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Creamy Chicken Korma with Almonds

Chicken Korma is a fragrant Indian dish that is loved around the world. Madhur Jaffrey's authentic recipe shows how easy it is to make this family-friendly curry at home.


I happen to like dark chicken meat so, given a choice, I would use only chicken thighs for this recipe. However, many people prefer light meat. Whatever chicken pieces you choose, legs must be cut into two parts (drumstick and thigh) and breasts must be cut in half across the centre. If you prefer, you could use a whole chicken, cut into pieces and skinned.

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1.5kg (3lb) chicken pieces
5–6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2.5cm (1in) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
50g (2oz) flaked almonds
5 tbsp olive or groundnut oil
2 bay leaves
8 cardamom pods
4 cloves
2.5cm (1in) stick cinnamon
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp tomato purée
1¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp single cream
½ tbsp garam masala

Essential kit

You will need a blender.


Skin the chicken pieces, cut them into serving portions (see above) and set aside. Put the garlic, ginger, almonds and 6 tablespoons water into a blender and blend to a smooth paste. Put the oil in a wide pan and set it over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, put in the bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick and stir for 10 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until browned.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the paste from the blender, along with the cumin, coriander and cayenne. Stir for 3–4 minutes, then add the tomato purée and stir for a minute longer.

Add the chicken pieces, salt, cream, garam masala and 150ml (¼ pint) water. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pan, turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 25 minutes, until the chicken is done. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves just before serving.

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