2 lb (1 kg) chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
1/2 cup (4 fI oz/1 25 ml) buttermilk
2/3 cup (5 fl oz/1 50 ml) vegetable oil and melted unsalted butter combined
1-inch (2.5-cm) cinnamon stick
3 green cardamom pods, cracked 3 whole cloves
1 teaspoon powdered asafoetida 5 yellow (brown) onions, chopped 21/2 tablespoons crushed fresh ginger 21/2 tablespoons crushed garlic 3-4 teaspoons chili powder
21/2 tablespoons ground coriander
4 teaspoons ground turmeric salt to taste
8 tomatoes, chopped (Substitute with 1 can of diced tomatoes)
1 cup (11/2 oz/45 g) chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns
18 fresh curry leaves
Steamed basmati rice
In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine chicken and buttermilk, and mix well. Place in refrigerator to marinate while preparing sauce.
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat oil and butter mixture over medium heat. Add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately stir in asafoetida, and then add onions. Cook onions, uncovered, stirring often, until dark golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chili powder, coriander, turmeric and salt to taste, and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes soften and sauce thickens slightly, 10-15 minutes.
Stir in chicken and buttermilk and cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through, 5-10 minutes. Add cilantro, peppercorns and curry leaves and mix well.
Serve with steamed rice.