Easy chicken korma, UK-style

I’ll be honest, I don’t like korma. I’m not even particularly fond of proper Indian kurma, but it’s the British korma that I really do NOT like. Why not? Because it’s usually far too sweet (almost like a pudding) and usually far too greasy as well, and it has no chillies to counter that cloying taste. But Pete likes korma rather a lot for precisely that reason. Well, each to his – or her – own. I’m happy enough to make korma at home for Pete as long as I don’t have to eat it. I do not add extra sugar (which is something I’m sure is done in restaurants), which probably allows the coconut milk to provide its own natural sweetness. I say probably, but that’s because I don’t taste it at all and never have. So it’s kind of tricky, really, cooking non-vegetarian items for my husband… but more often than not, whatever I cook turns out rather well. It’s quite rare that he has to add extra seasoning. Touch wood.

So, enough of blowing my own trumpet and on with today’s recipe. This korma is quite simple and is perfect for a weeknight supper. Yes, it looks like a long list of ingredients, but I promise that if you exercise due diligence with your mise en place before you start cooking, this curry can be ready in 20 minutes. The more complicated, authentic Indian kurma is a recipe for another day, and another blog.

photo (20)


2 tsp oil
2 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 clove garlic, grated
1″ piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 large onion, sliced and chopped
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp rice flour or chickpea flour
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup fresh peas


1. Heat the oil in a frying pan until it shimmers. Add the garlic, ginger and onion and fry over low heat until the onion starts to soften, but don’t let it brown.

2. While the onion is sweating, cook the peas and carrots in the microwave with a little water until they are just done al dente (it took 7 minutes in my microwave).

3. Now add the chicken pieces to the onion, and stir fry over medium heat until the pieces are opaque, about 5 minutes.

4. Whisk the rice flour or chickpea flour with the milk and the seasonings (garam masala, turmeric, white pepper and coriander powder) to make a smooth pourable paste. Add this to the chicken and let the sauce simmer gently for 3-4 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked (check by cutting open a piece to make sure it’s not pink in the middle) and the sauce has reduced. It should not be runny.

4. Add the carrots, peas, coconut cream and salt to taste, stirring well. Let the korma simmer for two more minutes, then garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with plain steamed rice.

Verdict: Total love, Especially if you’re British, 

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