Indian cuisine has few overlapping flavours. With such a diverse topography – from snow-capped mountains to arid deserts, from beautiful coastlines to leafy tropical forest – the variety of ingredients here are unlike those in any other part of the world. They are different from one another, even within the country, and this is reflected in the way the cuisine changes as you move from one region to another.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



  • 4 chicken legs
  • 3 green chillies
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 medium-size fresh coconut, grated
  • 1 whole mace
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp whole spice mix
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped tomato
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a blender, blitz the coconut, green chillies, green cardamom pods, cloves, cashews, mace, bay leaf and fennel seeds. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil.
  2. Add the whole spice mix. Cook until the spices begin to crackle.
  3. Add the onion. Sauté until golden.
  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste, coriander, red chilli powder, and turmeric. Cook for 3 minutes, adding a bit of water if it becomes too dry.
  5. Add the tomato. Cook until it is mashed.
  6. Stir in the coconut-spice paste and cook until the oil begins to float on the top.
  7. Nestle in the chicken pieces and season to taste with salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is done, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn. Serve hot.

Excerpted with permission from Tiffin, edited by Sonal Ved, Roli Books.

Sonal Ved

Sonal Ved

Editor Sonal Ved, an accomplished food writer, is currently the food editor at Vogue India. She has also written food features for various newspapers and publications in India, including Times of India, TimeOut (Mumbai), Uppercrust magazine, Verve magazine, Hindustan Times, Sunday Midday. In 2017, Sonal also published her first regional Indian cookbook, Gujju Goes Gourmet. She lives in Mumbai.

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