Chicken Korma

Not so long ago, readers, I used to think I didn’t like Indian food.  I never ate it as a kid and the first time I had it was in college, when I took a bit of chicken in a yellow curry so thick and strong, it left me, a generally adventurous eater, scarred.  After that, I didn’t give it a second try, let alone though, which is completely unlike me.

Ever since then, I’ve been wading back into the curry waters to pinpoint exactly what I do and don’t like about the various curries.  I know I like red curry and I know I don’t like yellow curry.  I still haven’t tried green curry, but it’s next on my list.

Despite my dislike of yellow curry (More specifically, the turmeric that gives yellow curry its vibrant color), I wanted to give this dish a shot.  I was a little hesitant of the turmeric, so I toned it down a bit and upped the cumin, since I know I love that.  I’ve left the original amounts here, though, since I’m certain I’ll be making this again with the actual proportions.  It was delicious!

chicken korma

Chicken Korma

from Williams-Sonoma, The World Kitchen


1/4 c. canola oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-inch piece ginger, grated

1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

1 TBSP ground coriander

1 TBSP ground turmeric

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 c. chicken stock

1 c. canned tomato sauce

1 TBSP sugar

salt, to taste

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

1/2 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. unsalted cashews, roasted

steamed rice, for serving

3 TBSP chopped cilantro or chives


1.  In a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot over medium heat, warm the oil.  Add the onion and sauté until it begins to soften, about three minutes.

2.  Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and cumin.  Saute until spices are are fragrant and evenly coat the onion, about one minute.  

3.  Stir in the stock, tomato sauce, sugar, and 1 tsp. salt.  Bring to a boil and deglaze the pot, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

4.  Add the chicken to the pot nad stir to coat.  Turn heat to low, partially cover the pot, and allow to simmer until the chicken is tender and sauce has thickened, about one hour.

5.  About 15 minutes before the chicken is done, combine the buttermilk and cashews in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely pureed and thoroughly combined with the buttermilk.

6.  Add the mixture to the chicken stir to blend with the sauce.  Continue cooking until the sauce is completely heated through and thick, about five minutes.  Remove and discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

7.  Divide the rice among warm bowls.  Top with chicken and sauce.  Garnish with cilantro and/or chives.  Serves 6-8.

one year ago: roasted asparagus and shrimp chowder
two years ago: calabacitas
three years ago: lemon-fennel pork chops and basic risotto

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  1. Branny
    April 1, 2011 / 10:56 am

    I remember having a similar conversation with my husband. He insisted he hated it – unlike you, he'd never seen it or smelled it or tried it. He just hated the idea of it.Finally after losing a bet, he took a bite…and now he loves it! This recipe looks great and would delicious with chick peas too.

  2. Pretend Chef
    April 1, 2011 / 3:07 pm

    This sounds and looks so delicious! Yummy!

  3. Kelsey
    April 1, 2011 / 3:20 pm

    Branny, I've definitely thought about doing it again with chickpeas and tofu. H refuses to eat tofu, but I might do it for myself sometime when he's out of town.

  4. That Girl
    April 1, 2011 / 6:23 pm

    Indian is the one cuisine that I get a craving for when I see. Doesn't happen with any other food.

  5. Krystal
    April 1, 2011 / 8:27 pm

    I've slowly warmed up to Indian curries…something about it scares me. Waaah. But after you have had a really good one…then you want more! This looks great, and would pair along beautifully with some tasty garlic naan.

  6. Anonymous
    April 3, 2011 / 9:49 pm

    My husband and I have actually been exploring Indian cooking recently, so I'm excited to try this. Sounds interesting!

  7. Erin
    April 27, 2011 / 12:06 pm

    I have just been turned on to Indian Food in the last six months. This looks really good, and I will be printing it and making it soon! My husband will thank you, I am sure!

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