I issued a korma chicken in July 2013, barely 3 months after I set up this blog. However, that recipe uses store bought premix and I felt that I owed the readers a recipe from scratch. I also never promote that recipe and I am guilty of using store bought premix. Today I have decided to prepare the recipe from scratch with new photo uploading. However, most of what I have written here was shared in July 2013. If you are interested to prepare it from pre-mix, you can refer to this old and sentimental post here: 22-7-2013–Korma Chicken (科尔马鸡肉）
I first tasted Korma chicken during my university days in Kuala Lumpur. It was in a Malay store and when I take the first bite, I immediately fell in love with it as it is not spicy hot and the chicken is full of coriander fragrances. It had always in my mind because unlike other chicken curry dishes, the curry is beige in colour (depending on the spice mix) as opposed to the reddish yellow colour.
Korma is actually a dish from South or Central Asia such as India and Pakistan. It is essentially cooked with a variety of spice powders of which the two most important spices are coriander powder and cumin powder. It differ from the normal curry spice mix in that the ratio of turmeric powder is very small whereas for curry, the major portion of the spice mix is turmeric thus causes the dish to be yellowish in colour. In Malaysia, the Korma was cooked and thickened with coconut milk as compared to India and Pakistan where yoghurt were used. Nuts and peas (such as cashew nuts and almonds) usually added to further thicken the gravy and enhance the taste.
I first cooked this dish to expose my kids to curry dishes. Then, before they eat the curry dishes, they will get ready a cup of cold water, take the curry chicken, dip into the cold water and start eating it. They still could not t take spicy hot food that were cooked with chilli. In view of this, I have exposed them to Malay and Indian dishes that were not spicy hot. The first thing that came to my mind was Korma chicken (ayam kurma in Malay).
As this Korma dish uses small chicken chunks from drumsticks and vegetables, it is rather easy to cook, as such braising is consider not really necessary as compared to the traditional braising of lamb or big chicken pieces.
As per Wikipedia,
Korma, kormaa, qorma, khorma, or kurma is a dish originating in South Asia or Central Asia which can be made with yogurt, cream, nut and seed pastes or coconut milk. It is a type of curry.
It is a characteristic Indian dish which can be traced back to the 16th century and to the Mughal incursions into present-day Northern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Classically, a korma is defined as a dish where meat or vegetables are braised with water, stock, and yogurt or creamy azid (the name is in fact derived from the Hindi and Urdu words for “braise”). The technique covers many different styles of korma (azid).
The flavour of a korma is based on 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, with charcoal on the lid to provide all-round heat. A korma can be mildly spiced or fiery and may use lamb, chicken, beef or game; some kormas combine meat and vegetables such as spinach and turnip. The term Shahi (English: Royal), used for some kormas indicates its status as a prestige dish, rather than an everyday meal, and its association with the court.
WHAT IS REQUIRED?
Servings : 4-6 Adult servings
- 1 kg of chicken, cut into big pieces
- 2 big onion, cut into big pieces
- 2 tomatoes, cut into quarter or big wedges
- 4 potatoes, cut into big pieces
- 1 cup of plain yoghurt (optional if you used coconut milk)
- 200 ml or one packet of coconut milk (optional if you used yoghurt)
- 3 tablespoons of ghee or cooking oil
- 2-3 green or red chilli , slice into big pieces (optional)
Herbs to blend together
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 10 shallots
- 5 cm of ginger
- 5 pieces of buah keras, soaked (substitutable with macadamia nuts or almonds, cashew nuts)
- 1 cinnamon sticks
- 5 cardamom pots
- 2 star anises
- 3 cloves
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 tablespoon of fennel powder
- 1 tablespoon of cumin powder
- 2 tablespoons of coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
STEPS OF PREPARATION
In a big mixing bowl, put 1/2 of the coriander powder and the chicken. Lightly massage the chicken with the powder until well coated. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour.
Blend all ginger, garlic, shallots and buah keras until fine. Add a bit of water if it is too dry. You can also use pestle and mortar to pound these herbs.
In a wok, heat up the ghee and cooking oil, add all the blended herbs and the spices , stir fry until aromatic and oils starts to seep out from the rempah or spice mix. Use medium to small heat to avoid the spice getting burnt. It will take about 8-10 minutes.
Once the spice mix is aromatic, add the potatoes and chicken. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the chicken exterior is set. Add water adequate to cover all the chicken and bring to boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is soft. If your water dries up too fast and chicken is not soft yet, add more water. Give it an occasional stir to avoid the spice settle at the bottom and become burnt. It will take approximate 20-30 minutes depend on the size of the chicken .
Once the chicken is soft, add the yoghurt and/or coconut milk, salt and sugar. Once it boils off the heat and the dish is ready to be served with steaming white rice. However, for better flavoured chicken, let the curry rest at the pot for at least one hour before servings
Korma dish is a common dish among the Indian households in South and Central Asian. it is equally popular in Malaysia and Singapore especially among the Malay and Indian races. It is a form of curry dishes of which the main spices are coriander powder and cumin. It differs from curry in that the proportion of turmeric is very small and it can be cooked without chilli those making it rather “kids friendly”. The gravy were usually thickened with yoghurt or coconut milks and at times nuts such as cashew nuts and almonds were added. Do give it a try if you can’t take spicy curries.
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