Korma is one of those rich and delicious Mughlai dishes that I find wickedly irresistible. Usually kormas, especially restaurant-style versions, are swimming in oil and cream, but although I certainly didn’t set out to make a light version (gag) this one turned out to be…not that bad. It’s Pakistani style with yogurt as the creamy factor, and since I used my non stick wok I cut way back on the oil.
This is 90% authentic – I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and I like browning the chicken good before cooking (It’s called a Maillard reaction, subcontinent! Get on board!). Otherwise it’s the real deal. The only thing I would change for next time is making more of the yummy gravy (so I may come back and tweak this recipe to add more onion and/or yogurt).
Pakistani Chicken Korma
Adapted from Ayesha’s Kitchen
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, divided
- one chicken cut by butcher into 1 1/2 inch pieces, cleaned and dried – my pieces were too large as butcher did not understand, but that’s ideal
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Whole spices: 1 stick cinnamon, 4 cloves, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 4-5 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- Powdered spices: 1 tbsp red chili powder, t tsp turmeric
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt to taste (about a tsp)
- sprinkle of kewra water
- cilantro for garnish
In a non-stick wok, heat two tbsp coconut oil on high. Brown chicken on both sides in two batches (lowering heat a little if it gets crazy), and remove to a plate.
Lower heat to medium high, and in the same oil sauté the onions with a sprinkle of salt until very brown. Meanwhile, whip the yogurt and garam masala. Remove the onions to a paper towel, and when they are cool, crush them with your hands and mix them into the yogurt.
Add one more tbsp of coconut oil to the wok, and heat whole spices until fragrant (a minute or so). Add garlic and ginger pastes and cook for a minute or so, then add powdered spices and cook for a minute or so.
Now add the chicken back in, along with the bay leaf, and generous sprinkle of salt, and about a cup of water. Mix well, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is very well cooked through.
Gradually add the yogurt mixture into the wok, mix, and heat through. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve sprinkled with a little kewra water and chopped cilantro.