recipe: creamy chicken korma

Let me start this by saying that of all the things I have made these past few months, I am probably the most proud of this one. It hasn’t been my favourite (I’m still loving Nigella’s Spanish chicken), but don’t worry, it is delicious. I’m just so proud of the fact that I made a curry FROM SCRATCH. That’s right, no curry from a jar for this domestic goddess. I got this recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly 1000 Best Ever Recipes book that one of my lovely aunties bought me for Christmas a few years ago. I’m proud to present, Creamy Chicken Korma.

Serves 4
1/4 cup (35g) unsalted cashews
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
500g yogurt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2cm piece fresh ginger (10g), grated
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1kg chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3cm pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium brown onions (300g), slice thinly
2 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon black cumin seeds
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup (15g) flaked coconut
1/3 cup (50g) unsalted cashews, extra
2 teaspoons kalonji seeds
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves

 Process nuts and sesame seeds until ground finely. Combine nut mixture with yogurt, garlic, ginger, chilli and turmeric in large bowl; add chicken, toss to coat in marinade. Cover; refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
2. Heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion, stirring, until soft. Add chicken mixture. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Using mortar and pestle, crush cardamom, cloves and cumin seeds.
4. Add spice mixture, cinnamon and juice to chicken mixture; cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, cook coconut and extra nuts in small frying pan, stirring, until browned lightly. Remove from heat; stir in kalonji seeds.
6. Discard cinnamon from curry; serve curry, sprinkled with coconut mixture and coriander, accompanied by steamed basmati rice, if you like.

I didn’t change much in the recipe (I used normal cumin seeds because I couldn’t find black ones and added in some carrot so there was some veg), but I did leave out something, and that was the coconut mixture made up of flaked coconut, kalonji seeds and unsalted cashews. I couldn’t find kalonji seeds anywhere  and had no luck even figuring out what they were online (just found a seed used in Indian cooking), so in light of that, I just didn’t make the coconut mixture to sprinkle on top of the curry.

This is how it turned out:

Before you start by saying “that’s a ridiculously small portion”, I wasn’t super hungry so I thought I’d take it slow (and I went back for more). I was stoked with my efforts of making a curry from scratch and there was quite a bit left over. A heads up for if you want to make this, preparing chicken thigh fillets can be horrible and it is by no means a quick task, so leave yourself enough time to do it. One of the things I love about this recipe and while it has lots of ingredients, with the chicken marinading for hours, when it comes time to cook dinner, it’s pretty easy. Next time though, I think I’ll just use chicken breast.


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