2 tablespoons garam masala
6 to 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 piece (1 inch) cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons red chile flakes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 4 chicken thighs, halved
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 onions, chopped
3 to 5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 to 6 tablespoons cashews
1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
3 medium carrots, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 cup heavy cream or yogurt (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Place garam masala, cardamom, cinnamon stick, chile flakes, ginger, and salt in a mortar and lightly crush with a pestle. Place chicken, yogurt, and spice mixture in a large bowl, turning chicken to coat. Let marinate, covered and refrigerated overnight.
Using a rubber spatula, wipe excess marinade from chicken; reserve marinade. Pat chicken with paper towels to dry; sprinkle with turmeric.
Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch-oven over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until skin is nicely browned, about 10 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Reduce heat and add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to pot, along with reserved marinade, cashews, and tomato paste. Cover and cook, 10 to 15 minutes. Add carrots and cauliflower, cover, and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes more.
Stir in cream or yogurt, if using, and cook 2 minutes more. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
Serve over white rice.
It's pretty spicy, so if you want mild, cut down on the red chile flakes.
I leave the cardamom pods whole, then pick them out before serving, they are pretty strong.
I usually just use 2 chicken breasts, instead of a whole chicken.
I found garam masala at the spice store a couple buildings behind Lori's Natural Foods. If you need any of these spices just to try it, I have plenty.
This is from "Where Flavor was Born" by Andreas Viestad.