Chicken Korma (Curry)

"A variation on Indian curry, but using yoghurt instead of coconut milk. A deliciously spicy (but not hot- unless you want it to be) dish. One of my favorite Paki dishes as taught to me by the owner of a Pakistani restaurant. Serve with Roti and maybe a side of cucumber yoghurt. This recipe takes a while, has a lot of ingredients and steps, and bennefits from mis-en-place- but it's WORTH IT!"
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  • Prepare items / mis-en-place before beginning to prepare the dish. Timing is everything and you'll have a much more enjoyable time and product if you prep items beforehand!
  • Slice onion in EVEN 1/8" slices (rings). It's very important to cut them evenly so they cook properly.
  • Mash 5 garlic cloves (traditionally in a mortar and pestle).
  • Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes (can use any meat or vegetable such as eggplant).
  • In a Med-Large pot, preferably heavy with a slightly rounded bottom, add the 1 cup of oil (suggest: ½ Vegetable, ½ Olive).
  • Heat for a minute or so and then add the sliced onions.
  • Stir occasionally until onions brown (5-10 mins) but do not burn. Adjust heat down towards the end of the cooking process. Onions need to be a dark shade of brown and almost crispy. When ready, remove the onions and place to the side leaving the oil in the pan.
  • Add 15 whole coriander seeds and 7 whole cloves to the oil. Stir and let sit for about 45 seconds.
  • Add the cubed chicken. Stir meat until the outer skin appears to be cooked.
  • Add 8oz of plain yogurt to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • In the meantime, add the browned onions to the mortar and pestle and turn into paste.
  • Keep cooking until meat is done and oil/yogurt coagulates and separates (5-10 mins).
  • Add the garlic paste and stir.
  • Add spices: ¾ Tablespoon ground coriander, ¼ Tablespoon of ground black pepper, 1 Tablespoon of garam masala, ¼ Tablespoon of turmeric, ½ Tablespoon of salt (or more to taste).
  • If needed, add a few tablespoons of water to deglaze pan and help prevent sticking.
  • Add the onion paste to the pot and mix to combine.
  • Add 1 Tablespoon of ground red chili pepper (less for less hot, more if you like it hotter).
  • Mix together and add small amounts of water gradually to make a pasty sauce. Lower heat.
  • Add a pinch of ground green cardamom and a small pinch of finger-crushed saffron.
  • Add ¼ tablespoon of Kewra Essence (Optional - This concentrated oil is made from pandanus flowers, and it's used to flavor meats, desserts, and beverages in India).
  • Add half of the cilantro to the pot and take it off the heat. Plate the Korma and top/garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Violet F.
    This recipe was very tasty but the yogurt separated and so it was not very attractive at all. It might be worth tempering the yogurt by adding flour or cornstarch next time.
  2. Zahrhasn
    This is the best chicken korma recipe and my whole family loved it.,
  3. Mia in Germany
    You're definitely right, this recipe is worth the many steps and ingredients! If you prepare well, it's quite easy to do, and the smell alone is worth the trouble :D I had no kewra essence but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter, and it was fantastic. Thanks for posting this, I'll surely make it again! Made for PAC fall 2009


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