Chicken Korma is one of those quintessentials on every UK curry houses’ menu. Now don’t give me that look, yes in the UK curry houses are super popular. From big cities to the tiniest of towns and villages, you’ll always find a curry house. Britons love their curry. But then you ask me what’s on their menu, a Tikka Masala, a Korma, a Jalfrezi or a Madras. And while I do love a Tikka Masala, a coconut chicken korma is one of my absolute favourites. Turns out this dish is big in India too.
This curry is perfect for someone who isn’t big on spice, however is big on flavour. There are many versions of the Korma, but this coconut chicken korma has such great flavour combinations. Poppy seeds, cashews and coconut blended into a smooth paste bring that nuttiness and adds so much earthiness to the curry, making it thick and lip-smackingly good.
If you wanted you could make your own version. Don’t like poppy seeds or don’t have them in your kitchen, just skip and use only cashews and coconuts. You could replace all these ingredients with yogurt. It will add a nice acidity to the curry and will give you a good consistency. Remember to whip into a smooth paste and use room temperature yogurt to avoid lumps.
Make it vegetarian by adding vegetables of your choice. Cauliflower florets, sliced carrots, potatoes, green beans and green peas work like a dream! If you use these vegetables instead of chicken and stick to my recipe below, it turns into a lovely Vegan Coconut Vegetable Korma. A korma goes really well with a peas pulao and some cucumber raita. Or if you’re like me, then you’ll enjoy this lovely coconut chicken korma with warm rotis or parathas and a cucumber coriander raita.
|Prep Time||10 mins|
|Cook Time||30 mins|
- 650 gm chicken on the bone I used boneless chicken thighs, cut into medium pieces
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 2-3 green cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium onions finely sliced
- 2 Green Chillies slit
- 1/2 inch Ginger peeled and grated
- 5-6 pods garlic peeled and grated
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 medium tomato pureed
- Salt to taste
- coriander to garnish
- 1 tbsp white poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp cashew nuts
- 2 tbsp fresh coconut If using desiccated coconut, steep the coconut in warm water for 10 minutes
For the paste
- Start by making the paste first. Soak cashew nuts and poppy seeds in warm water so they are filly immersed for about half an hour. Grind the soaked cashews and poppy seeds along with the coconut in a blender to form a smooth paste. You may need to add a couple of teaspoons of water to make the paste smooth.
- Take a large kadhai or heavy bottomed pan, heat oil on a medium flame. Once hot, add in the cinnamon stick, green cardamom pods and bay leaves. Roast until aromatic for about half a minute.
- Now, in go the sliced onions, grated ginger and grated garlic along with the green chillies and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions turn soft and translucent.
- Add the chicken, chilli powder and turmeric powder and the pureed tomato. Coat the chicken with the tomatoey onions and spices and cook for a good 5-7 minutes.
- Add water, season well and cover with lid to cook for a good 20 minutes, before checking the chicken for doneness.
- Take the lid off, now add the ground cashew, poppy seeds and coconut paste. Stir well and cook for another 5-7 minutes with the lid on. Bring to a simmer.
- Take off heat, garnish generously with coriander leaves and serve hot along side parathas or wholewheat rotis.