Padma Lakshmi's Chicken Korma

"Don't be put off by the number of ingredients in this lovely korma (and quite different from other kormas posted) from Padma Lakshmi's "Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet." Most of them require little preparation, although this is definitely a time when you will want to assemble all ingredients ahead of time to ease preparation. All of the spices can be found at Indian markets or spice markets. The tamarind pulp can be purchased in compressed bricks at ethnic markets; Lakshmi prefers Thai tamarind as it tends to be less dry. Serve the stew on a bed of plain basmati rice. By way of the Chicago Tribune. A lot of the prep can be done while the chicken is marinating, thus shortening the total cooking time."
photo by breezermom photo by breezermom
photo by breezermom
photo by Chef floWer photo by Chef floWer
Ready In:
1hr 30mins




  • Combine the chicken and vinegar in a large bowl; cover; refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Place tamarind in a small bowl; cover with boiling water; let stand 20 minutes.
  • Combine the green cardamom seeds, cloves, star anise and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder; grind until combined.
  • Mix the ground spices into the tamarind gravy; set aside.
  • Combine the tomatoes and half-and-half in a food processor or blender; puree; set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a deep, heavy skillet over medium heat; stir in the red chilies, black cardamom and cinnamon stick and cook 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, shallots, cashews and ginger; cook, stirring, 6-8 minutes.
  • Add the reserved tamarind and ground-spice mixture; cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
  • Add the reserved tomato mixture; turn heat to medium-low.
  • Stir in the garam masala; cook, until mixture thickens, about 15-20 minutes. Season with the salt.
  • Add the chicken; cook, stirring, 7 minutes.
  • Note: When soaking the tamarind, push down on the pulp with the back of a spoon; the tamarind will begin to break down; after soaking time is over, break up the tamarind with fingers or a spoon, then push the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Excellent! Just the right amount of heat. Loved the vibrant red color too. I served mine over rice. Thanks for sharing! Made for ZWT8.
  2. I thought this was excellent. The only substitution I made was to use tomato puree instead of pureeing fresh tomatoes. The tamarind paste gravy with the ground spices really put this "over the top". Thanks for sharing Chef Kate.
  3. Does anyone get 5 stars! I followed this recipe and while it was not too difficult but still forgot the cashews at the start,the taste at the end was absolutely delicious,proper korma!
  4. DH made this chicken korma for myself and a friend that we had over for dinner. As another reviwer said, while the list of ingredients is long, the prep is not very difficult or labor-intesive. We made no modifications to the directions and served over basmati rice. All three of us agreed that while there are lots of spices included in this dish, we found it to be a little bland and not spicy enough for our tastes. While already served, we each added crushed red pepper flakes to our individual portions to help give it some more heat. I might add crushed red pepper flakes while making the dish in addition to the 3-4 hot dried red chili peppers if I were to make this again. Thanks.
  5. aweeeeeeeeeeeeeeesome


  1. I thought this was excellent. The only substitution I made was to use tomato puree instead of pureeing fresh tomatoes. The tamarind paste gravy with the ground spices really put this "over the top". Thanks for sharing Chef Kate.
  2. WOW what an excellent curry, this Korma did have a long list of ingredients and did take time to prepare/cook but the results are excellent! I had to make few adjustments, example: I used the green cardamom pods because I didn't have black ones, instead of using plum tomatoes I used tomatoes puree (This also cut out on using the food processor) and I used almond meal instead of crushing cashews. I like the fact I didn't have to brown the chicken in oil and by adding the chicken raw it kept it so tender. Thank you Chef Kate for another wonderful recipe.


<p>I have always loved to cook. When I was little, I cooked with my Grandmother who had endless patience and extraordinary skill as a baker. And I cooked with my Mother, who had a set repertoire, but taught me many basics. Then I spent a summer with a French cousin who opened up a whole new world of cooking. And I grew up in New York City, which meant that I was surrounded by all varieties of wonderful food, from great bagels and white fish to all the wonders of Chinatown and Little Italy, from German to Spanish to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Cuban, not to mention Cuban-Chinese. And my parents loved good food, so I grew up eating things like roasted peppers, anchovies, cheeses, charcuterie, as well as burgers and the like. In my own cooking I try to use organics as much as possible; I never use canned soup or cake mix and, other than a cheese steak if I'm in Philly or pizza by the slice in New York, I don't eat fast food. So, while I think I eat and cook just about everything, I do have friends who think I'm picky--just because the only thing I've ever had from McDonald's is a diet Coke (and maybe a frie or two). I have collected literally hundreds of recipes, clipped from the Times or magazines, copied down from friends, cajoled out of restaurant chefs. Little by little, I am pulling out the ones I've made and loved and posting them here. Maybe someday, every drawer in my apartment won't crammed with recipes. (Of course, I'll always have those shelves crammed with cookbooks.) I'm still amazed and delighted by the friendliness and the incredible knowledge of the people here. 'Zaar has been a wonderful discovery for me.</p>
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