social spark Aisling Beatha: Hairy Dieters Chicken Korma


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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Hairy Dieters Chicken Korma

The Hairy Bikers have become the Hairy Dieters with their new TV series and book.  I'm going to be trying out most of the recipes from the book and sharing the results with you here.  For our first attempt from the book we tried the Chicken Korma and it was mega!

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  • 4 fairly small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (total 600g)  (we used turkey breast steaks and the recipe went just fine)
  • 25g low fat plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced (you'll have to imagine those are in the picture because I forgot to get some)
  • 20g chunk fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated  (you can see we used ginger from a jar)
  • 12 cardamom pods, seeds crushed, and pods discarded
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 heaped tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp hot chilli powder (use more if you have a milder powder or more hot powder if you like your curry hot)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp white flour
  • small pinch saffron
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus extra to season at the end
  • 300ml cold water
  • 3tbsp double cream
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly torn to garnish

Cut each chicken breast into 8 or 9 bite sized pieces, season with black pepper and put them in a non metallic bowl.

Stir in the yoghurt, cover with cling film and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes, but ideally 2 to 6 hours.

Before you get started on cooking the sauce, you'll need to prepare the spices.  You need to take the seeds out of the cardamom pods and roughly crush them.

You don't need to grind them to a powder like I did in the cardamom coffee cake (also a Hairy Bikers recipe).

Chop the onions and prepare the ginger and garlic.  Yes, I know I forgot the garlic, but you won't forget it will you?  I used ginger from a jar and figured a hefty tsp was about right for a 20g chunk of fresh ginger.

Heat the oil in a large non stick saucepan and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until very soft and lightly coloured. Stir the onions occasionally so they don't start to stick.

Once the onions are softened , stir in the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and bay leaf. Pinch off the ends of the cloves into the pan and throw away the stalks.

Cook the spices with the onions for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in the flour, saffron, sugar and 1/2 tsp salt, then slowly pour the water into the pan, stirring constantly.

Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat, remove the bay leaf and blitz the onion mixture with a stick blender until it is as smooth as possible.

The sauce can now be used right away or cooled, covered and chilled until 10 minutes before serving.

Drain the chicken in a colander over the wink, shaking it a few times - you want the chicken to have just a light coating of yoghurt. Place a non stick frying pan on the heat, add the sauce and bring it to a simmer.

Add the pieces of chicken and the cream and cook for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through, stirring regularly. Exactly how long it takes will depend on the size of your chicken pieces, so check them after 8 minutes, but be prepared to leave them longer if necessary.

Adjust the seasoning to taste, spoon into warmed serving dishes and serve garnished with fresh coriander.

And the verdict?  INCREDIBLE!  That little bit of sugar in the sauce replaces the sweetness that coconut or almonds gives to the recipe and blitzing the onions, spices and water to make the sauce gives the texture they would give to the sauce, to the extent that two of my family members who ate this meal were convinced the recipe still had either coconut or almonds.  Seriously, it's THAT good!  I reckon you could even drop the amount of sugar down from 2 tsp to 1.5 tsp or maybe even 1, but we'll experiment on that and get back to you.  There WILL be opportunity for experiment because we will definitely be making this again!

Come back soon as I will be sharing some more recipe and the results of others that we try fro this book.

You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.


  1. I love korma's!! yours looks so yummy!!!!

  2. Anonymous9:36 pm

    Does anyone know if you can freeze this recipe at any point? I'm just wondering if I csn make a big batch and then defrost and heat up.

    1. Not sure yet, thinking about making up a big batch of the sauce and freezing it at the point without the meat in it.

  3. Anonymous5:43 pm

    When do u add the double cream?

    1. At the same time as you add the chicken is what it says.

  4. I made this and it is amazing !! i froze half of it for another day as it makes for 4 people and there are only 2 of us.

    1. Laney, when you have defrosted and used that second portion can you let us know how it goes please.

  5. Will do, having it tonight so will report back x

  6. Well i enjoyed it just as much as the day it was made. Freezing it did not spoil any flavours x

  7. Awesome. I shall have to try making a big batch of it sometime.

  8. Anonymous8:47 am

    That's great, thanks guys. It's something that takes a bit of time to prepare but looks really nice so think making a batch would be a good idea. I'm going to make it tonight :)

  9. Hi! I'm another blogger who is using the Hairy Bikers' recipes for a while and tonight I'm making the korma. Thanks very much for this, it's helpful, especially with the photos. I'm glad to know it can be frozen as I want to make the sauce and freeze all but the one portion. I'm not having the rice but I will probably add some sweet potato to the mix when I put in the chicken as it doesn't take too long to cook.

    And the book's on order. :0)

  10. Nice! I just gave it a go too (halved the recipe for 2 people; ended up needing more sauce).

    I didn't think that the Hariy Dieters book was out yet; I've been taking recipes from the BBC website.

    1. The book was out even before the series started. When I got my book, around the time of the first episode the cheapest places were Asda and Tesco, although their prices may have changed since then.

  11. I had a go at the Lamb, potato and spinach curry today, watch for that post later this week.

  12. I did the korma this evening after reading your blog. I was gorgeous, I was worried while I cooked it as it did not look or smell right, the Alchemy happened in the last 10 mins. I managed to get some half fat double cream (yes honest it does exist). I am looking forward to your post on the lamb curry

  13. I've just made it. Yummy!


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