West Bombay Style Chicken Curry

Course : Curry
Serves: 4
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1 teaspoon cumin seed
6 whole cloves
8 pieces black peppercorns
1 pieces one-inch piece cinnamon -- stick
5 pieces green cardamom pods -- husked
3 tablespoons light vegetable oil
1 large onion -- finely chopped
3 cloves garlic -- minced
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh -- ginger
1 1/2 cups skinned -- chopped tomato
3 pounds chicken -- skinned, cut up
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt -- or to taste
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 medium red onion -- peeled, sliced
1 medium red or green bell pepper -- cored and sliced
1 medium lemon -- cut into wedges

Preparation / Directions:

Every state has its own style of cooking chicken. This dish, which is cooked in a fragrant cream sauce, is popular in Maharashtra, Bombay. Combine cumin, cloves, pepper corns, cinnamon and cardamom seeds in an electric coffee mill and grind until reduced to a powder. Set aside. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until onion is lightly browned, about 4 minutes, Add ground spice mixture and cook until fragrant, about I minute. Add tomato and chicken. Cook, stirring, until chicken pieces are no longer pink. Add yogurt and turn chicken pieces to coat. Add water, cayenne and salt. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in half-and-half; simmer until chicken is tender and sauce is thick, about 10 minutes. Skim off excess fat. Arrange chicken on a heated, deep serving dish and pour sauce over. Garnish with cilantro. Surround with onions, peppers and lemon wedges. Source: Laxmi Hiremath writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, 6/24/92.

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