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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Recipe - Chicken Korma

A couple of weeks ago I attended a day course at The Cook School Scotland and had a great time in their state of the art facility. The subject matter was 'Curry', and on the day we prepared three very different curry dishes. One of those dishes was Chicken Korma, a dish that originates in South Asia and a meal that I would never order from a restaurant or takeaway, generally due to the fact that the few kormas that I've tasted in the past have been sweet and sickly, poorly spiced offerings.
The korma that we prepared at The Cook School has changed my perceptions on what a korma should taste like, so much so that I have since recreated the dish at home with good success.
Cooking an Indian meal from scratch can be a daunting due to the amount of ingredients that are often used, as well as the many steps involved in the cooking process. This in turn makes it very easy to pick up the phone and call your favourite takeaway. Now although this recipe does look like it might become quite involved, the processes are simple and easy to follow, and you probably have most of the required ingredients in your store cupboard.

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 2 Chicken
  • 25g root ginger, finely grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 75g Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 red chili, deseeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 100ml of coconut milk
  • water or chicken stock, enough to cover
  • Salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 20g desiccated coconut
  • fresh coriander
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Method
  1. Marinade the chicken pieces with the ginger, garlic and yogurt - cover it and place in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, ideally overnight.
  2. Heat a the vegetable oil in the pan and then add the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, ground coriander, turmeric and garam masala, and fry it for about 1-2 minutes over a low heat.
  3. Turn the heat up and then add the onion and chili and fry for around 4-5 minutes with no colour, then add the chicken and the marinade. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Next add the coconut milk and just enough water or chicken stock to cover the chicken, bring this to the simmer and stir in the ground almonds and desiccated coconut.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan, let it simmer until the chicken is lovely and tender which should take about 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. When your chicken is cooked, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken Korma, pilaff rice & Naan bread

Serve with pilaff rice and naan breads, not forgetting to scatter with a handful of freshly chopped coriander. You can increase the amount of chilli to suit your own taste, I added a whole chilli as I wanted more heat to counteract the creamy coconutty flavours from the sauce. The only other change that I will be making in the future will be to reduce the amount of desiccated coconut that I add, this is simply down to own preference as I felt that the texture of sauce was just a little too grainy for me.
There's something incredibly satisfying in cooking your own curry from scratch. This might be down to knowing that you've managed to combine lots of individual ingredients to create a wonderfully spiced meal, or it could be breathing in the heady spice aromas that fill the air as you cook. Whatever it is, why not have a go at this dish over the weekend and see how you feel when you serve up this creamy spicy korma.




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