It all started with a bet that I lost… And a promise to make a surprise fancy dinner for J. I stressed for days over the perfect menu. And finally, with some help from friends at work, I decided on an Indian theme.
Both J and I love Indian food. Every time we’ve made it at home, it has tasted good, but not restaurant quality. This is no surprise as I skip over every recipe with copious amount of cream or oil or butter. Because this was a special meal, I decided that I was going to go all out. A pound of butter? No problem!
- Chicken Korma (cashew-based chicken)
- Chole Saag (garbanzo bean and spinach curry)
- Basmati Rice
- Chai cupcakes
The recipe: Lamb Korma (I used chicken instead)
The verdict: Very tasty. We had no problem eating all the leftover. It didn’t quite taste right (although I am not sure what right it), but it was very good . Substitutions-I used cashews instead of almonds. I also cut cream from 300ml to 250ml. And it was still waaay too much cream. I was worried during the cooking process that it would not thicken, however as soon as I added golden raisins, it became the right consistency. Don’t leave them out even if you don’t like raisins (like me).
1 kg chicken, diced
1 tbsp ginger, grated
8-9 garlic cloves, made into a paste
7 tbps cashews, chopped
4 tbsp water
7 tbsp vegetable oil
10 cardamom pods
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
1/8 tsp chilli powder (or more if you like hotter curries)
7 tbsp yogurt
1 ½ tsp salt
240 ml cream
1 cup golden raisins
½ tsp garam masala
In a mortar and pestle, grind 5 tbsp cashews into thin powder. Add 4 tablespoons of water, ginger, garlic pastes, cumin powder, and chilli powder. Mix well. Since my mortar is tiny, I used my food processor. It worked just fine.
Heat oil in wok over high heat. Brown chicken and then remove with slotted spoon to a bowl.
In the same oil, sauté the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon for a few seconds. Add the chopped onions and fry them until soft and lightly browned. Stir in cashew paste and fry until spices are lightly browned (~3 mins).
Add 1 tablespoon of the yogurt, and fry it for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Repeat with remaining 6 tbps yogurt (adding in 1 tbsp at a time) until all the yogurt has been incorporated.
Return chicken cubes to the wok along with juices, heavy cream, and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 hour. Add water if it gets too dry. (I didn’t need to do this.)
Add the raisins and garam masala. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat and continue cooking in covered wok for another 30 minutes.
Serve with rice or naan and sprinkle with remaining cashews.