Korma is either loved (it is one of the favourite restaurant curries) or derided by those who prefer hotter curries. But korma is not just a mild, creamy dish but a style of cooking that means “to braise”, with origins in central Asia. Traditionally this oily, hot Kashmiri korma (yes, they can be hot!) is traditionally cooked with on-the-bone lamb or mutton but chicken works well and requires a lot less cooking time. Pandit Kashmiris (Brahmins) don’t eat onion so Marchwangan Korma is sometimes cooked without it.
What you need… • 4 Tablespoons ghee • 800g of chicken, cut into large chunks • 4 green cardamons, cracked but not crushed • 6 cloves • 6cm piece of cinnamon stick • 2 garlic cloves, sliced • 1 large red onion, finely chopped • 1 teaspoon cumin powder • 1 teaspoon coriander powder • 2 teaspoons chilli powder • Salt to taste
Red Marinade • 1 cooked beetroot, chopped, and 4 Tablespoons of the juice • 8 red chillies, chopped • 2 Tablespoons tomato purée • 1 teaspoon paprika
How to make it… 1. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and blend to a fine paste with a little water. Add the chicken and leave to marinade for at least 2 hours but preferably 24 hours. 2. Heat half the ghee in a pan to a high heat and quickly seal the chicken (about 3 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. 3. Add the rest of the ghee to a high heat and fry the cardamons, cloves and cinnamon stick for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. 4. Turn down the heat, add the garlic cloves and fry for 1 minute. 5. Add the onion and fry until it starts to brown (about 6–7 minutes). 6. Add the cumin, coriander and chilli powder and fry for 2 minutes. 7. Add the Red Marinade and cook for 2 minutes. 8. Turn down the heat to very lower, add the chicken and salt, cover and cook until the chicken is all cooked through (about 15–20 minutes).