The lacy roti jala is perfect with this more-ish curry. Use a
mix of chicken pieces on the bone for variety.
2 tbspcoriander seeds2 tspwhole cloves2 tspcumin seeds1 tspground turmeric1 tspfinely grated nutmegSeedsfrom 4 cardamom pods½cinnamon quill1.2 kgchicken pieces on the bone10dried small red chillies, or to taste, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes10golden shallots, thinly sliced30 gmginger, coarsely chopped5garlic cloves, finely chopped2lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped120 gmghee375 ml (1½ cups)chicken stock80 ml (1/3 cup)white vinegar45 gmcaster sugarTo serve:mint and corianderRoti jala320 gmplain flour2eggs, lightly beaten400 mlthin coconut milk, well shakenFor brushing:melted ghee
Dry-roast coriander seeds until fragrant (1 minute), then grind with cloves, cumin seeds, turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until finely ground. Combine with chicken pieces, add salt to taste, toss to coat well and set aside for flavours to develop (30 minutes).
Meanwhile, squeeze excess water from dried chillies and process in a small food processor or pound in a mortar and pestle with shallots, ginger, garlic and lemongrass to a paste.
Heat ghee in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat, add paste and stir-fry until fragrant (4-5 minutes). Add chicken and fry until browned all over (10-12 minutes). Add stock and simmer until chicken is cooked through (12-15 minutes). Add vinegar and sugar, season to taste, keep warm.
For roti jala, combine flour and salt to taste in a bowl, make a well in the centre, add eggs and coconut milk, and whisk to a thin batter (it should drizzle from the spoon; if it’s too thick, add a little extra coconut milk or cold water). Heat frying pan over medium-high heat and brush lightly with ghee. Dip your hand in the batter, then drizzle from your fingers into the pan to create a lace pattern (you could also use a squeeze bottle) and cook until just golden on the base (2-3 minutes). Turn and lightly cook the other side (30 seconds), then transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter. When cool, fold roti in half. Serve with pickled chicken topped with mint and coriander.