Chicken Korma Recipe

An authentic korma will have little to do with ready-made sauces that might bear the same name, and should showcase aromatic spice combinations that will take a bit more time to prepare than just opening a can or jar. The following chicken korma recipe is a wonder of Indian cookery and should prove to be a favourite party dish or just use for that special family treat.
The word korma probably has Persian origins -‘koresh’, which referred to a mild stew. The Moghuls made the dish very rich and highly aromatic by using cream, yoghurt, ground almonds, saffron and other special spices. In the average UK curry house, korma will herald a very mild and creamy dish but traditionally a korma can be quite hot . In Kashmir the korma's accepted home, one of the most popular recipes ‘Mirchwangan Korma’ is red in colour because it is so full of red chillies! The following special chicken korma recipe is of medium heat and of course you can add less or more chillies to suit your own particular taste.

Chicken Korma Recipe
4 onions, two sliced, the remaining two chopped
4 - 6 tablespoons of oil for cooking, more if you deep fry the onions
25 grams (1 oz) almonds, blanched
25 grams (1 oz) cashew nuts
A few strands of saffron
4 - 6 whole cloves
6 brown (sometimes called black) cardamom pods
12 green cardamom pods
10 cm (4 inches) cinnamon stick
750 grams (1 lb 10 oz) chicken breasts or thighs
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch (2.5 cm) cube of ginger, peeled and grated
½ - 1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
100 ml (4 tablespoons) double cream (or yoghurt for the health conscious)
 ½ teaspoon garam masala
10 cashew nuts, chopped and toasted

Prepare the sliced onions by sprinkling them with salt ad set aside for at least 30 minutes. Then squeeze out as much water as you can from them and dry with kitchen towel. Next fry (preferably deep fry) the prepared onions in a good quantity of oil until they are golden brown. Remove from oil and drain well. These fried onions are then made into a smooth paste with the addition of hot water (about 4 -5 tablespoons) by using a food processor. Put aside this onion paste for use later.
Soak the almonds and cashews in warm water before processing them into a puree with some of the soaking liquid (around 3 tablespoons). Set aside.

Soak saffron strands in 3 tablespoons of warm water and set aside.
Next make the main curry base in a large pan or wok. Fry the chopped onions in some oil for 10 minutes, stir in cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, before adding the chicken pieces. Follow this with the fried onion paste, the ground nut paste, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander. Fry for at least a further 10 minutes on a slightly higher heat. Next add about 150 ml of water and simmer for 15 -20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through when you can then add the saffron and soaking liquid,  and finally the cream (or yoghurt). Heat through again and then garnish by sprinkling on the garam masala and toasted nuts just before serving.

Possibly the best chicken korma recipe in the world. Enjoy.

Lamb Curry Recipe

This simple lamb curry recipe shows influence from the Kashmir region of north India but it has been tweaked to make the process less time consuming. So this is a relatively quick recipe but one where I am sure you will find that the final result is still something quite special.

Lamb Curry Recipe
1 tablespoon oil (or butter)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1-2 fresh green chillies, finely sliced (seeds removed for less heat if required)
1-2 teaspoons ground chillies
1 lb (500 grams) boned leg of lamb, cut into cubes (about 1 inch or slightly more)
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste
Optional garnish of 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut

 Heat the oil or butter in a large heavy frying pan and fry the onion, garlic, fresh chillies and ground chillies over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Next add the lamb and vinegar with a seasoning of salt and pepper and stir-fry for 2 more minutes. Add tomatoes and give everything a good stir. Cover the pan and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Check the lamb to see if it is cooked and adjust the amount of liquid (if you need to) with some water or perhaps a little lemon juice - it should not be sticking to the pan. If all is well, add the garam masala and let it all stew together for another 5 minutes before adjusting the final seasoning.
The mixture can then be poured out into an attractive serving dish and scattered with the optional garnish of desiccated coconut before being placed on the table.

This recipe goes very well with Kashmiri pilau rice, where basmati rice is cooked with aromatic spices - cardamoms, cinnamon stick, whole cloves and cumin seeds are lightly fried in ghee or butter until they begin to colour. Pre-washed rice is then stirred into the mixture before water is added and then it is cooked in a covered pan.
Whatever you serve as accompaniments I hope you will agree that this a main dish that looks and tastes great. This fantastic lamb curry recipe proves that the road to great tasting authentic Indian food does not have to be complex or time consuming if you follow the route set by the Real Curry Secret.

Turkey Curry

Turkey is not just for Christmas and Thanksgiving and can now be found in shops throughout the year. This turkey curry recipe can be made in any season. However this recipe will come in very handy at times when the supply of fresh birds is plentiful but new ideas on how to use leftovers may be thin on the ground. Fresh meat can be used but this recipe has been specially designed to spice up those pieces that prove to be surplus to the demands of Christmas Day. Think of this as a sort of turkey stir fry and it is best cooked in a karai or wok type pan.

Turkey Curry
2 - 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ - 1 teaspoon ground chillies, according to taste
2 - 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 inch cube fresh root ginger, grated
2 large onions, finely chopped
½  - 1 red pepper, cut into fine strips
1 - 2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tamarind puree (or substitute more lemon juice)
4-6 tomatoes, chopped
600 grams (1 lb 4 oz)  pre-cooked turkey, shredded
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, torn or coarsely chopped
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to your taste

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok and stir fry all of the first eight listed spices for about 30 seconds, then add garlic and ginger and fry for a further 30 seconds.
Next add onions, red pepper, fresh chillies, tamarind and tomatoes and stir-fry for 5 minutes. (If you have trouble obtaining the tamarind you could add some extra lemon juice as a souring substitute but do hunt for the real thing as nothing else really gives the same flavour).
Finally add the cooked turkey pieces and stir-fry until all is heated through and piping hot. (Fresh turkey cut into small cubes could be added here instead and cooked for about 15 - 20 minutes in the sauce). Throw in the coriander leaves, adjust seasoning and add some water if required so that there is plenty of sauce to the dish.

Chicken can be used instead of turkey very successfully for this recipe - so why not try both variations? I find that a nice pea pilau or some sort of vegetable rice creation to be the perfect accompaniment to this dish. However if you are in a hurry just try adding cooked peas (plus perhaps a can of sweet corn) to cooked plain basmati rice - a quick stir and you have a very colourful addition for the table without the extra oil (and calories) needed for a proper cooked pilau.
Gobble, gobble - a great turkey curry that is certainly too good to have just at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Curry Prawns Recipe

Prawns are an excellent main ingredient for a curry as they cook quickly but absorb spice flavours well and have a nice texture. This Curry Prawns recipe is based on a Bengali shrimp curry that is very popular in the Calcutta area of India.
The difference between “prawns” and “shrimps”? You may well ask. In strict biological terms they are different creatures but for most culinary purposes they are taken to be one and the same thing, the exact word used being usually dependant on their relative sizes. In the UK we generally refer to shrimps as the seafood that is quite small in size and often used for “potted shrimp” for example, while prawns will be much bigger with the term king prawn being used for the biggest available. Other countries have different uses of these names - for example king prawns are called jumbo shrimps in some places - but an end to this confusion! Here we will be using a simple to follow Curry Prawns recipe with some classic Bengali spicing.

Curry Prawns Recipe
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons ground red chillies
3 tablespoons hot water
2 - 3 cloves
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds
4-5 tablespoons strained, thick natural yoghurt
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried mango powder (amchoor powder)
500 grams (1 lb 2 oz) raw king prawns, peeled with heads, tails and veins removed
Salt, pepper and lemon juice for final seasoning
Fresh coriander sprigs and / or white poppy seeds to garnish

Soak the mustard seeds and chillies in the hot water for about 30 minutes. Then put the cloves and cardamom seeds into the soaked mixture and pour it all into a mortar and pound into a loose paste and put aside.
Next whisk the yoghurt until smooth and add in the ground coriander, cinnamon, turmeric and dried mango powder (do try and obtain this unusual spice as although it is exceedingly sour it really adds a very distinctive taste to the finished dish).
In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil (a couple of tablespoons will do) and then add your prepared spice paste mixture. Stir fry for a minute or two, then add the spiced yoghurt mix, stir again and then simmer briefly before turning down the heat a bit. The prawns are then added carefully and cooked for 3 - 5 minutes until they are pink. Don’t forget a final check on the seasoning and adjust where necessary.
Garnish with either fresh coriander leaves or white poppy seeds (or even both).

This Bengali-style Curried Prawns recipe only needs the addition of basmati rice to bring you the authentic taste of Calcutta, without the need to leave your kitchen. If you live in Calcutta, it's even more authentic!

Butter Chicken Curry Recipe

This is a fantastic dish that hails from northern India and is of 16th century Moghul origin. It's classic name is Makhani Murgh. Despite the slightly involved methods of preparation, the cooking processes are very simple and the final result is really worth your time and effort. It is said to be the starting point for that favourite western dish Chicken Tikka Masala (CTM) and you will need to refer to the Real Curry Secret Blog’s recipe for that to create your cooked chicken tikka pieces before you add them to the sauce that you will make here. Please do give this Butter Chicken curry recipe a try, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Butter Chicken Curry Recipe
CTM pieces, as prepared in the Real Curry Secret Blog’s Chicken Tikka Masala Curry Recipe listed in the labels index opposite, just before they are added to the sauce.

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 - 2 teaspoons ground chillies
2 onions, pureed with a little water in a liquidiser
200 grams of tinned tomatoes, pureed
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon of garam masala
50 grams (2 oz) butter
Salt and pepper to your taste
Garnish of toasted almond flakes and fresh coriander sprigs
Optional single cream

First prepare your Chicken Tikka Masala (CTM) pieces as in our previously listed recipe up to the point of having fried them until they are just cooked through.
Now you can start preparing your red butter sauce by frying the garlic, paprika, cumin and coriander in the ghee using a large pan on a gentle heat for one minute, then add the pureed onions carefully and begin to increase the heat and cook for a further couple of minutes. Next add the tomatoes, tomato puree and garam masala and stir well, while still frying for 5 more minutes. The previously cooked CTM pieces can then be added and gently simmered for a few extra minutes. Finally add the butter, check the seasoning and stir the sauce until it becomes well mixed. Place in warmed serving dish and garnish with toasted almond flakes and the odd coriander leaf. For extra opulence a few teaspoons of single cream can also be dotted around on the top.

Plain boiled basmati rice will be the only necessity you require to complete a great meal, although of course you could add an Indian bread or vegetable side dish.
You will have created a real Indian classic that has been around for at least 450 years. This Butter Chicken Curry Recipe has certainly stood the test of time so do keep enjoying it and pass on one of the great tastes of the culinary past.