Easily the homiest most comforting dish, especially when served over rice or with some soft naan to mop up the lovely spicy gravy. This is one of my go-to recipes when I do not want to muck around making something too fancy or complicated.
Combine the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, then add the chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Make sure to remove the chicken from the fridge at least half an hour before you begin to cook so that it comes to room temperature.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves and whole black pepper. Allow them to splutter, then add the fenugreek leaves if you are using them. Next add the onions and fry until a deep golden. Then add the chopped chilli, ginger and garlic pastes. Stir them in until fragrant. Add in the tomato paste, cumin powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder, stir them in for a couple of minutes. Then add the grated tomatoes and cook them down until they dry up slightly. Now add in the chicken pieces and the marinade. Stir over high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Then add 2 cups of water, turn the heat down and cover the pan. Let the curry simmer gently for about 20 minutes, giving it an occasional stir.
In the meantime, put the potato chunks in another pan and cover with water. Add a sprinkle of salt and a pinch of turmeric. The turmeric helps to give the potato chunks a slight yellow tinge. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 5-8 minutes or until tender. You can check by piercing a potato chunk with the tip of a knife, it should go in easily. Drain and set aside.
Once the chicken is cooked and tender, add in the boiled potato chunks and stir them in. Simmer together for another 5 minutes to infuse all the flavours into the potatoes. At this point you can either thin out the gravy by adding a bit more water, or simmer for a little longer over low heat until it thickens to your preference. Adjust salt and then sprinkle in the garam masala and chopped coriander. Turn off the heat and leave the pan covered for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.
This dish goes beautifully with rice, naans, chapatis, parathas or even bread.