Prep 1 hr 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs
"Chicken korma is a beloved Indian recipe that came from the Moghuls (the Muslim rulers of much of India from the 16th to 19th centuries). The meat is lightly browned, then simmered in yogurt and puréed almonds and cashew nuts, which give the dish its creaminess, but what makes it really special are the fragrant spices: I use whole spices and grind them together so their flavors become one in the sauce." —Hemant Mathur, chef and co-owner of Tulsi in New York City
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄4 cup blanched almond
- 1⁄4 cup raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon poppy seed
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 3⁄4 cup canola oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 inches ginger, peeled and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 3 serrano peppers, stemmed and minced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- cooked rice, for serving
- Toss chicken, minced ginger, minced garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl; marinate & chill for 1 hour.
- Puree almonds, cashews, poppy seeds, and 1/3 cup water in a blender; set nut paste aside.
- Heat 1/2 cup oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add peppercorns, fennel, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, and cinnamon; cook until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add sliced ginger, sliced garlic, and onions; cook until deeply caramelized, about 45 minutes. Purée mixture with 1/3 cup water; set onion paste aside.
- Add remaining 1/4 cup oil to pot over high heat. Add onion paste and serrano peppers; cook until oil separates, about 6 minutes. Add turmeric and paprika; cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken; cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Add nut paste and yogurt (temper the yogurt with a bit of the hot sauce before adding so it does not curdle); cook until emulsified, about 3 minutes.
- Serve with rice.