This is a rich and succulent dish. I just love the way the chicken sort of collapses when it is ready, falling off the bones into tender morsels. Although it contains potatoes, you can bulk it up with rice or Indian breads.
4 chicken thighs on the bone and 4 drumsticks 5 Tbsp vegetable oil 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped 2 Tbsp peeled and finely chopped ginger 6 cardamom pods, crushed, seeds extracted 1 tsp crushed peppercorns 1 tsp chilli powder ½ tsp turmeric 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped Small stick of cinnamon 2 hot red chillies, finely chopped 4 medium vine tomatoes, skinned and chopped Bunch of coriander (cilantro) 500g (a good 1 lb) small waxy potatoes 1 cup (250ml) water
1 Remove as much fat from chicken as you can (remove skin from thighs if you prefer, though it does add flavour). Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat and brown chicken (use a splatter screen to contain splatters if you have one). Transfer chicken to a plate and sprinkle with salt to taste.
2 Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in deep sauté pan, or gratin pan that can go over the element, over medium heat. Add onions and ginger, stir well, cover pan with a lid and lower heat. Cook onion for around 15 minutes, until tender and lightly golden (remove lid for last few minutes to brown onions). Add cardamom seeds, crushed peppercorns, chilli powder and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in garlic, cinnamon stick and chillies. Add chicken, tomatoes, ¾ cup chopped coriander and potatoes to pan. Stir in water.
3 Bring to a gentle bubble, cover with a lid and cook gently for about 45 minutes, or until chicken will fall off the bones with a nudge; stir once or twice during cooking. If liked, serve with extra coriander.
To skin the tomatoes, drop them into a saucepan of boiling water and count to 20, drain and peel.