In a small food processor (mini-chopper), combine the garlic and ginger and puree to a paste.
Heat the oil in a stew pot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Add the cloves, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until dark and fragrant and the cinnamon stick unfurls, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic-ginger paste, curry powder, and jalapeno and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the tomato and chicken and cook, stirring, until the oil begin to separate and there is a distinctive crackling sound as the ingredients "re-fry" in the oil, about 6 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until the chicken is lightly browned, about 7 minutes more.
Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and stew for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and tender and the liquid thickens into a sauce, about 30 minutes more. Transfer chicken curry to a serving bowl and serve with rice and chutney.
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