From Southern India, Chettinad dishes are know for their hot pungent cuisine cooked in freshly ground masala spices.
Dry toast the spice-ingredients until they become fragrant then remove and allow them to cool.
Grind these ingredients in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to form a powder.
Stir in a little water to make a paste.
Peel and finely dice the onion.
Peel and dice the garlic.
Peel and grate the ginger.
Heat some sunflower oil in a frying pan and saute the onion with the bay leaves and the curry leaves for about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and the ginger and then the tomato puree.
Stir for about one more minute and then add the chicken.
Cook the chicken until is starting to turn white on the outside.
Add the paste.
Add some water, and cook for about 10–15 minutes, stirring often and adding more splashes of water if needed to stop it sticking to the pan.
Continue untill the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thick and reduced and clinging to the chicken.
Serve with either some rice or chapati's, with a raita or fresh chutney on the side.
«If you find it too spicy serve it with some yogurt on the side.»