Chicken Korma

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Chicken KormaI wanted to cook something for St David’s Day as I was born in Wales and spend a lot of time working there or seeing family. Unfortunately, I wasn’t at all prepared and in the end didn’t get round to making a traditional Welsh dish. However, the Welsh love curries (as a lot of other countries do), so I thought I’d make a curry! Somebody once suggested that I should try a vindaloo when I said I wanted a hot curry. Yikes! What a curry that was – I’ve never eaten it since!

The Welsh love having curry ‘half and half’.  When an English guy was asked if he wanted ‘half and half’ with his curry he didn’t know what they were talking about. Didn’t he know that it’s curry, rice and chips? You have half rice and half chips with the curry. So this is a very famous Welsh delicacy!

Korma is an Indian dish which can be traced back to the 16th century.  It is defined as a dish where meat or vegetables are braised with water, stock, and yogurt.  It also includes a mixture of spices, including ground coriander and cumin, combined with yogurt kept below curdling temperature and incorporated slowly and carefully with the meat juices.  Traditionally, this would have been carried out in a pot set over a very low fire.

As a Korma curry is not very hot, unlike other types, you may want to add a little red chilli to the onions as they are cooking (or if you would prefer a milder taste omit the chilli – but not the chilli powder included in the paste).


Chicken Korma
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch saffron threads (about 5 threads)
  • Quarter to half a piece of ginger - grated
  • Half teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • Half teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Half to one teaspoon chilli powder
  • Seeds from 3 cardamon pods
  • 100g unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 150ml natural yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 chicken breads
  • 6 chicken thighs with skin
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli (finely sliced). Omit if you don't want to add any hotness to the dish.
  • 50g blanched whole almonds
  • Creme fraiche to serve
  • Fresh coriander leaves to serve
  1. Put the saffron in a bowl with 400ml of boiling water and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Either remove the strands with a spoon or strain through a sieve so that you just have a saffron coloured water left.
  2. Process the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, cardamon seeds from the cardamon pods, cashew nuts, cornflour and yoghurt to form a smooth paste. You could put the ingredients into a blender and make a smooth post or mix by hand using a pestle and mortar.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the chicken pieces until they are brown and set aside on a plate
  4. Once all the chicken pieces are done, add some more olive oil and carefully fry the onions, garlic and chilli (if using) for 7 minutes (do not burn).
  5. Add the spice mixture and cook over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes
  6. Pour the saffron water in and mix well.
  7. Bring to the boil over a gentle heat and bring back to the boi and cook until thickened, adding more water, if needed.
  8. Season to taste.
  9. Make sure the sauce is hot, then add the chicken pieces and shimmer (covered with a lid) for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  10. Stir in the almonds.
  11. Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves, creme fraiche and naan bread and rice.

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