Chicken Korma

Blimey, it has been a busy week.  Blogging has had to slip down the list of priorities.  Family members and several friends foolishly signed themselves up four months ago to take part in the local am-dram performance of Aladdin and this week is the week of the performances. So out of a sense of comradeship I foolishly signed up to help with doing the stage make-up.  This has been good fun and a lot of trial and error (poor old Widow Twanky) but it has meant snatched meals and quite a bit of forethought has been needed to make sure that the children and my husband haven’t felt neglected in the evening meal department.

Last night I prepared this Chicken Korma, it is an adaptation of several recipes that I read and I am not even sure if it qualifies for that name or if I should just call it Spicy Chicken.  I was really pleased with the way it turned out.  I have written before about how my curries are usually a bit disappointing and so I tend to rely on Patak’s pastes for my curries.  Whilst Patak’s do make delicious pastes, it has always frustated me that I can’t manage to make a tasty curry of my own.  Well, finally my goal has been achieved with this one.

It is great if you are busy because you can leave it to marinate, then spend a few minutes cooking the onion and tipping the marinated chicken into a pan and then leave it to cook gently until you are ready to eat.

Serves 2

4 chicken thighs, skinned and deboned
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp root ginger, finely chopped
1 red chilli, chopped finely (with seeds for heat)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
seeds from 6 cardamom pods
150g natural yoghurt

1 onion
25g ground almonds
5 fl oz (¼ pint) water

Flaked almonds, to serve


Place the cumin, cardamom and coriander seeds into a saucepan and place over a medium heat for a minute or so until their scent is released.  Grind until fine in a pestle and mortar.

Slash the chicken thighs several times with a sharp knife to allow the marinade to penetrate into the meat and place in a non-metallic bowl. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, lemon juice, spices and the yoghurt and mix well so that all is combined and the chicken is well covered.  Leave to marinate at room temperature for one hour, or all day in the fridge.

Chop the onion finely and fry in a little oil until translucent.  Tip in the chicken and the marinade and cook for a minute or so, then add the ground almonds and the water.  Bring to a simmer and simmer gently for about 45 minutes until the chicken is tender.  If you have an Aga then place it in the simmering oven and you can leave it in there simmering away until you are ready to eat.  I left mine in for three hours and then placed it back onto the simmering plate to bubble away and thicken the sauce before serving with plain rice.

To toast the flaked almonds, place them in a dry pan and toast over a medium heat for a minute or so until lightly browned.  Sprinkle over the Korma just before serving.

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Cucumber and cumin dip

This post is very much related to the one about onion bhajis.  As regular readers will know Total Yoghurt have very kindly sent me a tray of samples  with which to cook.  So far I have made scones and buckwheat pancakes and this is recipe number three, giving the yoghurt centre stage.

This dip is a bit of a twist on a cucumber raita.  It’s not the time of year for mint in my garden and last year I failed to make my usual jar of mint concentrate and I refuse to pay the price of a pot from the supermarket when I have it rampant in my garden for most of the year.  So this is a winter version of a raita, replacing the fresh herb with a spice. It was very good and suited the onion bhajis perfectly.

200g Total Greek Yoghurt
8-10cm chunk of cucumber, diced
1½ tsp cumin seed


Heat a frying pan over a medium heat until hot and add the cumin seed.  Cook for a few seconds until the smell is released.  Pour straight into a mortar and grind with the pestle to a rough powder (you still want the bite of the seed in there).

Mix the cucumber, yoghurt and cumin together and enjoy as a dip for crudites or bhajis or samosas, as a side for a curry or however you fancy eating such a delight.

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Curry Night

Curry Night

Despite endless experiments I have failed to find a recipe that beats a jar of Patak’s curry paste.  I do play around with the method though perhaps adding a chopped onion, a red pepper, a cubed and roasted aubergine, some par boiled potatoes or a few cubes of frozen spinach (not usually all in the same curry, unless there are lots of mouths to feed).  I make spiced coconut rice and chapatis to go with it.  The girls will tuck into the rice and chapati’s but have so far refused to entertain the idea of eating the curry – maybe one day soon.  Have a look at the recipes for cumin spiced chapatis and spiced coconut rice on these pages

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