Put ginger, garlic, and 3 tb water in the container of an electric blender. Blend into smooth paste.
put oil in wide frying pan and set over high heat. When very hot, add bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves, and cumin seeds. stir once or twice and add onion. stir and fry for about 3 minutes or until onion turns brownish.
add the paste from the blender, ground coriander, and ground cumin and fry for 1 minute add chicken, cayenne, salt, and 1 c water.
Bring to a boil.
Cover, turn heat to medium, and cook for 15 min, turning chicken pieces over now and then.
Remove cover, add cream, and cook on high heat for 7-8 minutes more or until sauce has thickened. Stir gently throughout.