1 tbsppoppy seeds1 tsp eachground fennel, ground coriander and ground cumin3long dried red chillies50 mlvegetable oil10fresh curry leaves1onion, thinly sliced2cardamom pods, cracked1 eachcinnamon quill and star anise1-2 tspground chilli, or to taste2 tspfinely grated ginger2garlic cloves, finely chopped2ripe tomatoes, finely chopped70 gm(¾ cup) finely grated fresh coconut8chicken thigh fillets (about 1kg), thickly slicedJuiceof 2 limes, or to tasteTo serve:steamed basmati rice and coriander sprigs
Dry-roast poppy seeds, fennel, coriander, cumin and whole dried chillies in a saucepan over medium heat until fragrant (1 minute). Remove from heat, then pound in a mortar and pestle to break up chillies. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add curry leaves and stir until fragrant (30 seconds). Add onion, stir occasionally until light golden (5-6 minutes), then add spice mixture, remaining spices, ginger and garlic, and stir occasionally until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add tomatoes, stir until starting to break down (3-4 minutes), then add coconut and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and stir occasionally until cooked through (4-5 minutes). Add lime juice, season to taste, and serve hot topped with coriander sprigs and with steamed rice to the side.