Think of this recipe as a series of steps that slowly build towards a final dish instead of a single task. This will allow you to break it down to small tasks that don’t take a lot of skill or even time. I am not going to post any ingredients. But will describe the steps hopefully in enough detail that it makes sense and you are tempted to try it out.
Marinating the chicken in a curd base. Use only legs and thighs. This chicken will marinate overnight and also get cooked without a lot of checking. So any lean breast piece may dry out and become stringy. These redder cuts of meat are a lot more resilient to heat and will remain tender.
Before you add the chicken pieces, prepare your marinade. Combine together chilly or paprika powder, garam masala, garlic powder, ginger powder, cinnamon powder and lemon juice. Using a spoon mix them really well. Taste IT. I cannot emphasize this enough. You must taste the raw marinade before you add the chicken to it. Adjust the salt and heat as per your preference. If you feel that a little more masala will be good. Add it. A little more acid, add more lemon juice or even vinegar.
Into this add the chicken. Using your fingers massage the paste into the pieces. Put this into a box, seal it up. There should have been enough marinade to have the chicken fully covered in it. Leave this overnight in the fridge.
The fry base. Heat oil. We want to get some flavors into the oil. So a little Shah-Zeera and a bay leaf go into it. Like a little more heat, drop in a green chilly or two. Then thinly sliced onions. Saute till the onions start browning. Add lots of grated garlic. When the raw smell is gone, spread out the chicken into this. Add half a cup of water into the marinade container. Use it to dilute the marinade and put it into the pan.
Cover and cook for some 8-9 minutes on low heat.
Open and add in chopped coriander. Mix well. There will be a lot of moisture accumulating in the pan. Cover and cook till the chicken is almost cooked. This might take another 7-8 minutes.
Get to high heat and start reducing the curry sauce. If it looks like the chicken is cooked and may start to break apart, remove it. Continue cooking the sauce on high heat. Keep stirring. A magical transformation will start. The oil will start separating and the color of the curry will start taking a beautiful enchanting color. When its reduced and you are not able to keep up with it, add the chicken back into the pan. Coat it with this reduced sauce. Cook for a few minutes more. Time it in such a way that you do this just when the food service will start.
Isn’t it the easiest thing to cook for a weekend party.