Don’t let the title of this recipe fool you, easy doesn’t mean lacking in flavor! For my Easy Chicken Korma I give traditional whole spice substitutions, use almond butter instead of soaking and puréeing the nuts, and use chopped, boneless chicken. The sauce is amazing and is perfect served over rice.
You’ve all heard the exotic terms before. Take curries, which basically sums up many a dish from India using combinations of spices including fresh or dried hot chillies in a sauce typically served with rice. Masala, which is a number of spice mixtures ground into a paste or powder for use in Indian cooking. But the word Korma, not so much. Think of it as how the Western cuisines use the word stew.
Sure there are as many korma dishes as curries. So thinking in terms of stews, that dish of meat and vegetables cooked slowly in a liquid or sauce in a closed pot, there are chilis, tagines, ratatouilles, all slow simmered in a liquid or sauce. Take my Tomatillo Green Chile Pork Stew, my Mom’s Swiss Steak Stew, or this Coconut Beef Curry Stew. All stews, but with different, complex flavors.
So today I’m sharing Easy Chicken Korma. I cut down the lengthly braising time by using boneless, skinless chicken and while a typical, authentic Indian dish would “bloom” the whole spices in hot oil (this helps release those incredible flavors) I use ground spices for that quick, mid-week meal that still delivers BIG on flavor.
Your rice will be cooked in the time it takes to make this and dinner will be on the table in no time.
The chunks of chicken are tender and coated with an amazing sauce made with spices like turmeric, chili powder, cardamom, cinnamon and fresh garlic and ginger. The almond butter adds a secret flavor weapon unexpected, but brings the creaminess.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE Butter Chicken fan, but there are so many more Indian dishes to try and I’ll be serving them up right here for you whenever I can.
For other Indian inspired recipes, try my Creamy Black Lentils, Mango Curry Chicken Salad Wraps, Tandoori Chicken Flatbread Pizza or read about my adventures traveling there when I went for recipe research and the Holi Festival. What an experience!
So grab some naan or bread of choice and dig in. Enjoy!
- 2 lbs chicken breasts cut into 1" pieces (boneless, skinless)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 green cardamom pods (See Note 1)
- 2 black cardamom pods (See Note 1)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick , 1-inch piece (See Note 2)
- 4 cloves (See Note 3)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 onion large, chopped
- 2 tbsp ginger paste
- 2 tbsp garlic paste
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup almond butter (See Note 4)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp chili powder (See Note 5)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped for garnish
- 1/4 cup almonds or cashews toasted and chopped for garnish
Chop onion and set aside. In a bowl whisk together the yogurt, almond butter, water, chili, salt and turmeric powder and set aside.
In a large skillet heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the whole spices and fry for 2 minutes. If using ground spices, fry for 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and stir, sauté for 10 minutes until translucent.
Add the garlic and ginger pastes, stir to mix and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chopped chicken pieces, stir to mix and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the yogurt mixture, stir to mix in, lower heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and chopped nuts.
- For the 4 green AND 2 black cardamom pods substitute 1/2 tsp ground cardamom total.
- For the 1" cinnamon stick substitute 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon total.
- For the 4 whole cloves, substitute 1/8 tsp ground clove.
- Feel free to substitute cashew butter for the almond butter. It's absolutely delicious as well!
- For more heat ADD 1/4 tsp cayenne powder total.