The key to a good curry is to cook the onions slowly for a long time (15 mins) until they are a golden brown. Similarly when you add the spices to the onion mixture, cook them for 5 to 10 mins stirring all the while to prevent burning. These tips are really what distinguish a good curry from a maudlin one.
Here is a recipe that is very close to the one I used. Ignore his instructions for peeling fresh tomatoes. I used canned Italian plum tomatoes and they worked perfectly.
Simple Goan chicken curry
4 large skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp yellow or brown mustard seeds
1 large onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced1x400ml can coconut milksalt
For the marinade
1 tsp paprika
1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
11⁄2 tbsp ground coriander1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
1⁄2 tsp salt
75ml/23⁄4fl oz water
Mix together all the marinade ingredients to give you a loose, smoothpaste. Add the chicken pieces and coat them in the paste. They arebest left to marinate for around 30 minutes to 1 hour, but if you’re in ahurry a few minutes will do.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and add the mustard seeds. Whenthey start to pop and jump about in the pan, add the onion and garlic.Cook until they’re golden brown before adding the chicken and anyextra paste from the marinade. Fry over a gentle heat for about 8minutes before adding the coconut milk. Increase the heat slightlyand bring to a simmer. Cook for a further 10-12 minutes until thesauce has thickened slightly before seasoning with salt if necessaryand serving with rice or naan bread.