I absolutely love Indian food. I think I could give up all other foods forever if I had an unending supply of chicken korma. Heck, leave out the chicken! Just give me a stack of Naan bread and a big vat of the sauce that chicken korma comes with and I would be a very happy girl. A girl who is the spitting image of Jabba the Hut, but a very happy girl nonetheless.
Korma can be made in several different ways, but I just purchased Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking and was eager to give her quick version a whirl. I adapted it slightly to fit the tools and ingredients I had available, and to lower the fat just a touch. I also reduced the whole spices a bit because they were a little too strong for me. As a matter of fact, I thought this tasted much better the next day. The spices had incorporated and mellowed out a lot.
Quick Chicken Korma (Murgh Korma)
(adapted slightly from Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking
1 1/2 piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed*
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 dried bay leaves
2-inch stick cinnamon
6 cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon black cumin seeds (or ordinary cumin seeds)
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 canned plum tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons 2% greek style yogurt
Mash the ginger, garlic, and 3 tablespoons water with a mortar and pestle until it is relatively smooth and incorporated. Put oil in a wide saute pan over high heat. When it starts to smoke, put in the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves and cumin seeds. Stir once or twice and put in the onion. Stir and fry for about 3 minutes or until the onion starts to brown. Put in the garlic/ginger paste, and the ground coriander and ground cumin and fry for a minute. Put in the chopped tomatoes and fry for another minute. Put in the chicken, cayenne, salt and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover, add the cream and yogurt, and cook on high while stirring gently for another 7 to 8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened
I served it over rice and the verdict was highly favorable. I am going to tweak it further next time so it is more diet friendly and so that the spices suit my palate a little more. I'm sure that all the korma I've had in Indian restaurants is made differently and with a ton more fat, but I am going to keep trying until I have a reasonable facsimile that keeps me from running to the nearest Indian restaurant, spending too much money and eating way way too much in one sitting.
* I just bought this garlic press and it rules! You don't even need to peel the cloves first.