Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods, and cloves, and fry for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the spices are fragrant. Add the onion, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown.
Add the curry leaves
, chiles, ginger, and garlic, and reduce the heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the garlic has softened. Add the chicken pieces, and stir fry
for 3 to 4 minutes. Season the chicken, with salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the garam masala and enough boiling water to reach halfway up the chicken pieces. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to a low heat and simmer
the mixture for 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the lid from the pan, turn the heat up to a high heat, and boil off any excess liquid, stirring continuously.
Once the liquid has almost completely boiled away, add the grated coconut
and the lemon juice
, and stir well. Cover the pan again and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are tender, and completely cooked through.
Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro.
Cook's Note: Use drumsticks in this recipe to make ideal outdoor party food - the bones will also add maximum flavour to the dish.