Two music graduates chronicle the culinary delights of Leeds and London and explore the height of fine dining on a limited budget.

Good food is well punk.

November 09, 2010

A Feelin' for ma Chicken Korma

Is there anything more comforting that chicken korma? Especially the lurid proper English ones you get in the worst/best establishments. The following method may seem slightly over-complex, but that's just the way I went about doing it. Feel free to cut corners, but I feel Indian cookery should be a bit of a slog.

4 Chicken Breasts
2 Medium Onions
1 tin of coconut milk
2-3 tbsp ground almonds
A handful of raisins

For the marinade:

Juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1tbsp Paprika
1tbsp Turmeric
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp plain flour
Salt & pepper

For the curry paste (makes two portions):

1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 red chillies
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cinnamon stick
Sunflower oil

First, dry-fry all the whole spice seeds (and cinnamon) until aromatic. Take care not to burn the cumin. Chop the chicken into chunks, grind the roasted seeds in a pestle and mortar, and mix the dry ingredients for the marinade. Coat the chicken with the mixture and drizzle over the lemon juice. Cover, and set aside in the fridge for at least an hour.

For the paste, first grind all the roasted spices. Peel and roughly chop the onion, garlic and ginger, and deseed he chillies. Put all the ingredients (bar the oil) in a food processor and start it going. Slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture starts to come together. Blend until smooth.

All preparation over,  slice the chicken breasts and fry in a small amount of oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole. Slice the onions fairly thickly, and add to the pan. When softened, add half the curry paste (save the rest for another time), stir and fry off for about two minutes. Add the tin of coconut milk, along with two tins of water. Throw in the raisins, bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour. Keep topping up with water if necessary, and add ground almonds to thicken if so desired.

I don't know what it was about this recipe that I got right, but something in in just tasted exactly how a korma should taste - of course, I make no claims to authenticity, but it's incredibly satisfying to "get it right". Obviously the recipe can be adapted to any meat, veg or whatever. I used the remaining curry paste to make a blended soup with some roast butternut squash. Just don't forget the naan breads!

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