My excursion into Indian cooking continues and I must say, it is becoming quite rewarding. I've said before, my first experience with Indian cooking was at the Indian takeaway near my home in England years ago. Let's just say...... it was NOT a good experience. Ever since then I have shied away from those bold flavors, for sure I would hate everything I tried. Indian restaurants came and went in town and yet.... I could not be convinced to try them. It wasn't until the start of my blogging hobby that I decided to take the plunge again, and it's been worth the wait.
Even though I have a significant and maybe ridiculously huge collection of herbs and spices, most Indian and Middle Eastern spices were not part of the collection, mostly because of that fear of awful flavors. As I began to follow other bloggers and read the recipes they were sharing, and eventually purchasing my first Indian cookbook, I knew the time had come. I needed to brave up and start cooking. I already knew I would be buying a lot of new spices (and as you can imagine I was pretty torn up about that) to get authentic Indian flavor into my dishes. Buying curries and masalas and ajwain seeds and using some of those super hot peppers was inevitable. I did a lot of reading, a ton of research on recipes and started playing in the kitchen.
Now authentic korma curry is made with a sauce based on pureed cashews, tomatoes, and coconut milk. Lots and lots and lots of spices. Very lengthy and lots of steps, and lots of utensils. I wanted to make this a lot easier so my version is not really "authentic." Mostly I wanted to avoid having to soak cashews for an extended period of time just to make the sauce. Luckily I found quite a few recipes that did not include this technique so my experimentation continued. I chose to use curry powder, garam masala and a dried hot pepper seasoning blend to prepare mine which meant I didn't have to have every Indian spice on hand and could use some of what I already had on hand. I also wanted to really kick up the heat in my korma too, and since I have such an awesome collection of hot peppers that was not hard to do. I added a healthy dose of Quick's Hot Spice in Blazzin' to my curry near the end of cooking and wow, what a punch!
1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon curry powder*
1 teaspoon garam masala
dash of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup tomato puree or tomato sauce
1/4 cup coconut milk (use full fat for the creamy texture)
coarsely chopped cashews, if desired
* Use hot or mild curry powder. My curry powder was mild so I added a healthy dose of Quick's Hot Spice in Blazzin'. CLICK HERE to get yours.
Dice the chicken breast into small pieces. Set aside. Cut the onion into medium chunks. Mince the garlic cloves.
Heat a couple tablespoons of cooking oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the chicken and onion. Stir fry until chicken is mostly cooked. Add the ginger and garlic. Stir one more minute. Add the spices to the chicken and stir until fragrant. Add the tomato puree and coconut milk. When mixture boils, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over hot cooked rice with the minced cilantro and cashews, if using.
Some cooks like to add cubed potato to the korma, I chose not to. I served the korma over coconut rice- which is super easy to make. For every 1 cup of uncooked rice, use one can coconut milk and enough water to make 2 1/4 cups liquid. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook for ten minutes then turn off the heat and let rest while the curry cooks.
This speedy version cooks up quickly and makes a great weeknight meal. It's the perfect amount for two and can be doubled for more servings. Stir fried veggies make a nice accompaniment and of course, naan bread. Now that this can be considered a success.....it's time to move on to some of the more complicated recipes. I can't wait!!