Who doesn’t like curry? Its popularity in recent decades has spread outward from Southern Asia to figure prominently in international cooking – across to different parts of the world for many thousand of years. As a result of spice trades and immigrations, curries hit all four corners of the globe and create many different versions of curries.
In the UK, for example, curry dishes are very popular. Curry houses can easily be spotted. Two centuries of British presence in Indian subcontinent has fostered a much-flaunted lover affair with the Indian kitchen. Anglicised curries were made popular by the returning expatriates to Britain. These anglicised curries were usually made up of meat, fried with curry paste then being stewed in water, with additions of raisins and shredded coconut – has turned curry into a style that is virtually unknown in Asia.
The influx of immigrants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and East Africa during the sixties and seventies has caused a boom in the restaurant and catering industry. Many have adapted the menu to suit to local tastes and expectations.
When I first came to the UK and visited a randomly picked curry house, I thought I would be so familiar with all the curry dishes. It proved me wrong after scanning through the menu, I was dumbfounded. They sounded different from those Indian dishes that I used to eat back in Malaysia, except one with the word Korma. Korma, sometimes spelled Kurma, is a slightly mild curry. It is one of the most popular curries in the UK and often features almonds or cashew nuts.
A sense of relief, with the thought that I found something familiar. The moment of feeling great didn’t last long. After the first taste of the Chicken Korma, I instantly could tell the difference. Well, at least, the Korma that I know, wasn’t as thick as I had tasted. Besides, it tastes slightly more spicy back home. The mild version in the UK, in fact, is really really mild and has really thick consistency, as yogurt is used as the base. Back home, the sauce is less thick and mainly uses coconut milk.
After my first curry experience in the UK, it has got me thinking this curry dish has been localised. Curries differ greatly in their taste and content, not only between countries but also within countries. I have to admit, though they may seem different, either slightly or greatly, it is still a comfort dish that easily warms one’s heart and tummy. As we are now heading into autumn/winter temperature in the Northern Hemisphere, let Chicken Korma – my version of British Chicken Korma be on your menu!
For the Chicken Korma:
2 tbsp sunflower oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
500g chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled and sliced
6 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
a small handful of coriander leaves, chopped
1cm piece root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder
1. Put the ginger, chillies and garlic in a food processor and grind until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, add the rest of the spice paste ingredients, mix until combined and set aside.
2. Heat the sunflower oil in a pan over medium-high heat, put the black mustard seeds and sizzle for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the spice paste and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally.
3. Tip in the chicken pieces and cook until they turn opaque. Add the tomatoes and stir to mix well. Add the water, bring to the boil, then add the yoghurt, stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and put the lid to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until the gravy starts to thicken.
4. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and serve with boiled rice or naan bread.
I loe a good korma curry with naan bread. Love the beautiful pot and great styling.
Thank you! 🙂
Haha you are right, everything tastes slightly different in the UK, but I like the UK version nonetheless. Great pic!
Yeah, it was quite a shock when I first got to know about the UK version of curry!
I’ve always loved curry. Your korma looks amazing and ever so tasty! Gorgeous click too.
Superbe photo, j’adore le poulet Korma… un petit air de vacances en Asie! Bises…
Merci Dominique. J’aime beaucoup le curry!
i have never had a yummy kurma curry, so i shud just make my own. thanks for the recipe 🙂
It’s easy, give it a try.
My husband and I LOVE this dish and I’ve been kind of nervous to try it at home. But I’m going to do it! Yours looks awesome!
Thank you! Do give it a go!
This looks so delicious! Your picture is gorgeous too 🙂
I’ve always been a fan of korma and the taste really suits my hubby’s appetite. I love it also.
In my home island we do a different version of curry as well. It’s called ‘cari’.
Your chicken korma looks delicious !
I see, it’s interesting! In Malay, we call curry ‘Kari’. 🙂
That is one Beautiful Korma… and I spy a roti in t background… Oooh lapar wei 🙂
I love the presentation 😀
Terima kasih, Lisa. I memang suk a naan bread with curry. Laparoscopic ya, mai la makan 😉 hehe
Love me some korma, any day. Scratch that. EVERYDAY! Gorgeous click LeeMei 🙂
Thank you Kiran.. 🙂
A beautiful photograph that makes me want to scoop put the korma from the kadai!
Thanks for your compliment! 🙂
Perfect 10. Love love love the shot. I had this dish while in Penang but somehow it was pale yellow in color…the vendor must have forgotten the spices. 😉
Thank Bee. You are right, I do notice the version in Malaysia is in pale yellow colour. The version that I had before in the UK was medium to darker orange with slight yellow shade.. It’s amazing how the curry differs across the countries.. I do miss the one in Msia.
Wow, this chicken dish looks fabulous with all the spices…would love to try it out.
Beautiful dish…hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂
The reflection of the table napkin design makes it look like such a lovely pot. Will try cooking this with mutton soon. Great recipe.
The kurma’s I’ve eaten are always grey in color.
I think mutton would be a great substitute.
Haha….very familiar….similar to my usual complaints. That’s why I don’t like to go out for our Malaysian food here in UK. Just not like back home. It’s adapted to suit local taste buds 🙁 I still prefer my curry cooked with curry. Have never tried with yoghurt. Looks very delicious though. Quite a while I have not cooked curry. I should try korma one day. Good for a cold day 😀
Yeah! Totally agreed! Definitely great for cold nights 😉
love your watermark… chicken korma looks delicious!
Thank you for your kind words 😉
Oh man this looks so, so good. Love the styling as well, I need to take lessons from you! 🙂
To maybe answer some of the complaints about the kormas. In fact there are different types of kormas. In india there is even a south indian style “kurma”, which again is like a spicier korma with coconut milk inside. Speaking for myself, I have become a fussy eater after visiting different asian countries.
Yes. The kind of kurma we have back in Malaysia is a south indian style, which I really love!