This chicken curry was the taste of dinner parties when I was growing up in 1970s Skelmersdale. Curry leaf and mustard seed give it a very distinctive South Indian flavour. This spice combination makes it so different to all the other Mowgli dishes.
80ml/2½fl oz/⅓cupvegetable oil
1½tspblack mustard seeds
2 large white onions, finely diced
7.5cm/3inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
6garlic cloves, grated
5 fresh curry leaves
4green cardamom pods
500g/1lb2ozboneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 5 cm/2 inch cubes
200ml/7fl oz/scant 1cupcoconut milk
2green chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
½ small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, stalks and leaves roughly chopped
Put the oil in a large heavy pan and set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and fry until they fizz and pop, then add the diced onions, ginger and garlic and fry for 6 minutes until the onions have softened and turned golden brown.
Add the curry leaves, cardamom pods and chicken pieces and fry for a further 3–5 minutes until the chicken is fully coated in the spices and browned all over. Turn the heat down to low and add the ground almonds, creamed coconut, coconut milk, 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½cup water, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, ground coriander, salt and sugar and cook, covered, for 45–50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
Once the chicken is cooked through, add the green chilli and yogurt and give everything a good mix together. Loosen with a little more water if necessary. Finally stir through the fresh coriander just before serving.