Whew! It’s been an incredibly busy few weeks, preparing for the release of “Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir”. With things calmed down a little, I finally have time to get back to recipe developing, cooking, and blogging. I promise, today’s recipe is worth the wait!
Chicken Shahi Korma is my absolute favorite thing to order at our favorite Indian restaurant locally – Taste of India. I mean, to the point where I’ve never actually ordered a different entree there – I fell in love with it, and don’t tend to stray!
While we’re always in the mood for some Shahi Korma, we’re usually far less likely to be in the mood to deal with traffic, noise, and… well, people.
I’ve been meaning to unleash my only useful “Aspie Superpower” – recipe replication – on this for a while.
First, a bit of a disclaimer: If I taste something, I can usually replicate it pretty easily – in terms of end product. In doing this, I don’t tend to research the history, techniques, etc – I like to figure most of it out on my own. As a result, there’s a good chance that something in my technique and/or ingredients are way off – and that’s ok.
I just find that “flying blind” tends to facilitate a more accurate final result. In the case of ethnic cooking, I have no idea which regions have different takes on a dish, and how authentic whatever I’m trying to replicate is in the first place. Much better to just replicate what I want to replicate, tradition be damned!
Anyway… figured I’d address that, after a conversation last night. I posted that our dinner was awesome, and was asked what makes it “Shahi” Korma, from someone who had only ever had Korma.
I had no idea. Google revealed that the “Shahi” means “royal”. I looked up non-Shahi Korma, and I’m going to go ahead and guess that the addition of raisins, cashews, and paneer is what makes this particular Korma “royal”.
I may not know the language or traditions, but I do know that this meal is insanely delicious. I was going off memory from a week or so ago, so it may be slightly off – but it’s *damn* close. While I may eventually tweak it slightly – with source material nearby – I had to share this. SO good!
Chicken Shahi Korma
4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (thighs and or/breast)
2 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
8 cloves garlic, peeled & pressed/minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Olive oil
4 whole cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
5 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
3 tsp hot pepper flakes
2 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups coconut milk* (Or heavy cream)
1 cup plain yogurt
~12 oz paneer, cubed
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2-3/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Cut chicken into large cubes, place in a large bowl.
Put ginger, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil into a blender or food processor – process till it’s a thick paste. Pour over chicken, toss to coat, and marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Grind cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, and fennel seedswith a spice mill or mortar/pestle.
In a blender, combine freshly ground spices with cashews, chicken broth, and olive oil, process until fairly smooth. Add sugar, cinnamon, cumin, tumeric, coriander, pepper flakes Garama masala, and ground caradmom, process till combined. Set aside.
In a large pan, cook chopped onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil until tender and translucent. Add chicken and tomato paste, cook until tomato paste starts to brown and/or gets very aromatic. Add chicken broth/spice mixture, along with coconut milk/heavy cream and yogurt. Stir well, reduce heat to low, simmer for about 1 hour.
When sauce has thickened, add paneer, raisins, cashews, parsely and cilantro. Stir well, continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
Serve over rice.
* By “coconut milk”, I am referring to the thick, creamy type – NOT the watery juice type, and not “coconut creme”. This is readily available in the Asian section of major grocers, or in many ethnic grocery shops.