chop the onion, transfer to a small food processor, and add 3
tablespoons of water - process to a slack paste. You could use a stick
blender for this or coarsely grate the onion into a bowl – there’s no
need to add any water if you are grating the onion. Tip into a small
bowl and leave on one side.
the chopped garlic and ginger into the same food processor and add 4
tbsp water – process until smooth and spoon into another small bowl.
Alternatively, crush the garlic to a paste with a knife or garlic press
and finely grate the ginger.
the oil in a wok or sturdy pan set over a medium heat. Combine the
cumin and fennel seeds with the cinnamon and chilli flakes and add to
the pan in one go. Swirl everything around for about 30 secs until the
spices release a fragrant aroma.
the onion paste – it will splutter in the beginning. Fry until the
water evaporates and the onions turn a lovely dark golden - this should
take about 7-8 mins. Add the garlic and ginger paste and cook for
another 2 mins – stirring all the time.
in the garam masala, turmeric, and sugar and continue cooking for 20
secs before tipping in the tomatoes. Continue cooking on a medium heat
for about 10 mins without a lid until the tomatoes reduce and darken.
the chicken thighs into 3cm chunks and add to the pan once the tomatoes
have thickened to a paste. Cook for 5 mins to coat the chicken in the
masala and seal in the juices, and then pour over the hot chicken stock.
Simmer for 8-10 mins without a lid until the chicken is tender and the
masala lightly thickened – you might need to add an extra ladleful of
stock or water if the curry needs it. Sprinkle with chopped coriander
and serve with Indian flatbreads or fluffy basmati rice and a pot of
yogurt on the side.