Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Wicked Korma

As I have mentioned, my birthday was a few days ago. I did not really feel like having a party. I wanted to spend a quiet day at home doing some of the stuff I love best: talking shit with my girl Véronique and cooking. I took care of whipping up an awesome dessert, and she showed up with a bag full of ingredients with which to make the actual dinner.

Reproducing her cooking is usually tricky, because she is an intuitive cook who doesn't really measure ingredients, but I got lucky this time, because she based this korma on a recipe she dug out from an online food forum.

I have my own korma recipe which I make from time to time; this one is very different, and while both are tremendously tasty, I could not pick a favorite between the two. My recipe's sauce is not as thick, and the chewy chickpeas give it a very different feel than the much thicker sauce V whipped up. I guess my recipe is more dainty, and her's more hearty. When you think about it, that's actually very representative of our respective styles... I am keeping both preciously!

Here is how to make Véronique's wicked korma, for 4 people. She used beef when she cooked it for my birthday, and it was wonderful, but chicken is the traditional meat used in a korma.

1 1/2 pound stewing beef or chicken breasts
1 heaped tablespoon of finely grated fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup thick plain yogurt (preferably Balkan)
2 dried red chilli
2 finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon ghee
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 pinch of ground white pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 (14 ounce) can coconut cream
Sea salt, to taste
2 heaped tablespoons ground almonds
1 large handful raisins
Finely chopped cilantro leaves, to garnish
1/2 lemon, juiced

Cut the meat into bite sized chunks. Mix the meat with the ginger, garlic and yogurt.

Cover and marinade for 12 hours or in the fridge overnight. Blend the chopped onion and red chilies with an immersion blender (add a little water if you need to). Blend until smooth. Heat the ghee in a pan. Add the ground coriander, ground white pepper, turmeric and garam masala and stir fry for about 1 minute over a low heat.

Turn up the heat, add the onion and chili paste and stir fry for 10 minutes. Add the meat and the marinade and continue to stir fry for another 10 minutes.

Add the coconut cream and enough water to just cover the meat and bring to a boil, stirring until the coconut is dissolved. Stir in the ground almonds and raisins. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer until the meat is tender (45 minutes to 1 hour for beef, 30 to 40 minutes for chicken).

Remove from heat, add lemon juice and salt to taste. Mix well. Serve sprinkled with the chopped cilantro leaves.

As usual with the V-Wonder's cooking, the quantities are approximate because she eyeballs everything. Taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning until you taste-buds are happy! My taste-buds were certainly utterly satisfied: rich, creamy spicy curry goodness tends to have that effect on me.

The texture of the sauce, from the onions being pureed instead of simply being chopped, was amazing, and it is a trick I will certainly use next time I make some curry! Also, using coconut CREAM is crucial to get the desired thick... well... creaminess. In a regular can of coconut milk, the "cream" is the thick blob that floats at the top of the can. You can buy whole cans of that rich stuff: fat, but delicious!

Thanks again for the wonderful birthday dinner, V! Much love! xx

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