Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Is a Korma boring? Would you laugh at me if I had a Korma?

The title is from the wonderful, incomparable Gavin & Stacey which, with its story lines about an English/Welsh couple sometimes struck very, very close to this home.

But yes, a Korma does usually have boring connotations.  Right up there, in my Book Of Curry, with the obligatory omelette and chicken & chips that curry houses would have for the non-curry consumers that for some reason ended up in an Indian restaurant.  The mass-produced Kormas that I have been unfortunate enough to experience have been bland and creamy, and utterly pointless.  For this reason I've never made one.  Why would I, when there is a wonderful world of Jalfrezis, Dopiazas and, my absolute all-time favourite, Lamb & Spinach Karahi, to explore?

Until the day comes when, faced with a load of leftover roast chicken, cream in need of using up, a familiar craving for curry to deal with and a bell ringing in the back of your mind that you have heard wonderful things about the Korma from the Hairy Dieters book.  Ach, why not, what's the worst that could happen?

So, this really took us by surprise.  I ramped up the chilli powder to the max recommended by the Bikers, and possibly even added a bit more for luck.  It tasted - and I mean this in the best possible way - like a cross between a boring Korma and a chip shop curry.  It was really lovely.  Still not mega spicy, so wouldn't work on those nights when you really want to be blasted to kingdom come, but definitely spicy enough to quell the craving.  And as a bonus, it uses much less cream than a regular Korma, and so, if you were the sort of person who is inclined to give cream a wide berth, it would suit; although you would never guess, not in a million years, that it came from a diet book.  Yes, it is yet another recipe to use up leftovers, but sometimes I feel that's where recipes can be the most useful.  

So, please don't laugh at me for having this Korma.  It's definitely not boring.

Non-Boring Chicken Korma

300g cooked chicken
1 tablespoon flavourless oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated
6 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
0.5 tablespoon ground cumin
0.5 tablespoon ground coriander
0.25 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
0.5 tablespoon plain flour
1 teaspoon sugar
150ml cold water
3 tablespoons cream

In a non-stick pan, gently heat the oil then fry the onions, garlic, and ginger.  Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the cardamom, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli, bay leaf and cloves.  Cook for 5 minutes, and keep on stirring occasionally.

Stir in the flour, salt and sugar, making sure everything is evenly coated with the flour.  Gradually, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, stir in the water, to make a smooth sauce.  Bring to a simmer and cook, gently, for 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and blitz in a food processor, blender, or with an immersion stick blender, until everything is smooth, thick and fragrant.

Return the sauce to the pan over a medium heat, and stir in the cream.  Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is piping hot all the way through - about 10 minutes.

Served with steamed rice.

Serves 2


  1. Haha! I have never made korma either! I think I shall try your recipe! Wouldn't want boring korma, after all! And maybe some fried cauliflower to go with that rice!

  2. I love hot spicy food, but funny enough I love a korma too - room for both I think, especially a good one. I have some left over chicken, might be korma tomorrow me thinks.

  3. Nothing you cook could ever be described as boring. I know I'll be trying out this one.