My threshold for hot/spicy food is very low, so when we do eat Indian food a korma is usually my dish of choice. Unfortunately, a creamy korma isn’t the best choice if you are trying to watch what you eat. So my interest was sparked by a recipe in the Hairy Biker’s latest book and TV show The Hairy Dieters’ : How to Love Food and Lose Weight for a chicken korma that was less than 300 calories per portion (without rice). As I’ve said on this blog before, I really like finding healthier alternatives to favourite foods/dishes rather than cutting them out altogether. That way I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

I’ve cooked this twice now and have been happy with the results both times.  It doesn’t feel like a light/diet version of something. It still has the creamy texture and rich taste of a korma from the blended cooked onion mix and the very small amount of cream added at the end. So now I can enjoy my korma at home without the guilt.

I like to add some steamed green beans at the end, as I feel the dish needs some added vegetables. I also prefer to cook this with chicken thigh fillets, though the original recipe was for chicken breasts. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. That is mostly the spices. The actual recipe itself is, in my opinion, quite easy to cook. Next time I think I’ll try it just with a variety of different vegetables.

Chicken korma

Chicken Korma

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 600g) or skinless chicken thigh fillets.
  • 25g low/no fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil (I actually used grapeseed oil)
  • 2 large onions, chopped (about 400g chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 20g piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 12 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon (heaped) ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder/ ground chilli
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves (stalks removed – only use the top)
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 2 teaspoons of caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 300ml water
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Fresh coriander to garnish (optional)
  • Steamed green beans (optional)
  • Rice or flat breads to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and season with pepper. Place in a non-metal bowl, stir in yoghurt, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes or 2-6 hours if possible.
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan on a low heat and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes until soft and slightly coloured.
  3. Once soft, add the cardamom, cumin, coriander powder, turmeric, chilli powder, bay leaf and clove tops. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring.
  4. Add in the flour, saffron, sugar and ½ tsp of salt and then slowly add the water, stirring continually. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat, remove the bay leaf and blend with a stick blender until smooth. If using a food processor to blend, allow to cool first. If not using straight away, chill sauce until needed.
  6. Drain the chicken in a colander so the chicken has only a light coating of yoghurt. Return the sauce to the heat and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and cook, stirring regularly, for approximately 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces. Add steamed beans just before serving.
  7. Season to taste, top with fresh coriander if using and serve.

Recipe adapted from The Hairy Dieters’  Chicken Korma – 2012