I’m making a low-fat chicken korma for tea. It’s a recipe out of a magazine. I have trouble trusting recipes from magazines – how do I know the author knows or cares about food? And a low-fat korma? I suspish. But. You never know.
Note added post-cooking: Click here to see the rather smashing cooked dish.
1 small knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced (heh, “knob”)
1 garlic clove
1 onion, sliced
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces. (I’m using chicken thighs, whole, because that’s what we have. And thigh meat is tastier than breast meat.)
1tsp garam masala (I have a special korma garam masala, because I am handy that way)
100ml/3 1/2fl oz chicken stock
2tbsp low-fat fromage frais
2tbsp ground almonds
Handful toasted, sliced almonds to serve (I may not bother with this bit. I’m not buying a whole packet of toasted almonds just to sprinkle a few on a korma)
Coriander leaves, plain rice, naan bread of chapatis to serve.
(Magazine reipe instructions in italics)
1. Cook the ginger, garlic and onion in a large pan with the oil until softened. Now this annoys me, because it took me a good while to figure out that it’s useless to put garlic in the pan at the same time as the onion because the garlic will inevitably burn and taste bitter. I will put the garlic in just as the onion’s turning translucent.Tip in chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 5 mins, then add in garam masala for one minute further. Okay, I’m with you there.
2. Pour over the stock and simmer for 10 mins until the chicken is cooked through. Look, I know these recipes need to specify times because otherwise people would complain. But if I was writing this recipe it would just say “simmer until cooked through”. Because 10 minutes is a random time. It could take 5 minutes. It could take 15. It all depends on your chicken. That’s why it’s important to engage in your cooking and pay attention to what it’s actually doing, rather than doing it by timing. Take the pan off the heat and and stir in the fromage frais and ground almonds. Sprinkle over sliced almost, garnish with coriander and served with boiled rice, chapatis or plain nann bread. Okay. Thanks for telling me curry goes with rice.
Actually, I’ll probably do it with rice and dhal. Plain rice is nice is if you cook a few cardomom pods in with it. Here is a recipe for a simple dhal:
Bung some split red lentils in a pan, however much you think you’ll need. Pour over water to cover the lentils and more – use the power of your brain to guess how much water you’ll need for the lentils to absorb and don’t worry about it too much – if you put in too little you can always add more and if you put in too much you can drain it.
Now add some turmeric, cumin and salt. About a teaspoon of each. The turmeric gives a nice yellow colour. Simmer for about 15 minutes or so, until the lentils are as cooked as you want them. Mr B likes his lentils mushy. Add a few quartered tomatoes towards the end of cooking so that they don’t get completely cooked down to mush but add a nice flavour. Season to taste.
Serve with carbohydrate. Or don’t. Serve with spinach (saag) if you like, that would be nice too.