Last night I had a ‘need’ for Indian food. It’s like that sometimes. Sometimes you want chips and salsa. Sometimes PB Ice Cream. But last night I needed to have the fragrance of ginger, garlic, cumin, cloves, etc wafting through the house. It was also The Boy’s 21st birthday and Indian food is about his favorite. The problem was to find a recipe that was really quick and still really good. I knew I could count on Jaffrey for both counts.

    Quick Chicken Korma

This was different from other dishes we have made. This is NOT a heavily based tomato sauce dish. It includes a paste made from garlic, ginger, and water that gives it a milder color and depends on light cream for the thickness.

It was delicious and very quick. Perfect for a night with little time to spend on cooking.


4 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 tbsp vegetable oil
3 bay leaves
5 cm cinnamon stick
8 cardamom pods, crushed in a pestle and mortar
4 cloves
¼ tsp black cumin seeds (or regular cumin seeds)
130g/4½oz onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 tinned plum tomatoes, chopped {I used regular tomatoes I had canned.}
1.5 kg/3lb 5oz chicken pieces, skinned and cut into serving portions {I used breasts but thighs would be much better}
¼ – 1 tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp single cream
250ml/8 ¾fl oz water

1.Put the ginger, garlic and 3 tbsp water in the container of an electric blender. Blend until you have a smooth paste.

2.Put the oil in a wide frying pan or saute pan and set over high heat.

3.When very hot, put in the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves and cumin seeds. Stir once or twice and put in the onions.

4.Stir and fry for about three minutes or until the onions turn brownish.

5.Put in the paste from the blender, and the ground coriander and ground cumin and fry for a minute.

6.Put in the chopped tomatoes and fry for another minute.

7.Add in the chicken, chilli powder, salt and 250ml/8 ¾fl oz water.

8.Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, turning the chicken pieces over now and then.

9.Remove the cover, add the cream and cook on high heat for another 7-8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Stir gently as you do this.

While I made the full amount of sauce I only used 1/2 the amount of chicken. But it was deboned so it was probably about the same amount meat. I think I would make more sauce next time. I served it over Basmati rice. If I had had time I would have made Parathas or Naan to go with it.

Perfect quick meal. I love those.

BTW I found the recipe on the BBC ‘channel’.