isipingo

The sardine run….

The sardine run...Spicy Sardines by Yudhika Sujanani

The sardine run…Spicy Sardines by Yudhika Sujanani

I haven’t eaten a sardine in about thirty years. The sardine run was always a much awaited event on the Durban calendar. Somewhere in the 80’s there were huge shoals of fish that washed up on the shores in Durban and there were people actually scooping them up in buckets.

Firstly, it was quite a sight…I was amazed by the piles of fish heaped on the shore and the locals seemed to be in a trance as they went about collecting their sardine stash. A few days later, I was sure that I overdosed on freshly fried spicy sardines! There were sardines everywhere and every home that visited also served sardines…I do see them on the menu at Portuguese restaurants but haven’t eaten one since!

There have been a few Facebook posts about the sardines in Durban and here is one of my Spicy Sardine recipes….I serve them with a spicy tomato chutney that coats the sardines keeping them moist and delicious!

I’m ready to give sardines a bash again…if only I could find one in Jozi and have it prepared the old fashioned Durban way! I really do miss Durban and all it’s beautiful people and treats!

Sardines in a Spicy Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

12 sardines
10ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric
5ml salt
Sunflower oil to shallow fry

For the Spicy Tomato Sauce

30ml sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs of curry leaves
15ml red chilli powder
6 tomatoes
5ml coarse salt
10ml roasted coriander powder (dhania powder)
5ml roasted cumin powder (jeera powder)
2,5ml turmeric
Handful of fresh coriander

Here’s how:

Slice a cross into the base of each tomato and place them in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and leave aside for 3 minutes. Remove the skins and chop the tomatoes.
Sprinkle turmeric, salt and red chilli powder over the sardines and gently rub the spices over. Place the sardines in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat the sunflower oil in a pot. Fry the finely chopped onion until light golden brown. Add the crushed
garlic and curry leaves. Stir for a few seconds and then add the red chili powder.
Stir the red chilli powder for 5 seconds and then add the chopped tomatoes.
Season with salt and keep stirring until the tomatoes soften slightly.
Add the roasted ground cumin, coriander and the turmeric. Lower the heat and continue stirring until the tomatoes dissolve and form a thick sauce.
Heat the sunflower oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the sardines in batches until crispy.
Remove from the heat and gently dab the sardines with paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat this process until all the sardines are fried.
Spoon some of the tomato sauce over the base of a casserole dish and then spoon the remaining sauce over the sardines and sprinkle the chopped coriander over. Garnish with a few curry leaves.

Yudhika’s Tips

To clean the sardines: Scale sardines and make a cut along the bottom of the fish. Remove the intestines and entrails. Rinse the fish under cold running water and pat dry using absorbent paper towels.
Handle the sardines gently as they do tend to break up when handled roughly.

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A snowballs chance in hell…..

Yudhika Sujanani prepares Snowballs - another trip down memory lane!

Yudhika Sujanani prepares Snowballs – another trip down memory lane!

When I chat to people from my hometown, we inevitably end up time travelling through reminiscing about our childhood treats. The were wealthy families and poor ones too, but the one thing that they had in common was a love for all things delicious. Some of us look back and for sure, we feel like we were deprived of so much but we also take note of the things we had then that our kids will never experience…and childhood friendships are the first thing that come to mind. I don’t feel so bad about having so much less than most people did…it was just my perception at the time and without my so-called hand, my life could have turned out differently….but thinking back on those days, there was an unspoken reality that most of us from Isipingo faced…so many talented people thinking….I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell!

Without money, a troubled secondary education or a chance at tertiary education, there was a sense of hopelessness that hung over the town like an unspoken destiny. It was only much later that I realized that we never actually needed to leave to make it…growing up in Isipingo taught us the lessons we needed to succeed. It frustrated some to the point that they became the most driven people who have succeeded not only in South Africa but abroad too….a few names that pop into my mind…Nanda Soobben, the political cartoonist, and a missile aerodynamicist who’s name I care not to mention! That’s a story for another day….but the children of Isipingo made it to the big time….Doctor’s lawyers and accountants…not to mention entrepreneurs…the common thread amongst us was that we learnt to hustle! We did after all have a chance in hell, we just didn’t know it at the time!

People who left South Africa to holiday were celebrities and those who left to study abroad had super stardom status….hardly anyone ever got out so it was really newsworthy! We grew up in a time when we went to the Old Louis Botha airport to bid farewell to a person going on holiday. I can still remember my uncle leaving to London and my mom wearing her best silk sari to the airport. She pulled out an old leather suitcase from under the bed and in it was a treasure trove of saris…they smelled almost religious to me, with a faint hint of incense…also they were old which reminded me of how little she had and how much she treasured her little stash of silks. I remember burying my face in the pleats and pissing her off, but she had no idea then that the scent of her would live in my memory forever! She had incredibly long hair and she pulled it into a ponytail and in seconds almost like a magic trick, she coiled it into a fashionable bun…it was my job to pass her the hairpins and she got really irritated when I was a bit slow from day dreaming. How many of you remember this ritual….the sari, the makeup, the bun and lastly….the hairspray that made us choke….and then of course, she would cover her hair with a handkerchief to control the fine, wispy strays!

These were the days before new age cakes and baking…no red velvet cakes and croissants or chocolate ganache anything! Wareings Bakery was a name that every kid knew…they made pies, mock cream doughnuts and the amazing snowball too. On a school sports day, each kid got a doughnut or sometimes a snowball with a Coo-ee to go with it…it was tradition and something our kids will never experience! Snowballs and doughnuts from the corner shops around Isipingo were incredibly popular…Uncle Goolam from the Curry Tray, or Colleen’s Tearoom across the road from the Isipingo Beach Library or Jeena’s in Isipingo Hills…or the Busy Bee on Old Main Road…they displayed the doughnuts and snowballs on the counter, sometimes behind glass, but always on newsprint! They were fresh and delicious and we never tired of them! Anyone knows what happened to Wareings? I haven’t spotted their stuff in years and why is it so hard to find a good snowball???

After numerous requests, I finally got around to making up a batch…there is always some hesitation around a recipe that isn’t just a recipe…it’s so much more than that! It’s a memory of a time that life was a lot simpler, friendships were real, and no one real cared if you got the snowball coconut all over the back seat of the car! For some that don’t know what a snowball is, I can best describe it as a delicious whoopie pie, sandwiched together with an icing paste, dunked in a syrup and then rolled in tinted coconut! Keep them in an airtight biscuit tin for a day or so….if they last that long! I got the kids to help with weighing, measuring and coconut tinting, snowball syrup dunking too so click here to watch the clips…https://youtu.be/GgCqH2GL35s and here for how my kitchen helpers, Rushil and Tanvi, finished up their task so watch for their theatrical ending in this clip, https://youtu.be/vn8KBCAiGmQ

Lastly, I dedicate this recipe to all those ‘Snowballs’ from Isipingo!

Snowballs

Makes 10 – 12

Ingredients

400ml desiccated coconut
Few drops pink colouring

140g butter
125ml sugar
2 large eggs
5ml vanilla essence
375ml self-raising flour
Pinch of salt

For sandwiching the cakes…
200ml icing sugar
20ml boiled water

For the syrup…
120ml sugar
120ml water
150ml smooth apricot
7ml red food colouring

Place the desiccated coconut in a mixing and add few drops of pink food colouring. Rub the colouring into the coconut to tint the coconut until evenly coloured.

Kitchen assistant on coconut duty...Tanvi Sujanani on the job!

Kitchen assistant on coconut duty…Tanvi Sujanani on the job!

Cream the butter until light and fluffy, then gradually add the sugar.
Continue creaming until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Whisk the eggs lightly then gradually add this to the creamed butter, add a 2 teaspoons flour with the eggs to prevent curdling.
Add the salt and vanilla essence.
Add the flour and work the mixture into a soft dough.
Divide the dough into portions – I weighed them into 25g balls.

Snowballs...ready for the oven!

Snowballs…ready for the oven!

Roll each one until smooth and place on a baking tray lined with greased paper.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C for 12 – 15 minutes. They should be pale in colour with the bases turning light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Just out the oven....

Just out the oven….

Make the syrup – heat the sugar and water in a 24cm AMC pot. Bring the syrup to the boil once the sugar has dissolved. Add the apricot jam and simmer until the syrup is slightly thick – not too thick as it will prevent the syrup from penetrating the snowball. Tint the syrup with red food colouring.

Snowball syrup made with sugar, water and apricot jam...in an AMC Cookware unit!

Snowball syrup made with sugar, water and apricot jam…in an AMC Cookware unit!

Once the snowballs are cool, mix the icing sugar and boiled water into a thick, smooth paste, then sandwich the snowballs together.

Glueing the snowballs together!

Glueing the snowballs together!

Sandwiching the snowballs....

Sandwiching the snowballs….

Leave to harden slightly – this takes a minute or two, then dip the snowballs into the hot syrup and toss them a few times to make sure they are coated. I used tongs for this as the syrup was quite warm.

Place them into the coconut and toss to coat evenly.

Pretty in pink...the snowball  done and dusted!

Pretty in pink…the snowball done and dusted!

Dust off the excess coconut and place on baking paper.

These are delicious eaten fresh but may be stored for up to two days.

Old is gold….

Yudhika's Durban inspired menu....inspired by the old days!

Yudhika’s Durban inspired menu….inspired by the old days!

A trip down memory lane is what inspired my last Mela menu! It all started when I came across a rather vintage set of AMC pots that were from the 70’s. My mom also had a set but this set was a little older. These pots are always part of my kitchen memories. They were so flash in their day that serving dishes were hardly ever used in my home and it is still the same for me today!

BEFORE:

The vintage AMC lids and knobs

The vintage AMC lids and knobs

A very vintage set of AMC cookware...ready to be sent of for a 'spit and polish'

A very vintage set of AMC cookware…ready to be sent of for a ‘spit and polish’

AFTER:

The AMC lid after repolishing...

The AMC lid after repolishing…

As good as new or even better!  The AMC set after re-polishing!

As good as new or even better! The AMC set after re-polishing!

The various sized cookware were re-named in an Indian household and I am sure that some of my Indian followers will relate to the ‘rice pot’, ‘breyani pot’ and ‘fish curry pot’ – all names to describe the pots in the AMC range…and there was also a ‘dhall pot’. Kaye and Tamsyn from AMC Cookware looked quite puzzled when I mentioned these names during a meeting! And I am slowly learning to call them by their ‘good names’ like 30cm gourmet roaster, 24cm high, etc.

I was first tempted to leave the vintage set of AMC as is but asked Kaye and the AMC team to do an AMC overhaul! The pots arrived and I couldn’t believe that they looked brand spanking new…after over forty years of service! Looking at the old style handles and knobs on the lids, is like tripping all over food memory lane! I mentioned the names that the cookware is given in an Indian home…and to celebrate old fashioned food, I did a Mela menu inspired by my childhood.

Yudhika cooking up a storm on Mela!

Yudhika cooking up a storm on Mela!

We lived in Isipingo and for a while we lived in Isipingo Beach. My grandfather was a keen fisherman and loved to take my cousins and I on fishing trips! I even had my own fishing rod! My gran would pack a picnic basket and we would be off for the day. The best part of the fishing trip would be to get home and my mom would season the catch of the day with red chilli, salt and a light sprinkling of turmeric. This was the best fried fish ever! Sometimes she would also prepare a devilishly hot fish curry cooked with tamarind and tomatoes.

On the Mela menu for the week….Durban Fish Curry cooked in my AMC fish pot and Soji Balls! Soji Balls are ones of my favourite childhood treats and when I spotted a tray of them at a prayer, I swear I would pray would one eye open! They were hard to resist and every time us kids attended a prayer, we couldn’t help thinking of the treats that would come our way!

North or South Indian, it didn’t matter….almost every fish curry in Durban is cooked the same way! Some recipes remain untouched by language, caste and religion. The secret to a good fish curry is fresh fish, an AMC pot that cooks the fish in one layer and the most ripe tomatoes…in summer I use fresh ‘jam’ tomatoes that are over-ripe and in Winter I opt for tinned tomatoes that gives you super ripe juicy tomatoes all year round! I must admit that I sometimes use them in Summer too! I love a few shortcuts! If you missed Mela over the weekend and would like to take a look at my step by step video, click here to watch https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-durban-fish-curry-and-soji-balls/

Here’s the fish curry recipe just how I remember it….

Durban Fish Curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Durban Fish Curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Durban Fish Curry

Serves 4

750g firm fish steaks
60ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7ml coarse salt
6 cloves garlic, crushed
5ml crushed ginger
30ml red chilli powder
800g tomatoes, blanched and chopped – I use tinned tomatoes sometimes
10ml ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
2ml turmeric
30ml tamarind
125ml boiled water
Pinch of sugar
Curry leaves and coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC pot.
Add the mustard seeds and once the begin to pop.
Add the cumin seeds and fry until the sizzle and turn a shade darker.
Stir the onion and salt into the oil.
Saute the onions until they turn golden brown – I also add a few curry leaves to get the aromas going!
Add the crushed garlic and ginger and fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
Stir the red chilli powder into the oil and fry for 3 – 5 seconds, then add the tomatoes.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric and simmer the sauce until the tomatoes form a smooth paste – use the back of a wooden spoon to break down the lumps.
While the tomatoes are simmering, dissolve the tamarind in boiling water – if you are using tamarind with seeds, you will have to strain the liquid to remove the fibres and seeds.
When the tomatoes have cooked down and are completely soft, add the tamarind and then place the fish steaks into the sauce.
Poach the steaks in the sauce and simmer on a very low heat until the sauce has thickened – the cooking time depends on the thickness of the fish steaks.
Sprinkle in a little sugar to balance the sharpness and acidity of the tomatoes.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves and coriander.
Serve with rice or roti.

To crush a bunny chow….

 

Ready to bunny....Yudhika Sujanani on Mela

Ready to bunny….Yudhika Sujanani on Mela – Wardrobe: Sun Goddess

 

For heaven’s sake, we are not cooking up a bunny rabbit! It’s a  Bunny Chows and almost like traveling back in time…you have to take a trip down memory lane….so how do you describe eating a bunny….is it to eat a bunny?  No!  Everyone has their own terminology…to kill a bunny….to crush a bunny or to slay a bunny but there is never any cutlery!

 

Indian fast foods have a story behind them….and bunny chow was a way of serving curry in hollowed out bread that didn’t need a plate or cutlery…it was borne in times of hardship, racism and apartheid.  The best ‘Durban fast food’ was the result of those difficult times so yes, while we now live in a generation of born free’s, the bunny chow movement is still going strong!

 

When I think bunny chow, I think Island Hotel in Isipingo Beach!  My Nan’s sister, Phyllis owned the Island Hotel…well, it was owned by the ‘B V Naidoo’ clan that owned the hotel.  Strangely enough, the Andhrite community still speak of clans!  I do find it quite amusing…what if you just don’t have a clan or fit into one either?  I was never a fan of the chicken bunny….give me a good old bean bunny  or my other bestie, the famous lamb bunny.

 

We loved visiting Granny Phill!  She was always feed us…making sure that we were over fed and cheerful when we left….and definitely in need of an arvie nap!  She would cook up large batches of curries in massive pots…the cooking gene runs deep in our family!

 

Granny Phyllis passed away a few years ago…but she has left some beautiful food memories behind….we would smell the curry in the car park of the hotel and we knew that she was around!  She cooked with love and hearty…a larger than life personal with a sense of humor that just made us giggle!

 

Today, on SABC 2’s Mela, we are celebrating our ‘South African’ess’ on the show!  An iconic South African dish…should we call it a dish?  Dish or not…it’s really a feast!  This is a basic recipe….you can play around with it….for me personally, a Bunny Chow should have some of my favourite Durban flaves…..hot, spicy and it screams out for pickle!  I always have bits of pickle masala left in bottles in the refrigerator….and it’s just too delicious to throw out so we live with the irritation of the oily rings they leave in cupboards, shelves and counter tops!  If you missed today’s food Mela episode, click here to take a look: https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-bunny-chow/

 

There is just something about pickle…it has a magical ability to get out of the bottle! Maybe, it’s just too delicious to stay in a bottle!  So, here is a great way to use of those delicious bits of pickle masala….just pop a few scoops into your curries…it works well with paneer, chicken, seafood and lamb….my favourite is the lamb curry!  I also add some ‘home made fat chips’ to my bunny.  I squish the chips on top of the curry and then spoon more of that pickle masala sauce on top just to make it a super treat!

 

It’s also one of my favourite fix it ingredients….if the curry just needs a bit of ooooommph, add a scoop and it will remedy a bland curry transforming it into a magical one!

And the ingredients are....

I use lamb shanks or knuckles for this curry…I don’t enjoy the texture or flavour…maybe, I should say lack of flavour in leg of lamb so although it is boneless, it falls short on flavour!  I pop up to our local….the Broadacres Superspar and get Mr Pat to prepare the lamb cuts for me!  He is brilliant and one of those old school ‘blockman’ or butchers!  On his recommendation, I have tried a combination of knuckles and shoulder which I must say resulted in the tastiest curry ever!  Shoulder would be just a little too bony for a bunny.

 

If a bone finds its way into your bunny chow….just keep going!  Your fingers are going to get messy anyway so it’s not a train smash!

 

Rules for eating a bunny…just a quick lesson on bunny chow etiquette:

 

1. No cutlery

2. Only share a bunny with someone you know….it would just be weird to eat a bunny with someone you didn’t!

3. No bunny chows on first dates – save that for maybe the second!

4. Soft drinks work best with a bunny…I mean really, who ever drank red wine or champagne with a bunny…and fruit juice is just as bad!

5. If you love someone, let them have the soft bread on top!  You can also let them have the only potato or the last one!  That’s really saying, ‘I love you…big time!’

6. Need to rinse your fingers after an ‘outdoor’ bunny feast….use the windscreen washer….works perfectly every time!

The Bunny Chow....by Yudhika SujananiLamb Bunny Chow

 

Makes 4 quarter bunnies!

 

4 lamb shanks, each weighing around 350 – 400g

60ml sunflower oil

2 cinnamon sticks

2 bay leaves

1 onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

60ml crushed ginger and garlic

45ml red chilli powder

10ml ground coriander

5ml ground cumin

5ml garam masala

2ml turmeric

2 tomatoes, blanched and chopped

30ml pickle masala, optional

 

Home-made potato chips, to serve

 

 

Heat the oil in a large AMC pot. Fry the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.

Add the onion, sprinkle in the salt and sauté until the onion is light golden brown.

Add the ginger and garlic, stir for a few seconds, then add the red chilli powder.

Place the lamb shanks into the pot and coat in the spice mix.

Pour 500ml boiled water into the pan, then add coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric.

Simmer until the meat is tender and starts to leave the bone – you may need to add more water if necessary.

Remove the shanks from the pan, and place on a chopping board. Leave to cool slightly, and debone the shanks. Discard the bones.

Add the tomatoes to the sauce and once they soften, add the deboned lamb. Stir the pickle masala into the lamb and simmer for a few minutes.

Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

 

To serve:

 

Slice a loaf of bread in half and hollow out the soft inner, leaving the crust intact.

Spoon the lamb into the bread and then top with coriander and freshly made potato chips. Spoon more sauce over the chips and serve.

 

 

 

 

Way Down South…..

South Indian Madras Style Chicken by Yudhika Sujanani

South Indian Madras Style Chicken by Yudhika Sujanani


I just got back from a few days in Durban…its been ages since my last proper visit and I was surprised at just how much I really missed my home city. I ate lots, feasted on the most delicious home cooked meals but most of all friends and family were a sight for my sore eyes. I returned to Jozi without having switched my laptop on once. I hired a car and a Garmin and headed off for my old haunts and started my tour in Isipingo, just south of Durban, where I grew up.

The lovely Mrs Deedat and I at Isipingo beach Intermediate School...

The lovely Mrs Deedat and I at Isipingo beach Intermediate School…

While I was in Durbs, I visited my first primary school teacher, Mrs Deedat and got to take a walk around the school in Isipingo Beach. Mrs Deedat went on to become the head mistress at the school. She would line us up everyday as the bell rang, and give us a goodbye kiss. The students would get quite fiercely competitive about bringing her treats and flowers….I always brought her flowers that I picked from the garden. She retires in just a few months and I am so glad that we could take a walk down memory lane with this beautiful lady.

I was thoroughly spoilt in Durban….from fresh linefish breyani made by Shabnum Moosa’s parents to dinners out and then chicken curry for Saturday brunch. Long lazy chats over numerous cups of coffee, high tea at the Oyster Box and fried rice from Tong Lok! Durban is not the place to be if you are trying to stick to the Tim Noakes diet!!! It was just an all round treat not to mention being in such good company just gladdened my rather overworked Jozi soul!

Crispy fish at Gateway's Beluga....

Crispy fish at Gateway’s Beluga….

For those of you, who like me, have lazy days, you can always pop into the Holi Cow in Fourways to pick up a takeaway for dinner or learn how to make delicious curries by joining one of our fun cooking classes! Call us on 011 4672661 to book your spot! All ingredients and recipes are provided.

Cooking Class Update: Curry 101 Hands on Class – learn how to use spices to make delicious spicy meals in a flash….Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Korma, Coconut Prawn, Mushroom and Chickpea Curry, Rotis and Chocolate Ganache Cake. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a delicious lunch.

Date: Saturday, 12th July 2014
Time: 10 for 10.30am
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: The Curry Trail – learn how to use your spices to make curries from around Asia….Lamb Vindaloo, Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Thai Green Prawn, Paneer in Almond Sauce, Rotis and Coconut Creme Brulees. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a sit down dinner.

Date: Wednesday, 16th July 2014
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: Spice Spice Baby…learn how to add spices to your everyday meals to cook up quick and easy fuss free meals. Traditional Lamb Curry, Creamy Chicken Curry, Mushroom Mattar, Balti Prawn Curry, Samosas and Boozy Cream Cake. The duration of the class is two hours long and is followed by a sit down dinner.

Date: Wednesday, 23rd July 2014
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Cost: R375 per person

And now, for the recipe…I missed carbs terribly over the past few weeks…I am preparing this South Indian Madras Style Chicken for dinner tonight and serving it with rotis and rice…double the carbs…double the fun! It’s spicy chicken cooked with mustard seeds, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks….fired up with red chilli powder and finished with my signature Magic Masala! Hope you love it as much as I do!

South Indian Madras Style Chicken….

Ingredients:

1,2 – 1,4kg Whole Chicken
75ml sunflower oil
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
5ml mustard seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
7,5ml coarse salt
4 cloves garlic, crushed
10ml crushed ginger
40ml red chilli powder
10ml ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
5ml garam masala
2,5ml turmeric
2 tinned tomatoes, chopped
1 x 400g tin Spar coconut cream
15ml Curry Me Home magic masala
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Remove the chicken skin, disjoint and cut into pieces.
Rinse the chicken under cold running water and leave in a colander to drain.
Pat the chicken pieces dry with absorbent paper towel.
Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC pot.
Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.
Saute until fragrant and then add the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the chopped onion and salt.
Saute until the onion is golden brown.
Add the crushed ginger and garlic.
Stir the red chilli powder into the fried onion and stir for a few seconds.
Add the chicken and stir well to coat the pieces in fried onion mixture.
Continue stirring until the chicken pieces are sealed.
Add the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric.
Gently stir the chicken to coat in the spices.
Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the spices that are stuck.
Add the chopped tomatoes and lower the heat.
The moisture from the tomatoes will help de-glaze the pot.
Cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken.
Add the coconut milk, magic masala and curry leaves.
Simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve with basmati rice or rotis.

Yudhika’s tips:
The chicken can be cooked in advance – add the coconut cream just before serving to prevent the sauce from thickening too much.
For a lighter dish, add 200ml coconut milk instead of the coconut cream.