Remove the skin from the chicken then wash it thoroughly four to five times. Peel the skin off the onions and finely chop them. Shred the garlic into very fine pieces and mash or cut the ginger. Grind the whole cinnamon and cardamom (with shells) together to a coarse powder.
Pour enough oil to just cover the base of a dry medium to large saucepan and heat until the oil is very hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and the onions to the oil . Fry until the onions brown. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to stand.
Place all the spices (turmeric, cumin powder and chili powder) into a small cereal bowel. Add about half a cup of water and mix. Pour the spice mixture into the onions. Fry on a medium heat until most of the water evaporates but ensures that the spice mixture does not burn. Add the chicken and stir until all the chicken is coated. Reduce to low heat. Add the salt, tomato and ginger and cook for 10 - 15 minutes. Then add enough water to just cover the chicken. Place a lid on the saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Add the cardamom / cinnamon powder 10 minutes before the chicken is served. Mrs. Pal's chicken curry is ready to be served straight away but tastes even better the next day!
Start the recipe as above but add the chicken first into the onions, then the spices directly onto the chicken, followed by tomato, ginger and salt. Stir vigorously for 5 minutes on a high heat and add enough water to cover the chicken. The curry is ready in 30 minutes.