Kori Rotti (Coconut Chicken Curry with Crispy Rice Wafers)

Author : Michelle Peters - Jones at The Tiffin Box 
Recipe with pictures and further instructions:

1½ kilos chicken (I use thighs)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon (or to taste) sea salt

Spice Mix:

1½ tablespoons whole coriander seeds
¾ tablespoon whole cumin seeds
1 inch piece of cassia bark or cinnamon
5 whole cloves
5 green cardamom pods
1 star anise
2 whole mild red chillies (ideally Kashmiri)
¼ teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon mild chilli powder (if hot, reduce to ¼ teaspoon)

The Onion Mixture:

1 teaspoon unscented oil
1 large onion, chopped roughly
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped roughly
5 fat cloves of garlic, chopped roughly

The Rest of The Dish:

2 tablespoons unscented oil or ghee
1 medium onion, diced fine
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
800 ml coconut milk (2 cans)
1 cup (250 ml) hot chicken stock
Hot water, if required
Salt to taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped


Trim the chicken thighs of any fat, then toss the pieces with the turmeric and salt. Refrigerate for at least 2 - 3 hours.

Make the spice mix. Toss each of the spices (except the chilli powder) separately in a hot pan for between 30 seconds - 1 minute, then transfer to a bowl. Let cool completely. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Stir in the chilli powder. Keep aside.

For the onion mixture, heat the oil in a small pan and add the chopped onion. Fry, stirring for about 5 minutes, until the raw smell disappears and the onion begins to soften. Add the chopped ginger and garlic and fry for an additional minute. Let cool. Transfer to a blender and blend to a fine paste. Keep aside.

When ready to make the curry, heat the 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a pot. Add the diced onion and fry for 5 - 7 minutes, until the onion is just beginning to colour.

Add the turmeric marinated chicken pieces, and fry on a high heat, stirring, until the chicken is sealed, about 5 minutes.

Add the spice mix and the onion paste to this mixture, stirring to make sure the chicken is coated.

Cook for about 5 - 7 minutes, then add the tamarind paste, coconut milk and stock. Cover and simmer on a medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, usually between 15 - 30 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little salt/ extra tamarind paste if the curry needs it.

Keep an eye on the curry and top up with a splash of hot water if the mixture is getting too thick, as you want a thinner sauce for this dish.

When the chicken is cooked, take off the heat. Taste and reseason, if required.

Garnish with chopped, fresh cilantro leaves. Along with the traditional rice wafers, this curry goes well with any other accompaniment, like sannas, rice, pulav, roti and naan.