Keralan-Style Roast Chicken Curry

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This creamy South Indian-style curry is a fabulous dish to make for a crowd and really delivers on flavour!

  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • For the curry:

  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander
  • 4cm piece root curry
  • 1 bunch of fresh curry leaves, or a small jar of dried leaves
  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 200g fresh spinach
  • 1 lime
  • Rice or roti bread, to serve
  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Fan 100ºC/Gas 6. Place the chicken thighs and drumsticks in a snug fitting roasting tray. Sprinkle over the chilli and spices and season well with the salt and pepper. Rub the spices and seasoning all over the chicken to coat well. Drizzle over 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Cover the roasting tray with tin foil and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. when time is up, remove the foil and place the roasting tray back in the oven for the skin to crisp up for 10 more minutes.
  • Meanwhile make the curry sauce. Trim and slice the spring onions and chillies. Finely chop the coriander stalks and pick the leaves into a bowl and place to one side. Peel the ginger and slice into matchsticks. Pick the curry leaves. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsps of vegetable oil. When the pan is hot enough, add the spring onions, 1 of the sliced chillies, the coriander stalks, ginger, curry leaves and mustard seeds. Stir fry for 2 minutes and then add the turmeric. Continue to fry for a minute or two until it starts smelling delicious.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes and stir in with a splash of water. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring regularly. Turn the heat down to low, tip in the coconut milk and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, then keep stirring until the sauce has thickened a little. Stir in the spinach and let it wilt.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove the tray from the oven and place the pieces in the sauce. Taste the sauce and season with a little lime juice and salt if needed. Serve with the lime wedges, coriander leaves and rice or bread.
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