Golden chicken korma

Golden chicken korma

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

A lovely dish, creamy and nutty with the clear flavours of whole spices. Korma was not always a Friday night special. It started life in palaces and was eaten by kings, so while I’ve added turmeric here, I prefer to give this dish the respect it deserves and use a good pinch of saffron (infuse it in 2 tbsp hot milk as you cook, and add it at the end), though the budget can’t always stretch to that! If you’re feeling flush, finish with a little edible gold leaf on top.The white poppy seeds are one of those secret ingredients that will make your korma special.

For the korma


Quantity Ingredient
25g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
5 fat garlic cloves
40g cashew nuts
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
7.5cm cinnamon stick
6 cloves
2 blades mace
10 green cardamom pods
10 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
600g chicken, skinned and jointed
160g plain yogurt
1 rounded teaspoon ground coriander
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
salt, to taste
3 tablespoons ground almonds
4 tablespoons double cream
1 tablespoon white poppy seeds, (optional but special)
30-40g block creamed coconut
or 2-3 tablespoons coconut cream
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
choose from quartered dried figs, raisins, toasted flaked almonds, roasted cashews, hazelnuts or pistachios, saffron, fried fresh root ginger julienne, edible gold leaf


  1. Blend the ginger and garlic with a little water to help make a smooth paste. Separately blend the cashew nuts with enough water to cover, to make another smooth paste. Set both aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, wide non-stick saucepan. Add the whole spices and bay leaves and allow to sizzle for 10–20 seconds. Add the onion and cook gently until really soft but not coloured. Add the ginger-garlic paste and continue to cook until the liquid has dried up and the garlic smells cooked and is lightly golden.
  3. Add the chicken, yogurt, coriander, turmeric and salt. Cook, stirring and folding the chicken in the yogurt constantly, until it comes to a boil. Then continue cooking until the yogurt has been absorbed by the chicken. Add enough water to come halfway up the chicken, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook gently for 20–30 minutes, giving the pot an occasional stir. The chicken should be nearly done.
  4. Check the pot after 20 minutes and, if there is a lot of liquid, finish cooking the chicken over a high heat, uncovered so the excess cooks off. The sauce should be creamy.
  5. Once the chicken is done, add the ground almonds, cashew nut paste, cream, poppy seeds and coconut. Simmer for five minutes, or until the sauce has the right creamy consistency. Add lemon juice to taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve topped with any one - or even several - of the options given, to finish the dish.
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