Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jamie's Chicken Korma--Creamy, Flavorful & Comforting

Nothing makes me happier than a creamy, not too spicy curry. Other people may like to "go for the burn" but I like to be able taste my food rather than burn off my taste buds so that I can appreciate the nuances of all of the different spices. There is a lot to appreciate in Jamie Oliver's Chicken Korma--it is slightly sweet, nicely spiced and just a little tangy from the lemon and yogurt spooned on top. A great choice for our "Chicken and the Egg" theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week.

This would be a U.K.-style korma according to Wikipedia which states, "A dish called "korma" is very popular in Pakistani/Indian restaurants in the United Kingdom. In the UK a korma usually refers not to a particular cooking technique but to a curry with a thick, cream-based sauce or gravy; this bears little resemblance to a classical Indian korma, as it is not braised. The korma popularised in UK curry houses is invariably mildly spicy and may often feature nuts, usually almonds or cashews, and coconut."

BTW: Jamie does include a recipe for an easy korma paste (below) which I intended to make but meetings ran late, there was traffic on the way home and I just wanted to eat my curry and didn't want to mess with the extra time and mess of toasting and grinding spices, cleaning the food processor, etc. Lazy? Yes... I don't deny it. But since I also had a jar of the korma paste that Jamie recommends (Patak's) languishing in my pantry cupboard and getting dangerously close to the expiration date, it seemed like I should use it.

Jamie says, "This is a much-loved curry. It's got a slightly milder, creamier taste than the other curries in this chapter, which makes it a great one for kids to try. Because I love fresh chiles I've added one here, but if you want to keep the flavors nice and mild feel free to leave it out. Kormas are also delicious made with shrimp."

Chicken Korma
"Jamie's Food Revolution" by Jamie Oliver
(Serves 4-6)

1 3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, preferably free-range or organic (I used a package or organic chicken breasts and a package of organic chicken thighs)
2 medium onions
optional: 1 fresh green chile
a thumb-sized piece of ginger root
a small bunch of fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can of garbanzo beans
peanut or vegetable oil
a pat of butter
1/2 c. korma or mild curry paste such as Patak's or Jamie's recipe below (I used Patak's and increased to about 3/4 cup)
1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk (I used lite coconut milk)
a small handful of sliced almonds, plus extra for serving
2 heaped Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup natural yogurt (I used non-fat Greek yogurt)
1 lemon

To Prepare Your Curry:
Cut the chicken into approximately 1-inch pieces. Peel, halve, and finely slice your onions. Halve, seed, and finely slice the chile if you're using it. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Pick the cilantro leaves and finely chop the stalks. Drain the garbanzo beans.

To Make Your Curry:
Put a large casserole-type pan on a high heat and add a couple of lugs of oil. Add the onions, chile, ginger, and cilantro stalks with the butter. Keep stirring it enough so it doesn't catch and burn but turns evenly golden. Cook for around 10 minutes. Add the curry paste, coconut milk, half your sliced almonds, the drained garbanzo beans, unsweetened shredded coconut, and sliced chicken breasts. Half fill the empty can with water, pour it into the pan, and stir again. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Check the curry regularly to make sure it's not drying out, and add extra water if necessary. When the chicken is tender and cooked, taste and season with salt and pepper--please season carefully.

To Serve Your Curry:
Serve with rice. Add a few spoonfuls of natural yogurt dolloped on top, and sprinkle over the rest of the sliced almonds. Finish by scattering over the cilantro leaves, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.


Korma Paste
"Jamie's Food Revolution"

2 cloves of garlic
a thumb-sized piece of ginger root
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 fresh green chiles
3 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp almond flour
a small bunch of fresh cilantro

Spices for Toasting:
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds

First peel the garlic and ginger. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them in a food processor and whiz to a powder. Either way, when you've ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste.

Notes/Results: Creamy and delicious comfort food that made my stomach content. For the most part I stuck to Jamie's recipe--but I did swap out half of the (organic skinless/boneless) chicken breasts for (organic skinless/boneless) chicken thighs as they are cheaper and actually I prefer the dark meat in curries as it stays juicier. I also used light coconut milk and non-fat yogurt. The curry's flavor was good--it's mild, even with the chili and I liked how both the yogurt and the squeeze of lemon livened it up--I also added extra curry paste for a bit more flavor. The chick peas, shredded coconut and sliced almonds in the curry give it an interesting (in a good way!) ;-) texture.

To serve the curry, I used a base of regular brown rice (it was what I had leftover in the fridge), and if you look closely at the photos you will see some baby spinach leaves peeping out along the edges. I like to add a handful of spinach on top of the rice to get more of those nutrient-packed leafy greens into my day and also, the warm curry makes it "wilt" so nicely. A great dish and another Jamie recipe that I would make again--maybe trying Jamie's korma paste recipe the next time.

You can see whether the other IHCC participants chose the chicken or the egg by going to the post here and following the links.


  1. I agree - chicken thighs for the win! This looks lovely Deb!

  2. I love coming home to a good curry...and that so rarely ever happens. Guess it's time to whip out the ingredients for this korma! It sounds delicious.

  3. yum, yum, yum! I made this too and agree with your creamy, flavorful & comforting assessment. Looks beautiful :D

  4. this sounds nice! I wonder if they have this paste here...

  5. My son has been asking to try curry ever since we browsed the spice aisle in World Market. This dish may just sell me on it.

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  7. Your korma is beautiful to look at and it sound delicious. I really appreciate the recipe for the korma paste. I hope you have a great day and enjoy the coming holiday. Blessings...Mary

  8. Oooh this looks so yummy. I love curry but I've never made it myself. I am going to copy this recipe and try it for sure.

  9. I like chicken thighs...they don't dry out and they are my go-to chicken part for many recipes.
    This looks delightful but it would need to be made when my husband is outta town...he can't deal with curry. But I can!

  10. Foodycat--thanks! I coulda/shoulda done the whole recipe with them. ;-)

    Joanne--Me too and this is a good one--the leftovers are fabulous. ;-)

    girlichef--we do have the same great taste in recipes often don't we?! lol

    Kat--You might try looking for it--it is a pretty common brand.

    Michelle--this is a great "starter" curry so a great one to try. ;-)

    welovefur--thank you!

    Mary--thank you! I feel a little bad for not making the paste myself on this go-round, but my stomach won out--it needed to be fed. Next time... ;-)

    Kathy--thank you! This would be a great curry to make yourself--easy and delicious. ;-)

    Tina--make it the next time he is gone--the leftovers are fabulous!

  11. I prefer thighs in my curries too.

  12. Indian food is my very favorite, but it can be time consuming, as you noted. I think making up a big batch of that paste would be a good idea, to have it on hand.

  13. Nice!


  14. Patak's has been a favorite lifesaver of mine for years, this looks like a great way to perk it up a bit. Their bottled sauces are great but usually need some tweaking with fresh ingredients. Can't wait to try this and, maybe one day, even making the paste myself!

  15. Wonderful! This is one of my favourite kind of meals. Great to know Patak's korma paste is so good too, I am a huge fan of their hot Indian pickles.

  16. What a great recipe Deb ! I'll try it next time !

  17. 2 persons made it and were successful! Must be a keeper. I'm noting it down.

  18. It sounds like we have similar feelings about curries, I like it milder, and I also like using chicken thighs versus breast, which stay nice an moist. This looks so good!

  19. Love that you and Heather went with the same recipe this week. That's really funny considering he has so many recipes to chose from! The korma looks deliciously creamy and comforting. I'm thinking I should try this one, maybe with shrimp..since I have so much of it:)

  20. What a wonderful korma recipe! I like it spicy but I also want to taste the flavors of it too. The chickpea and coconut flakes sound so good - I hope I have a chance to make it this week!


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