1 3/4 pounds skinless chicken breasts, preferably free-range organic
2 medium onions
optional: 1 fresh green chile
a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
a small bunch of fresh cilantro
1 x 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans
peanut or vegetable oil
a pat of butter
1/2 cup korma or mild curry paste, such as Patak's
1 x 14-ounce can of coconut milk
a small handful of sliced almonds, plus extra for serving
2 heaped tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups natural yogurt
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 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:
- Feel free to serve this with any of my fluffy rice recipes (see pages 95-96)
- 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
Notes on how we cook it:
To keep costs down, we do not add the unsweetened shredded coconut, almonds or yogurt. These ingredients add very little to the dish and they make it more expensive to prepare. Same goes for the lemon; we never squeeze lemon on top.
We prefer the curry to be thicker, therefore we do not add the half-can of water as suggested.
We always add the chile. Jalapenos are great in this. One is nice, two is spicy and three is on the edge of too hot. Korma is meant to be a sweet curry, so adding lots of chile makes it something else. It's not really in the spirit of the dish. Sometimes we add a red bell pepper for color. That works nicely.
The rice we prefer is Basmati, rinsed under cold water and cooked with a few saffron threads thrown into the pot.
Patak's curry paste is GREAT! Look for it at your local ethnic grocery store if the supermarket does not have it. Cost Plus World Market sells it in America, last time I checked. In England & Ireland, Patak's is always in the supermarket.
We like to serve the meal with a glass of cold cider. If you want a wine pairing, try a Pinot Gris or a Sauvignon Blanc.