Chicken korma recipe – from scratch

This time of year really is the nicest when it comes to trying out comforting new recipes. Now that it’s so lovely and autumnal, and the clocks going back means long cosy evenings at home, I’ve been on the hunt for some new winter warmers. On that front, you can’t do much better than a good old curry. It may sound unadventurous, but I do love a chicken korma. I order it every time we go to our favourite curry house. Every time. Seriously, it’s got to the point where I don’t even have to tell the waiter my order anymore. So I decided to have a go at making one from scratch, and I found this recipe on a website called The Wanderlust Kitchen. I’ve changed the order of the steps slightly based on my experience of making the recipe.

The first thing to say about it is: don’t be put off by the massive ingredients list. It’s mostly spices, and once you’ve got them in your cupboard you don’t need an awful lot else. Secondly, this recipe makes enough sauce to stretch to three meals for two people, so you can freeze two portions and all you have to do the next two times is add the chicken and boil some rice.

You will need

For the marinade

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 2 white onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 a small red chili, de-seeded and minced (dried or fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Step 1

The first thing I did was measure out all the spices; I like to have everything ready in advance, as it makes the actual cooking process easier. I did this in two bowls – one for the marinade and one for the sauce. It was strangely relaxing! I also measured out the other dry ingredients into the same bowls – so the ground almonds, brown sugar, salt and pepper.


Step 2

The next step is to cover the chicken in the oil and rub in the pre-measured marinade spices. Then cover it and leave it for at least a couple of hours, if not all night.


Step 3

Prepare the other ingredients. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces like this, finely chop the chili and grate the ginger.


Step 4

Cut the onion into chunks and blend until smooth in a blender, along with the garlic and a cup of water. Then heat olive oil in a pan and add the onion mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture darkens a bit.


Step 5

Add the rest of the sauce ingredients: tomatoes, ginger, yogurt, coconut milk, ground almonds, chili, spices and brown sugar. Keep stirring. Turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer for half an hour.


Step 6

While that’s simmering away, grill the chicken until it’s cooked through.


Step 7

After the sauce has simmered for half an hour, add the chicken and let it simmer for another quarter of an hour. In the meantime, boil the rice and heat the naan bread.


Step 8

Serve! I cheated and bought the naan you can see in this picture, but I subsequently had a go at making it. I haven’t included the naan recipe here, because I think I need to hone it some more before sharing it with you. Anyway, as with a lot of winter comfort food, it’s not the most visually appealing of meals, but it tastes delicious, and it was more spicy than I’m used to with a korma.


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