Try this hearty curry that uses classic spices synonymous with west India for a lively entertaining dish


  • vegetable oil 3 tbsp
  • kashmiri chilli powder or mild chilli powder 1 tsp, see notes below
  • ground turmeric 1 tsp
  • chicken legs 4, jointed and skins removed
  • coconut milk 100ml
  • lime juice 2 tbsp
  • chapatis or naan breads to serve


  • dried kashmiri chillies 6, deseeded (see notes below)
  • black peppercorns ½ tsp
  • coriander seeds 2 tbsp
  • star anise 2
  • cloves 6
  • black mustard seeds ½ tsp
  • cinnamon stick 6cm piece
  • caraway seeds ½ tsp
  • cumin seeds ½ tsp
  • fennel seeds 1 tbsp
  • ground nutmeg 1 tsp


  • fresh coconut 150g, grated
  • vegetable oil 1 tbsp
  • onion 1 large, thinly sliced
  • garlic 4 cloves, roughly chopped
  • ginger a thumb-sized piece, roughly chopped
  • coriander chopped to make 2 tbsp


  • STEP 1.Tip all of the spice mixture ingredients, except the nutmeg, into a large frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir the spices then, as they become fragrant, turn the heat off and cool. Use a spice grinder or pestle and mortar to grind to a fine powder, and stir in the nutmeg.
  • STEP 2. For the paste, fry the coconut in the spice mixture pan over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, then tip out into a bowl. The colour of the coconut will turn light brown and dry out slightly. Add the vegetable oil to the pan followed by the onion, garlic, ginger and coriander. Mix well and fry for  10 minutes over a medium heat until the onions and garlic have browned slightly and Cool, then tip into a blender or food processor with 150ml of water and the coconut, and whizz until smooth.
  • STEP 3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, lidded, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. Fry the coconut paste for 2-3 minutes. Add the chilli powder, turmeric and spice mixture. Fry for 1 minute, stirring well. Turn up the heat slightly and add the chicken pieces. Fry for 5 minutes, mixing well as the chicken cooks. Season and add 400ml of water, bring to a boil and simmer over a low heat for 25 minutes with the lid on, stirring halfway. Add the coconut milk, remove the lid and simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender. Stir in the lime juice and serve with chapatis or naan breads, if you li

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