Take the chicken pieces in a bowl, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix everything well and set aside for 20 minutes.
Make the poppy seeds and coconut paste
Dry roast the poppy seeds for a minute over low flame until crisp. Transfer to the grinding jar and allow to cool. Grind to make a powder, add coconut and very little water, and make a smooth paste.
Prepare the curry
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan or kadhai over medium heat. Once the oil is slightly hot, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamoms. Saute for a couple of seconds until fragrant.
Add chopped onions, green chilies, and sauté over medium flame till they are golden brown color (about 8 minutes).
Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes until the raw smell goes.
Add marinated chicken and sauté over medium to high flame for 2 minutes.
Next, add coriander powder and poppy seeds-coconut paste. Continue to saute until the moisture dries.
Add chopped tomatoes along with salt and further saute until tomatoes melt down completely and release oil.
Then add hot water, stir once, reduce the heat to low, and close the lid. Cook until the chicken is done and oil separates (about 10-15 minutes).
Finally, turn off the heat, add garam masala powder and coriander leaves. Stir to mix, cover the lid and rest it for 5 minutes to combine all the flavors.
If using a pressure cooker, follow the same step-by-step process above and cook for about three whistles.
Serve: Andhra chicken curry is ready to serve. Serve hot along with rice, roti, or your choice of meal.
Chicken: Bone-in chicken gives the best flavor and taste.
Cooking oil: I have used Sunflower oil. Vegetable oil or any refined oil can also be used.
Poppy seeds and coconut: Use fresh poppy seeds. Poppy seeds tend to go rancid quickly and taste bitter. Hence it's best to keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight jar. In case poppy seeds and coconut are not available, substitute these with cashew nuts, almonds, or melon seeds. Just make sure to soak the almonds in hot water for an hour and peel the skin if using.
Chilies: Add more or less chili as per your tolerance.
Garam masala powder: You can use store-bought or homemade garam masala powder, whatever is available with you. If you don't have any, take a 1-inch cinnamon stick, 2 green cardamoms, 2 cloves and make a powder.