Quite unlike the blazing red chicken curry which is synonymous to Indian cuisine, the Korma is mellow but regal and very much an Indian chicken curry too; rich, creamy, nutty it is redolent of aromatic spices with an exotic taste that is going to take you by surprise. The dish is not bold or fiery, but subtle, calm and rich with all its creamy goodness and full burst of flavors, with little bites of nuts and raisins. Do not be deceived by the pale looks, for there is definitely a lot more to its taste and flavors.
I hope everyone had a wonderful time. All the anticipation and excitement have been replaced by a sudden calm. We will have to wait for another year for all the joyful jingle of Christmas now.At home front we are relishing some quiet times just among just the four of us. We have been needing and desiring this time for a long time now. Another year, school and work is right around the corner, but none of us are thinking about those yet
Updated January 6, 2011: The giveaway is now closed!
I had promised to giveaway Ivy’s Cookbook - “Mint, Cinnamon and Blossom Water” in an earlier post. Her book is here!!
One lucky reader is going to win this book. All you have to do is to leave a comment in this post. Spread the word in FB, Twitter and other social media and leave a comment here. I will pick a winner using the random number generator. You not need to have a blog to win this book. Make sure you leave a valid email address where I can reach you. The giveaway ends on January 5, 2011. You have one whole week…
The Chicken Korma is also known as the Mughlai Chicken. Influences on Indian food can be traced back with the waves of invasions the country went though in the past. The Aryans, Greeks, Mongols, Persians, Turks, Portuguese, French, British and as well as Chinese people invaded India and brought in their bits of food and technique with them, which were slowly absorbed and combined with the original cuisine of India.
The concept of Korma/Qorma holds its roots in the Mughlai cuisine; the richness of the dish is contributed by the nut paste and cream and saffron. “The korma style is similar to all other braising techniques in that the meat or vegetable is first cooked briskly or seared using a high heat and then subjected to long, slow cooking using moist heat and a minimum of added liquid. The pot may be sealed with dough during the last stages of cooking.” (Wiki).
The spices and the kinds of nuts used may vary regionally or from home to home. The northern states will use almonds and dry fruits in the dish, while the southern states might go for cashew and coconut. Sometimes a combination of both almond and cashew are used. Mawa/Khoya/almost solid thickened milk may be used along with the cream to make it far more rich and creamy than I have done it here.
- The recipe here today is mine, the way I make it at home. I am not claiming this to be an authentic Mughlai traditional recipe. Compared to the very traditional, I would say my recipe is the one in moderation. The ingredients I have used here are pretty much the usual ones used for Korma. I like to add raisins as much as I like it spiced up hot with a lot of green peppers. Both raisins and peppers are optional, but I feel the sweet balances the spicy really well. Some recipes use a white poppy seed paste which is usually added when the nut paste is added, but today I have not used the poppy seed paste. Do keep in mind the use of ghee is essential for the flavors of this dish.
- Whatever way it is done, with all the exotic spices, cream, yogurt and nuts that are used here, it is a dish elegant enough to be served at a King’s table!
- Chicken Korma – chicken in a creamy, nutty sauce
- 1.5 lbs chicken – preferably breasts, skinless, with/or without bones – cut into pieces/bite size pieces if using boneless breasts
- 1/2 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons
- a pinch of sugar
- For marinade:
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 cup strained yogurt/Greek yogurt
- For the Sauce/Gravy:
- 2 tablespoons ghee (use butter/oil if ghee is not available) + 3 tablespoons ghee (use butter/oil if ghee is not available)
- 8-10 small green cardamom pods
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 5 cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon mace
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 medium sized onions, sliced
- 6-8 green hot chili pepper (or adjust amount to taste)
- 2 tablespoons ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1/4 cup almond flour or 2-3 tablespoons almond paste (the nuts soaked, peeled and made into a paste)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 teaspoon white pepper powder
- a generous pinch of saffron
- 1-2 tablespoons golden raisins (optional)
- 3/4 cup strained yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- sliced almonds to garnish