Takali (Tomato) Chicken Curry

2 May 2016 By


  • 1 free range chicken, skin off – cut into pieces or use your preference
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • 3-4 tbsp light olive oil
  • 3 cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves, finely shredded
  • 3 cm fresh ginger – finely grated
  • 8 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion – blended
  • 3 tbsp (more or less as preferred) of chilli powder
  • ½ tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp each fennel and cumin powder
  • 4 roma tomatoes – roughly blended


  • 1 red chilli – slit down the length and split again into 2 across
  • 1 green chilli – slit down the length and split again into 2 across
  • 3 heaped tsp Latasha’s Kitchen Garam Masala
  • Extra curry or coriander leaves


  1. Use a deep casserole pot. Marinate chicken pieces in turmeric and salt for ½ an hour.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil on moderate heat, then add cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and shredded curry leaves (this flavours the oil). Next add onions and cook with a pinch of salt for 15 minutes until nicely caramelised. Add ginger and garlic at this stage, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add chilli powder and slow cook for 5 minutes, then add the rest of the ground spice powders. Cook this mixture for a further 10 minutes on low heat. Add a little bit more oil or water at this stage to prevent mixture sticking to base of pot.
  4. Now add the blended tomatoes, lemon juice, coriander leaves and mix well. Turn the heat up moderately high, add chicken pieces and mix thoroughly. When the chicken is well mixed with the spice mixture, and is slightly opaque, (this may take 5 minutes, with constant stirring) add enough water, i.e. approximately 1 cup to just cover the chicken, and also add some extra salt.
  5. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, pop a lid on and cook for 30 minutes until you see some oil surfacing to the top of the curry.
  6. Garnish with fresh chillies, Latasha’s Kitchen Garam Masala, and more curry or coriander leaves.
  7. Serve with rice or flaky parathas and side dishes such as stir fried or steamed mixed vegetable medleys. Freshly tossed tangy mixed salads work well too.