Wash and pat dry chicken pieces
Rub salt, turmeric and oil onto the chicken and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
Heat a pan and dry roast the sambar spices. Heat until the spices are warm and they release their aroma and oil. Cool lightly and grind to a fine powder. Keep it aside.
Add one tbsp of oil to the same pan, add sliced shallots and saute until its light brown. Add grated coconut to it and fry until its golden brown.
Cool for a few minutes and grind to a fine paste with little water
Now add 2 tbsp of oil to the same pan and toss marinated chicken on high flame. Add curry leaves and saute chicken until it changes colour. Now add crushed ginger, garlic and halved shallots. Continue to cook on high flame stirring continuously. Toss chicken on high flame until its browned.
Add ground spices and 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Toss on high flame for 5 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add ground paste and saute for 5 minutes. Add water, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender.
Add tamarind water, garam masala and simmer until the chicken feels tender and has absorbed all the flavours. 1 tsp of jaggery can be added if needed to balance the sourness.
Chicken should be spicy and tangy and bursting with the flavour of the spices.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies, asafoetida, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.
Chicken - I prefer to use only the chicken pieces with the bone preferably the drumsticks and thighs. Cut chicken thighs and drumsticks into curry sized portions.
Coconut oil - Virgin or cold pressed coconut oil is preferred for the preparation.
Sambar mix - Sambar spices can be prepared ahead and stored in an airtight container for upto 2 weeks.
Storage - This preparation tastes the best on the day its made. If you are preparing this ahead, temper the mustard seeds, curry leaves and chillies just before serving.