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Quick Chicken Korma

I usually make Thai curry, just because I like it a lot and so does every one else here on Forest Street. I love Indian curry too, but I’ve always filed it away under “some day” because I felt tired merely looking at the list of ingredients and the various pastes and powder that had to be prepared as a pre-requsite to making an actual dish. A couple of weeks ago, there was an article in the food section of our local paper about curry; it included recipes for making Garam Masala at home, as well as a vegetarian, a chicken and a fish curry. I picked the “Quick Chicken Korma” for starters because a) it cleverly made me believe that “quick” was the equivalent of “effortless,” and because b) it was Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe, and if she doesn’t know from curry, who does?

It was not “effortless,” but it was very, very good, made the house smell wonderful, and was scarfed up enthusiastically by fans of all ages. I served it over Basmati rice (which adds to the good smells in the house) and added a dollop of chutney to my own serving. (Chutney, owing to the involvement of fairly slimy blobs of mango, is not popular with the less adventurous of my regular dining companions). Kormas are fairly mild curries originally from Northern India, and the mildness of this version makes it a particularly good choice if you are feeding children, spice-phobics or those who believe that Chop Suey is foreign cuisine.

Quick Chicken Korma

(Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking)

  1. 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  2. 5-6 cloves garlic peeled and coarsely chopped (I just smashed mine, since they are going into the blender anyway)
  3. 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons water, divided
  4. 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  5. 3 bay leaves
  6. 2-inch stick cinnamon
  7. 8 cardamom pods (I actually used ground cardamom because I had a brand new bottle and the pods are pretty expensive)
  8. 4 whole cloves
  9. 1/4 teaspoon whole black or regular cumin seeds
  10. 1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
  11. 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
  12. 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  13. 3 canned plum tomatoes, chopped
  14. 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken pieces cut into small chunks
  15. 1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
  16. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  17. 3 tablespoons heavy cream

-In a blender, puree the ginger, garlic and 3 tablespoons water until they form a smooth paste.

-In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves and whole cumin seeds. Stir, then add the onions. Sautee 3 minutes, or until the onion browns.

-Transfer the paste from the blender to the skillet. Add the ground coriander and ground cumin, then sautee for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute 1 more minute.

-Add the chicken, cayenne, salt and remaining 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil.

-Cover, reduce to medium heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes, occasionally stirring the chicken pieces.

-Remove the cover, add the cream, and cook on high, stirring occasionally, another 7-8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the cardamom pods, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cloves. (Finding the cloves will prove harder than you might imagine). Serve over rice.


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

5 responses »

  1. that right there sounds GREAT
    i can imagine the smell
    i gotta make some indian soon
    i have never ever done it…

    and i love chutney – that mango stuff is heaven
    great on leftover chicken sandwiches too

    see? you can cook with no springy stuff laying around!

  2. claudia, go for it. Its actually kind of fun to watch all of the disparate ingredients come together into something heavenly. Next time, though, I’m going to do a curry where you grind spices first; I have a perfectly good mortar and pestle I’ve never used. I like chutney on turkey or chicken sandwiches, too. I’d like to try making that some time. As for the lack of fresh things, you are correct as always, but I won’t mind when I can curry some fresh cauliflower or heirloom potatoes….

  3. I love curry! I’m a big fan of chicken tikka jalfrezi. Yummy! Coriander, curry, and chili powder make me happy.

    I posted about spicy stuff today, too. I asked if anyone had any great spicy food stories to share– the best story gets a prize — but there were no takers. 😦
    I guess I’m the only one.


  4. Lacy, I read your post and I was going to add my story (my husband’s, actually” about daring a Thai cook to make something “as spicy as he could” and then watching him eat it with tears streaming down his face. I think he’d like your salsa, and I think we’re going to find out this summer when I brave canning.

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