herbs & Spices
2 tsp Cumin Ground
2 tsp Coriander Ground
4 Cardamom Whole
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Ground
1 tsp or to taste Chilli Ground
2 tsp Turmeric
2 tbsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp Mango Powder
1 bunch chopped fresh Coriander Leaf or 2 tbsp dried Coriander Leaf
Cooking Instructions
Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and whizz to a pulp (the finer the better).

Crush the whole cardamom pods with the back of a spoon. Place in a bowl along with the chilli, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, 1 tbsp of garam masala and the turmeric.

Heat the ghee or the oil in a large heavy based pan. When hot, add the onion puree and the salt. Mix well and fry over a medium heat until the water is driven off the mixture. The raw onion smell should also disappear, Take care not to cook the mix too quickly as the onion will brown or burn before the water evaporates from inside. Once most of the moisture has been driven off, add the bowl of spices. Stir these well into the oily onions and allow to fry for 1 minute before adding the tomato puree. Mix well so that all the oil is incorporated into the puree. Allow the tomato mix to fry for a further 2-3 minutes until the orange coloured oil starts to reappear out of the tomato. If the mix starts to catch on the bottom, reduce the heat a little and add a tbsp or so of water.

Once the tomato has had a good fry add the chopped chicken and stir until coated with sauce. Add the stock and the lemon pieces, turn down the heat and allow to simmer for about 1 hour. The sauce should reduce to thicken. If it gets too thick, add more water as it cooks.

After about an hour, remove the lemon halves (squeeze out any accumulated juice from inside). Check for salt seasoning. If necessary allow to simmer for longer to reduce the sauce further, or allow to sit over night for the flavour to develop.

When required, heat through (taking care not to allow it to catch on the bottom). When simmering, add the last 1 tbsp of the garam masala, the mango (amchoor) powder and finally the chopped coriander. Allow to cook for 10 minutes before serving.