I don’t know how it could be, seeing as he grew up in Essex, but Jamie Oliver sure knows a thing or two about Indian food. No matter what Indian dish I take from the pages of his books and make, it always seems to turn out wonderfully. Not being Indian myself, I don’t always know how closely his dishes stick to their traditional namesakes. I also don’t care, because regardless, they always suit me just fine.
When my wife and I lived out East, we would often wander down to the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market in search of food. Not yet being the home cook that I am today, I wasn’t focused on raw ingredients so much as the tasty treats that could be devoured immediately. One such treat that I often indulged in was a butter chicken dish unlike anything I’d ever tried before. I say that because, as far as I’m concerned, there was no way in hell it should be called butter chicken. It was a chicken curry, and it was absolutely delicious, but it was not butter chicken. Sure, it may have included both butter and chicken to some degree…but it just can’t come call it something that I’m certain it wasn’t.
I’ve researched enough about kormas, however, to know that this dish definitely fits into that category. Not as thick as some other curries I’ve made, this dish carries a hint of spice and lots of flavour. Not finding any Serrano peppers at my local grocery store (how I loathe your unpredictability, Coopers), I opted to use some Thai chilies to add a bit of heat. I assume this breaks from tradition considerably, but my options were limited. Other additions I made to vary my dish from Mr. Oliver’s included decreasing the amount of chicken used, and nearly doubling the amount of chickpeas. Sometimes it’s nice not to have such a meat-heavy dish, and it makes the meal a bit cheaper as well. I’d made this dish once or twice before, so it was nice to not only change it up a bit, but to confirm that changing the chicken to chickpea ratio didn’t detract whatsoever from the dish.
Anyways, without further adieu, it’s my Chickpea and Chicken Korma, adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution:
Chickpea and Chicken Korma
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- a small bunch of cilantro (stems picked and finely chopped, leaves reserved for garnish)
- 3 Thai chilies, whole (or 1-2 Serrano peppers, finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp. butter
- thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely sliced and chopped
- 14 fl. oz. can of coconut milk
- 28 fl. oz. can of chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup Korma curry paste
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- handful of sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and pepper
- cooked rice (preferably basmati, for serving)
- plain yogurt, for serving
- In a Dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Toss in the onions, cilantro stalks, chilies, and the butter. cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the coconut milk, chickpeas, chicken, curry paste, water and most of the almonds, giving it a good stir.
- Turn up the heat slightly (most Dutch ovens retain heat better than regular pots, so medium-high at most) to bring everything to a boil. Then, decrease the temperature to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the chilies and season with salt and pepper. Serve in a bowl over a bed of rice, with a nice dollop of yogurt, the some of the left over sliced almonds, and some reserved cilantro leaves.
I’m bringing this dish over to Fiesta Friday again today. I’m not huge into link-up parties, but I’ve been joining this one since the beginning and have met some very kind and inspiring home cooks in the process. I was actually featured this past week for my Lemon Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Flowers, which was a nice surprise to wake up to in the morning. This week they’re deciding their features based on voting (starting Tuesday night), so please be sure to check them out and show some love for your favourites if you get a chance.