I am often asked if it is possible to create curry house style curries without a base curry sauce. It is but where you save time in not having to make the base sauce, you normally make it up on the other side by needing to make an authentic Indian base masala.
So you do have to fry some onions to make this quick and easy chicken korma but it’s all very easy. This chicken korma is a lighter version of the creamy kormas you find at most restaurants. I like to make it quite spicy with lots of fresh chilies but kormas are usually mild. I’ll leave that one to you.
I’ve simplified this recipe a little to make it easier for the home cook but the recipe still works very well. It is important to cut the chicken breast pieces at an angle as shown. It cooks faster and remain really tender. The korma is made yellow with the use of turmeric. Turmeric is a strong spice and I often leave it out of my kormas.
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- 4 chicken breasts - cut as pictured
- 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
- 20 curry leaves (optional)
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 white onions finely chopped
- 1 small fresh green chilli (or more to taste) finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
- 2 tablespoons carrot paste
- 200ml thick coconut milk
- 50g block cream coconut - chopped
- 4 tablespoons plain yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- Chopped coriander to garnish
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan over high heat.
- When hot, add the curry leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon and the cloves. If you are not a fan of biting into whole spices, be sure to count them in and then count them back out again at the end of cooking.
- Temper the whole spices in the oil for about 40 seconds and then add the finely chopped onion and stir to combine.
- The onion will soften and begin to turn translucent. When this happens, add the fresh chili, garlic and carrot paste and turmeric if using and stir to combine.
- Add the sliced chicken pieces and coat the meat in the oil/ghee mixture.
- Mix it all up and then add the bay leaves followed by just enough water to cover the meat.
- Place a lid over the curry and allow it to simmer away nicely for about ten minutes.
- After ten minutes, check your chicken korma. The water should have reduced by about half.
- Stir in the coconut milk and block coconut and stir to combine. This will leave you with a somewhat thick curry sauce. You may want to add just a bit of water though this korma is served quite dry as you will see from the photograph.
- Add the yoghurt one tablespoon at a time while stirring. If you add the yoghurt too fast it may curdle so do it slowly.
- Cover the curry again and let it simmer down to your preferred thickness. Another five minutes or so should be just right.
- Add the sugar (if using) and salt and pepper to taste.
- Just before serving, pour in the rose water and sprinkle with the garam masala and the chopped coriander.
I use the block coconut and thick coconut milk supplied by Cocofina. These products are the best I’ve found. Cocofina is a sponsor of my blog. You can find more information about them and their products here.