Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Thursday, 28 May 2015

A Tale of Two Kormas - Creamy Chicken Korma

Whilst we all know that the quickest way to a man's heart is a six inch knife through the chest; the other, less gruesome way is through his stomach. In fact, the wooing of Phill involved, amongst other things, some carefully selected and cooked meals - lasagne, beef stroganoff, croissant bread and butter pudding, all of which I don't believe I have ever blogged about and maybe, right there, lies a series of themed posts for Valentine's Day. Anyway, one night, very early in our fledgling relationship, he told me that a) he likes cooking and b) he cooks a mean korma. The description he then gave was quite mouth watering: you have to start the day before because it is such a complex process, it involves rendering a pound on onions down to almost nothing, yadda yadda yadda...
Nearly 13 years on, I am yet to taste this korma.
He mentions it every so often, usually when I am making curry and he comes wandering into the kitchen, enticed by the heady smells of herbs and spices, gets a spoon out the drawer, tastes the sauce I am cooking and gives the 'quality control' verdict, but he has never got round to making me his korma, which has taken on mythical proportions since it was first mentioned all those years ago. He does cook on occasions - he once made steak pizzeola, which tasted absolutely lush but my enthusiasm was dampened a little when I realised he had used every plate, dish and bowl in the kitchen to create his masterpiece and I was in charge of washing up...  But he can cook, but never the dish I thought he might cook...
Which brings me to this korma. This is from Neven Maguire's 'Food from the Sun'. He is an Irish chef who I discovered whilst on maternity leave, watching the 'GoodFood' channel in the afternoon, drifting in and out of consciousness whilst I had a plus 9lb baby writhing inside me who kept waking me up,,,(thank you Finn). I remember that I liked his kitchen and I liked the dishes he created, so I bought his book and have cooked from it here and here.
He calls this an authentic korma - to be honest I wouldn't know. What I do know is that it is pretty easy, does not involve a pound of onions and I did not have to start the day before. In fact, start to finish it took about an hour. It's a very comforting dish and Lola and Finn really like it, despite the touch of latent heat it exudes, just when you think it is only going to give flavour. I might use it as a lever to try and get Phill to make a korma...
Creamy Chicken Korma - adapted from 'Food from the Sun' by Neven Maguire
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum, Dad and one other
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped (I used three - I like an oniony curry)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp finely grated root ginger
1 green chilli, seeded and chopped finely 
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp tomato puree
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
150ml double cream (or to taste - you might need more, depending on how far down you have reduced the sauce)
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic until for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Stir in the ginger and green chilli, and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
Add the garam masala to the pan with the turmeric, chilli powder and a pinch of salt and cook for another minute, stirring. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and bring to the boil stirring continuously.
Add four tablespoons of water, (actually - I added about 150ml of water and a chicken stock cube at this point) stir well to combine, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until the sauce is well reduced.
Cut the chicken into 2.5cm (1in) cubes and then add to the reduced down sauce. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and completely tender.
Stir in the cream and simmer gently for another few minutes until well combined. Season to taste.
View on Instagram here
To serve, arrange the basmati rice and chicken korma on warmed plates and scatter over the coriander.


  1. I watched Neven Maguire's series too - I think it was because I was idle rather than pregnant. This looks to be a fine korma - perfect for improving an evening in front of telly of questionable quality. As for NM's claim of authenticity - I was told by a local Indian chef that kormas should never contain cream. I've no idea if he was being authentic either, but he had a cleaver in his hand at the time, so I agreed. I like the idea of the Valentine Day theme - I could steal that idea and call it "Time Wasted in the Kitchen". It might be the stuff of legend but a two day korma does sound ridiculously good.

    1. You are wise Phil. One should never disagree with anyone with a cleaver in his hand!!


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