Chicken korma is one of those classic Indian dishes that everyone loves. The only problem: usually that is a westernised version, which tastes quite different from the real thing. Luckily the real thing is also very delicious! I served it with carrot rice on the side, you can make this by cooking rice and adding grated carrot and some raisins when cooked. This gives the rice a lovely sweet taste that works great with this curry. Some toasted slivered almonds on top would also be delicious, but I ran out of those. I also served a cucumber salad as a side dish, to refresh the palate.
The original recipe asked for a whole chicken jointed in 8 pieces, or 8 chicken pieces (like thighs or drumsticks) on the bone. I used chicken thigh without bone because it was what I had available, and I cut it up in large cubes because whole boneless thighs tend to cook quite uneven. It worked perfectly.
Chicken Korma (serves 4-6)
From Rick Stein’s India
1,5 kg chicken pieces, without skin
125 g fresh or frozen (not dried) coconut flesh, chopped or grated
50 g blanched almonds, chopped
5 tsp white poppy seeds
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
50 g ghee or vegetable oil
6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
3 cm piece of cinnamon stick
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder, like Kashmiri
200 ml water
125 ml thick greek yoghurt mixed with 125 ml water
3 black cardamom pods, seeds only, finely ground
2 tbsp raisins, soaked
Blend coconut, almonds and poppy seeds togheter in a food processor to make the coconut paste. Add enough hot water to give it a smooth texture.
Blend the onion to a paste with a splash of water. Heat the ghee in a large pan over medium heat, add clove, green cardamom and cinnamon and fry for 30 seconds. Add the onion paste and salt and fry for about 10 minutes till dry, soft and translucent, but not brown.
Add chilli powder and chicken pieces and fry for 10 minutes to brown slightly. Add the water and the coconut paste and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the yoghurt mixture and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, adding a little water when it becomes too sticky, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is thick and rich (it will look curdled, that is how it is supposed to be).
Stir in the ground black cardamom, sprinkle with raisins and serve.