1 kg chicken
1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter) * see notes
2 tsp sugar
a few curry leaves
2 tbsp chopped coriander
For the marinade
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup thick curds (yogurt)
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
For the masala
10 Kashmiri chillies
8 Kumti/Bedgi chillies
12 peppercorns (Kali mirch)
1 tbsp coriander (dhania)
1/2 tsp cumin (jeera)
1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi)
12 garlic flakes with skin
1/2 tsp tamarind paste or 1 marble size tamarind soaked in 2 tbsp water
Cut the chicken into medium size pieces, wash & drain on a colander. Marinate it with the ingredients mentioned under 'For the marinade' and refrigerate for 4 hours or more (I marinated it for 1 hour)
Heat a tawa or non stick pan & dry roast the chillies, peppercorns, fenugreek, coriander & cumin seeds. Take care to see that the chillies don't burn otherwise they will let out a bitter taste. Using a little water grind all these ingredients along with the garlic & tamarind to a fine paste. Retain the masala water from the mixer.
Heat 1/4 cup of ghee in a wide thick bottomed pan and add the marinated chicken pieces and cook over an open flame till the pieces are almost cooked. Transfer the pieces to a vessel and the liquid (gravy) to another bowl.
In the same pan add the remaining ghee and fry the ground masala for 5-6 minutes or till the raw smell vanishes and the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
Add the fried chicken pieces 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid & salt to taste (remember that the marinade already had salt - so go easy on the salt). Cook on a medium high flame till the masala dries up. Add the sugar & mix.
Garnish with curry leaves & chopped coriander leaves & turn off the flame
Serve hot as an appetizer or as a side dish with rice