Cheat’s Chicken Korma

The missus is partial to a cheeky chicken korma – a combination of coconut and her sweet tooth make this a firm favourite in her book. If we get a takeaway this is almost always her goto option. The problem with this is I’ve really fallen out of love with takeaway curry.

I could probably talk about this at length but suffice to say the choices near to us vary vastly in quality, consistency and reliability. So much so that the last time we tried to order a takeaway, we ended up in a battle with Just Eat which resulted in them failing our order and us leaping on the 5 bus to get a Lahore Kebab House at 1am.

Last week, returning home from a day out, we wanted a curry, but I said I’d rather cook it over getting a takeaway. As a compromise I offered to make a Korma and while I didn’t want to create a replica of a takeaway Korma I wanted it to have that sort of smooth curry house finish. To achieve this I used the technique of pureeing the onion, garlic and ginger base. I also used Patak’s Korma curry paste. Confession time: I do quite often use these jars of curry pastes. I know I should know better and this is an area I intend to explore more at a later date, but suffice to say that despite having a nice big box of whole spices, lack of familiarity and convenience means that on a Saturday evening after a day out it’s easier to reach for the ready made pastes. I know that the times I do make a curry completely from scratch the differences in depth of spicing and flavour are more than remarkable, but as is so often the case convenience triumphs over quality and so this is why I’m calling this a ‘cheats’ Korma.

Ingredients

  • 600g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2-3cm chunks.
  • 1 onion.
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic.
  • 2 tbsp chopped ginger.
  • 1/3rd jar Patak’s Korma Paste.
  • 1 tin of coconut milk or cream.
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar or honey.
  • Toasted almonds, crispy fried onions, drizzle of cream or yoghurt to garnish (all optional).

Method

In a mini food processor blitz up the onions, the ginger and the garlic until a puree.

Fry off the chicken chunks in batches, you sear the meat all over and get a little colour. Remove the chicken and place to one side.

Now fry the pureed onion, ginger and garlic mixture in the oil you fried the chicken in. Fry on a medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking and to scrape any cooked chicken bits off the pan. You want to cook this until it’s starts to go translucent and has lost the raw flavour – usually 5-10 minutes.

Add the pataks paste and continues to cook – be careful the paste doesn’t catch or start to burn, add a little water if needed. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the seared chicken, the tin of coconut milk and enough water to cover. Put on a low to medium heat and simmer uncovered until the sauce has reduced to a suitable luscious consistency. At least 20-25 minutes to also give a chance for the chicken to cook through properly. During the simmering may want to add some sugar, it’s up to you, for sure the curry house version will have tonnes of it in, an insane amount – I usually put a spoonful or two in or maybe a squeeze of honey.

Garnish with crispy fried onions, toasted almonds and drizzle of cream or yoghurt and serve alongside steamed basmati rice and Peshwari naans for the full Lady Vélo post Saturday day out supper.