A Most Delicious Coconut and Cardamom Korma

I created this recipe because of my love for cardamon and curry dishes. Cardamon is one of my favorite ingredients and with the combination of cinnamon and coconut, the curry is warming and soft, with a subtle sweetness. It is fairly mild, which will make it popular with kids!

Korma is traditionally a mild curry gravy made with cream and nuts. It often features cumin, cardamon, cashew nuts and coconut milk. – Franchette, First Fruit Table

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Some tips from the cook

As with any curry dish, it is often better the next day, when the flavors have marinated into the meat. Serve the korma with fresh coriander, fragrant rice and naan. Instead of chicken, add root vegetables for a vegetarian version, though you can also substitute lamb for the chicken.

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Ingredients

  • 125ml Full fat yogurt
  • 8 Free range chicken fillets, cut into cubes 
  • 1 cup Soaked almonds 
  • 1 Large onion 
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Fresh ginger (2.5cm)
  • 2 to 3 Medium chilies 
  • 2Tbsp Coconut oil/ghee/butter
  • 15 Cardamon pods
  • 10 Whole cloves
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns 
  • 3Tbsp Garam masala
  • 1Tbsp Ground cinnamon 
  • 1tsp Ground cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 
  • 1 Whole cinnamon stick
  • 400ml Coconut milk
  • 2Tbsp Poppy seeds

Method

  1. Marinate the chicken overnight by rubbing the fillets with one tablespoon garam masala, one teaspoon cinnamon and coating it with the yogurt. Refrigerate overnight in an airtight container. Soak one cup of almonds in water with a pinch of salt overnight.
  2. Blend the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor until it forms a puree. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot to sauté the onion puree until its cooked. Stir continuously to avoid it from burning. 
  3. Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside. Grind the cardamon seeds, cloves and black pepper together in an old salt grinder or with a pestle and mortar. Add the ground mixture to the remaining spices. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small pan and fry the spice mixture. Once it has released aromas and a paste forms, add the paste to the larger pot with the onion puree. Bring the onion puree and paste mixture back on a low heat. 
  4. Strain the almonds and blend it with two cups of water. Add the almonds, the coconut milk, the poppy seeds and the stick of cinnamon to the onion pot. You now have the base for the korma. Add more coconut milk if the base is too spicy.
  5. Drop the marinated chicken pieces to the pot and leave to simmer on a low heat until the chicken has been cooked. Serve with chapati or fragrant chickpea rice, fresh coriander and yogurt.