Difficulty Medium Prep 10m Cooking 90m Serves 5

A tangy and flavourful tomato sauce with creamy coconut milk and the unusual flavour of tamarind paste with tender chicken thighs.

This dish is perfect to make in place of a Sunday roast and goes particularly well with a side of steamed green beans and Moroccan couscous salad.

Time needed: 1 hour and 40 minutes.


  1. Marinade the chicken.

    Combine the chicken, lime juice, pepper, salt and turmeric together in a large bowl. Toss well so that all the chicken is coated in the marinade. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

  2. Heat oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves in a pan.

    To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large pan, then add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, and fry for about 30 seconds. (If using dried curry leaves, only add them later with the tomato).

  3. Add onions and cook for 10-15 minutes.

    Add the onions, then cover the pot with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes until the onions are tender, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add garlic, ginger and paprika.

    Remove the lid, increase heat to medium-high, then add the garlic and ginger. Fry for about 1 minute. Stir in the paprika and cook for another 30 seconds.

  5. Add the tins of tomato, the stock, sugar and curry leaves.

    Add the tins of tomato, the stock and sugar (and dried curry leaves, if using) and cook uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by one third.

  6. Fry the chicken thighs.

    While sauce is reducing, heat a large deep skillet or Dutch oven pot on medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Once the oil is heated, fry the chicken thighs until each is golden, 2-3 minutes each. Do this in 2 batches as to not overcrowd the pot which will cause the chicken to boil rather than fry.

  7. Deglaze the pan and add water to tomato sauce.

    Remove chicken from the pan and put aside. Pour out any excess oil from the pan, then add a splash of water to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to help deglaze it. Pour this water into the tomato sauce and stir to mix.

  8. Cook chicken on medium heat for 35-45 minutes.

    Place chicken back into the deep skillet or a Dutch oven then pour the sauce over. Cover with foil or lid and cook on medium heat for 35-45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

  9. Remove chicken pieces and cover in foil. Add tamarind, coconut milk and coconut cream.

    Remove chicken pieces to a dish then cover in foil. Bring sauce to a simmer then stir in the tamarind, coconut milk and coconut cream. Check for seasoning, adding a little more sugar if needed, then add the chicken back into the pot.

  10. Garnish and serve.

    Garnish with coriander and serve.