25 g fresh root ginger, peeled weight5 fat garlic cloves40 g cashew nuts4 tablespoon vegetable oil1 teaspoon caraway seeds1 cinnamon stick (7.5cm)6 cloves2 blades mace10 green cardamom pods10 black peppercorns2 bay leaves1 onion, finely chopped600 g chicken, skinned and jointed (I prefer small chickens)160 g plain yogurt1 teaspoon ground coriander½ teaspoon turmeric1 pinch salt, to taste3 tablespoon ground almonds4 tablespoon double cream1 tablespoon white poppy seeds (optional but special)40 g block creamed cocount (or 2-3 tablespoon coconut cream)2 teaspoon lemon juice
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.3. Add the onion and cook gently until really soft but not coloured. Add the ginger-galic paste and continue to cook until the liquid has dried up and the garlic smells cooked and is lightly golden.4. Add the chicken, yogurt, coriander, turmeric and salt. Cook, stirring and folding the chicken in the yogurt constantly, until it comes to the boil. 5. 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.6. 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.7. 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 adjuts the seasonings.8. To serve the korma, top it with any one - or even several - of the following; quartered dried figs, raisins, toasted flaked almonds, roasted cahews, hazelnuts or pistachios, saffron, friend fresh root ginger julienne, edible gold leaf.
08 Oct 2023
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Taskeen Jamal Karim
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