Mix together with the lime juice and salt and coat the chicken. Set aside until ready
Whole Spices & Coconut
Gather the spices for toasting and the coconut.
In a large skillet or pan, toast the coconut over medium heat until light golden brown. About 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the coconut from the pan and allow it to cool.
In the same pan over medium heat add the rest of the spices under the toasting heading. Stir or shake the pan frequently until the spices are fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes.
In a spice grinder and process the coconut to a powder and pour it into a medium-sized bowl. Grind the spices in a batch or two and add them to the coconut powder.
In a medium heavy saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, add the ghee and allow it to get hot. Add the onion and sauté until it becomes tranlucent and begins browning; about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, and nutmeg. Sauté for several minutes until the garlic no longer smells raw.
Measure 2 cups of water and place beside your stovetop. Add the ground spices and coconut to the onion mixture and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If the mixture begins to stick, add some of the water; you may need up to 3 or 4 tablespoons of water. This step of toasting the spices is an important step, so take your time.
Add the chicken pieces and the rest of the 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and return the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is tender.
Taste for seasoning. You may need some more lime juice, heat from some ground chili, or salt. If the sauce is too thick, add some water. And if you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the chicken and give the sauce a good boil until it reaches the desired thickness. Return the chicken to the sauce and heat it through. Serve with a simple side of rice and garnish with chopped cilantro. This is a perfect make-ahead curry.
Use an equal amount of white or black sesame seeds, or chia seeds instead. Both the sesame seeds and the chia seeds can be toasted with the rest of the spices.
Feel free to use other proteins, especially lamb, beef, or even seafood. With some sort of fish, prawns, or shrimp, you could make this recipe a weeknight cook. Vegetables would work well with this masala too. I am thinking of 8 cups of a mix of potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, string beans, and mushrooms. Anything you like really.
To streamline the cooking steps I had my butcher remove the skin from the chicken. I can only get the combinations of skin on, bone-in, or skinless and boneless chicken. As usual, I prefer to use chicken thighs because they are much juicier.