Recipe for Aromatic Braised Chicken with Fried Onions adapted from Nimmy Paul
2 ½ lbs chicken thighs with skin discarded
4 medium shallots, quartered
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves, leaves removed from stems or 2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon black or pink peppercorns
10 whole cloves
1 (2-inch) piece cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water
About 2 cups vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 teaspoons all-purpose flour, divided
For the Rice:
1 cup Basmati Rice
10 cardomom pods
Toss all ingredients except water, oil, onion, and flour and rice with 1 teaspoon salt in a wide heavy medium pot. Marinate chicken, covered and chilled, 1 hour.
Add water and bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 inches oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
Toss onion with 1 teaspoon flour, then fry in 2 batches, stirring frequently (do not let burn), until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Reserve 3 tbsp. oil.
Prepare the rice according to package instructions. Add cardamom pods. (Approximately 1/2 hour is needed for this step. Cover rice when cooked.)
Remove chicken from cooking liquid, reserving liquid, and gently pat dry. Heat reserved oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown chicken all over, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a platter.
Add remaining 2 teaspoons flour to fat in skillet and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chicken-cooking liquid (with aromatics and spices) and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pour over chicken. Top with fried onions.
Serve over basmati rice, removing cardamom pods if you wish.