Healthy Chicken Korma
Fancy a delicious curry without the nutritional nasties? Try this low-fat curry recipe, by H&F food writer Lyndon Gee
When Saturday evening hits, it's pretty tempting to reach for that takeway menu. But, whilst a good Indian takeaway is no doubt very tasty, it also packs a calorific punch. Enter H&F food writer, Lyndon Gee. He's put together a delicious and nutritional korma recipe, meaning you get all the taste, but less of the fat associated with a restaurant curry.
Korma originated in northern India and has a strong Persian influence. It can be made with any meat or fish, but should always be aromatic and fragrant. A mild chicken korma is one of the most popular curry dishes in the UK. Traditionally chicken is braised and the sauce thickened with ground seeds or nuts, and is defined by it's mild spice and pale colour.
In curry houses it’s often full of fat (cream, butter or ghee and creamed coconut). Instead, I’ve created a creamy texture by using yoghurt and thickening the sauce with ground almonds, which are packed with vitamins and minerals – this turns a dish which is bad for your heart into one that’s good for it! I’ve also added plenty of turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Long used in Chinese and ayurvedic medicine, the powerful cancer-fighting properties of turmeric make this a spice we should use more.
This recipe is versatile and you can use most meat, fish or vegetables instead of chicken. To make pilau rice for two people, add six whole cardamom pods, six whole cloves and a 2cm cinnamon stick to a pan and toast for two minutes with no oil. Add a dash of oil, throw in a finely chopped onion and cook for a couple of minutes, then add a good pinch of salt and pepper and a heaped teaspoon of ground turmeric. Mix in, then add your preferred variety of rice and cook as per instructions. Once cooked, stir in a few raisins or chopped apricots, seeds and chopped herbs.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15–20 minutes
6 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 heaped tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
I tsp ground coriander
good pinch white pepper
2–3cm peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 skinless free range chicken breast cubed (350g aprox)
dash of sunflower oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
200ml vegetable or chicken stock
2–3 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp flaked toasted almonds
fresh coriander to garnish
1. Add two tablespoons of yoghurt to a bowl with the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, ginger and garlic, mix well and leave to stand for a couple of minutes to infuse.
2. Stir the yoghurt mixture again, add the chicken, making sure it is well coated, then set aside.
3. Add the oil to a pan and cook the onion until soft and starting to brown, about five minutes.
4. Add the chicken and marinade to the pan and stir constantly for another five minutes. As soon as it starts to stick, add the stock, mix well and bring to a gentle simmer, add a lid and cook for another five to seven minutes stirring occasionally.
5. Mix in the ground almonds and allow to cook for a further minute or two, stirring.
6. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining yoghurt and serve with a sprinkling of toasted almonds, a little fresh coriander and some side dishes, such as mango chutney and chopped red onion and chillies.
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