Chicken Korma

The basis of this tasty Chicken Korma is Felicity Cloake’s recipe. It is rich, indulgent and fragrant. The korma has no chilli, and no turmeric, so it can be a good option for the people who can’t take the heat of Indian food.
The sauce is a based on a combination of yoghurt, double cream and blended cashew nuts. The sultanas are a bit of a throwback to 70’s curries of my childhood. If you hate them, leave them out.
The rose water and addition of crushed black cardamom seeds at the end really lift the fragrance of the dish. Rose water strength varies a lot so you must taste and adjust the quantities to your preference and taking into account the strength of your rose water.
I serve the korma with plain basmati rice. Plain rice is a good contrast to the fragrant dish.
If when cooking the sauce it gets too thick/dry or gets too hot, just add a splash of water to keep the consistency right and avoid burning.
I’d say this quantity would do two people.

Ingredients

  • 250ml plain, full-fat yoghurt, not the “Greek Style”, it’s too creamy
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, or a couple of chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 50g cashew nuts
  • 70g of butter, clarified
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (5cm long)
  • 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 25g sultanas
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Seeds of 1 black cardamom pod, crushed in a mortar and pestle

Method

  1. Cut up the chicken to medium pieces and put it in the yoghurt to marinade for a few hours in the fridge.
  2. Put the cashew nuts in a jug and add 75ml of warm water to soak
  3. Warm the cream gently, but don’t boil
  4. When warm add the saffron threads (which I break lightly) and the rosewater and leave to the side to infuse the flavours
  5. Using a medium pot heat the oil add the cinnamon sticks and green cardamoms and fry for a minute or so
  6. Pick the chicken pieces out of the marinade and fry gently for a couple of minutes until they slightly brown. You don’t need to fully cook the chicken at this stage as you will finish it in the sauce. Keep the yoghurt marinade.
  7. Take the chicken out to a side plate while you prepare the sauce.
  8. Add the onion and fry off gently for 10 minutes or so till it is soft
  9. While the onions cook, blend the cashew nuts and water to a paste in a blender, or mortar and pestle. I usually use my stick blender in a jug and it works fine.
  10. Add the garlic, ginger, sultanas and nutmeg to the onions and cook off for a minute or so
  11. Now add the cashew paste, the remaining yoghurt marinade, salt and sugar.
  12. Add the chicken back to the pot and bring to the gentlest simmer. Simmer for as long as you need to cook the chicken, probably 10-15 minutes. Don’t cook too long or the chicken will dry out.
  13. When ready add the infused cream and gently reheat to simmering point.
  14. Taste for seasoning. If necessary add salt, and if it’s needed add a teaspoon of rosewater for extra fragrance.
  15. Stir in the crushed black cardamom seeds and serve the korma with plain rice.

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