By Tom Kerridge…
“I’ve always been effusive about curries. For me, the hotter, the better. Not only is that a taste preference for me, but it’s scientifically proven that when we eat spicy chillies, our brains are tricked by the heat into releasing endorphins, which results in a natural high. So you get a huge food sensation on multiple levels.
“My curry dishes make use of homemade sauces stuffed full of my favourite spices – curry leaves, turmeric, paprika and my secret ingredient, vinegar. I’ve always found the acidity of the vinegar complements the spice fantastically, and I recommend you try.
“The curry scene is really part of British food heritage now, and as the winter months draw in, it’s the perfect time to warm up with that unique combination of flavour, heartiness and sensory overload.”
Pour a little oil into a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook over a low heat for 10–15 minutes, or until they start to colour.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 4–5 minutes, or until the onions are golden. Add the ginger, salt and all the dry spices, stir and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until fragrant.
Add the chicken and wait until cooked through.
Now pour in the coconut milk and chopped tomatoes and stir. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
Dry-fry the desiccated coconut in a frying pan until golden. Add it to the curry with the fresh chillies and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until thickened.
Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in the coriander and pickled chillies and serve in warmed bowls.