Two firsts for me. Making something with lentils and making something with coconut milk. But I knew my nephew liked dahl - even though when he saw me opening the lentils, he said "errgh, I don't like lentils", then correcting himself when he realised they were the main ingredient - so I thought that I should probably make the curry a little milder than I would normally go for. Whenever I've had real korma, it's never been that sweet and often sickly dish you tend to find at Indian restaurants in the UK, and often quite spicy, but I kept the amount of chilli down, so that Joseph would probably eat it without complaint. As it was, the Pea and Potato Pasties were more spicy than the curry, and he ate more of them than anything else.
Photography was once again supplied by my sister, although when she got around to capturing the main course, her thoughts were definitely drifting to eating it before it got cold than, than taking a huge number of photos, so there were considerably less of the curry shots to choose from.
Recipe to Marinate the Chicken
- 600g Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into 2cm cubes
- 4-5 tablespoons Natural Yoghurt
- 5cm piece of Root Ginger, finely grated
In a bowl, mix the Chicken pieces in the Yoghurt and grated Ginger, cover, then keep in the fridge for 3-4 hours (or even overnight).
Recipe for the Curry Paste
- 2-3 Red Chillies, seeded
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped roughly
- 4 cloves of Garlic, chopped roughly
Throw all the ingredients into the blender and blend to a fine paste, adding a little water if too dry. Keep to one side for the meantime.
I would probably use some hotter green chillies if I weren't making it with my nephew in mind.
Recipe for the Korma Sauce
- 4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 large onion, sliced finely
- 1 tablespoon Ground Coriander
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- Half teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Half teaspoon Salt
- Half cup of Hot Water
- 1 can of Coconut Milk
- 2 tablespoons Almonds, chopped
- Handful Fresh Coriander, chopped
- Juice of half a Lemon
Put some vegetable oil in large, heavy pan and fry the Onion until golden and then remove from the pan and put to one side. Add some more oil, then when hot, add the spices and stir around for about a minute. Then add the chicken pieces and marinade, stir into the spices and cook for about 10 minutes. Next add the paste, stir in and cook for about another 10 minutes.
Now pour in the Hot Water which should help de-glaze the pan a little, and then add the Coconut Milk and stir the ingredients together along with the fried onions and salt. Bring the pan to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for about another 40 minutes until the sauce has reduced to a thick gravy.
Put the Almonds into a blender and whizz about for a few seconds so they're finely chopped, but not a paste, a bit like large breadcrumbs. Stir these into the curry along with the Fresh Coriander and lemon juice, you're ready to serve.
The Korma came out lovely, but the rice, for the first time in my life, all stuck together. Maybe it's because I didn't have my nice caste iron pan to make it in. Would've been perfect if we were making sushi. Also, I'm not sure I was happy with the Dahl as it was a bit dark and a bit bland, although Sally said she thought it was OK and no complaints from Joseph. I didn't have my notebook with me that contained Sandra's recipe, which I had intended to try out, so I had to improvise using a few I found on the web. Once I've had another crack at this one, I'll publish the recipe.