Curries are a deeply wonderful foodstuff. Instead of rhapsodising, here's one of my favourite recipes (at the moment, anyway: 14Nov97).

It's called Kabuli Chicken, and comes from Julie Sahni's excellent work, Classic Indian Cooking (Morrow 1980); I have changed amounts and ingredients where I think it improves the recipe (ie, this is how I make it; if it doesn't work for you, it's not Mrs. Sahni's fault, nor mine!). It's not particularly hot, but *very* pungent with black pepper. Not for the faint-hearted, but doesn't cause injury.

Ingredients for eight persons:

For those outside the US, 1 cup is 8 fl. oz., or about 250 ml. All spices should be freshly ground, and I prefer to *lightly* roast them first.

To make:

In best Internet tradition, this recipe is offered without permission. I'm hoping it constitutes fair use. In any case, I urge people to buy the book (ISBN 0-688-03721-6), because it's an absolutely first-class resource.

Finally, a word on spices. There is no point trying to make curries without a good arsenal of spices. You don't need that many, but they do need to be of reasonable quality and quantity. You can either pay exorbitant prices at your local supermarket to get jars that have been on the shelf for five years - not much call for fenugreek in most American kitchens - or you can hunt down your local Indian supermarket, if you're lucky enough to have one. I'd recommend the second. You can expect to spend about forty dollars, but you'll get enough spices to last you for a year of heavy curry making. If you go to your local supermarket, you'll still spend forty bucks, but they'll be gone in a month. I'd recommend the following, at a minimum:
Whole spices:
green cumin, coriander seed, green cardamom pods, fennel seed, black mustard seed, cinnamon stick, cloves
Ground spices:
Turmeric, cayenne (hot red pepper), nutmeg.