My husband and I love Indian food. Our kids are okay with some of the sauces, and they like Naan bread, but they are not big fans….yet. But, just as the author from French Kids Eat Anything says, they’ve got to try it many times (I think 12? And I’m going to go even further and say 20) to develop a taste for it. It’s also good for me to remember that food always tastes better when they’re hungry, so I’ve got to remember to not let them snack an hour or two before dinner.
As you can see, we use a lot of spices in this recipe. You might be wondering where in the world you can even find some of these things, like fennel seeds, and cumin seeds. Most you should find at your local grocery store, Walmart, Target, Sprouts etc and I picked up a couple from an Indian store near by but you can also use the powdered form of any of these spices, and you should be able to find the powdered form anywhere. I like to use whole spices because they keep their flavor longer, so especially for things like fennel or cardamom, spices you might not use very often, having the whole spice is nice.
Also, you don’t have to use the entire jalapeno. I do. But I like spicy foods. And so does my family. Just as a frame of reference, when I order Indian food at a restaurant, I ask for medium heat, and that’s what you’ll get with this. Which, Indian medium heat, might feel too hot for some. So feel free to use half, a quarter or even less jalapeno if you’re not into the heat. You’ll still get a little from the cayenne and chili powders.
There are a few ‘optional’ things you can do with this Korma. You can add cooked chicken, or steamed veggies, or paneer (a soft cheese), or raisins. If I’m doing chicken, I’ll usually throw it in the crock pot in the morning, on low with some broth, mostly because I’m lazy and I just want to dump it in and forget about it. If I’m adding in steamed veggies, I will steam them as I’m cooking my sauce. The paneer or raisins, I just add once the sauce is nearly done.
Alright, so first thing you’ll do is put your cashews in a bowl with some cool water and let them sit for 15 minutes while you’re putting the other paste ingredients, starting with your water, into your blender. By soaking the nuts, you break down the phytic acid so it can be more easily absorbed. Nuts also have enzyme inhibitors making them hard to digest, but soaking them neutralizes the enzymes for proper digestion.
Once all your ingredients are in there, drain and add the cashews and blend until smooth. As a side note, when I add my ginger, I just peel it and then drop the 1 inch piece in the blender.
Once that’s done,warm your oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Cut up your onions like so (they don’t need to be diced because they’ll go into the blender), and add them to the warm oil. Next, add your spices to the pan and let them cook together for a few minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add your fresh and canned tomatoes and cook a few minutes longer.
Add these veggies and spices to the blender with your paste.
Blend until smooth.
Pour the blender contents back into your pan. Add about 1/2 cup water to the emptied blender jar, put lid on, and swirl it around to get all the paste sticking to the inside of the jar, and pour into the frying pan. Keep pan on medium-low heat and stir in your coconut milk until blended together.
Add your optional cooked, shredded or cubed chicken/veggies/raisins,or just keep it as a plain Korma sauce. Allow the flavors to cook together another 5 minutes before serving over brown basmati rice (or any cooked rice; I often have it over just steamed broccoli and cauliflower). I don’t like to add a lot of salt to the recipe, so I will sprinkle a little bit on the top before, just before I add my chopped cilantro. Also great with a side of Naan, or whole wheat pita bread that’s been toasted.
1/3 cup raw cashews (soaked in a bowl of water for 15+ minutes, then drained)
1 c water
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp coriander seeds (or 1 Tbsp ground coriander)
2 tsp fennel seeds (or 2 tsp ground fennel)
1 tsp cumin seeds (or 1 tsp ground cumin)
6 whole cloves (or 1/2 tsp ground cloves)
4 green cardamom pods (or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom)
1/4 tsp black peppercorn (or 1/4 tsp ground)
1 jalapeno (can do 1/2 or less if you’re more of a ‘mild’ spice person)
4 tsp minced garlic or 8 cloves
1 inch ginger, peeled
Combine all paste ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.
2 medium onions, chopped (red, yellow, or white)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 large Roma tomato, chopped
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or any cut)
1 can coconut milk with full fat (I like Thai Kitchen brand)
chopped cilantro to garnish
optional: 1-2 cups chopped and steamed veggies like carrots, potato, peas
optional: 1/3 c golden raisins or 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
optional: cooked, shredded chicken or cubed paneer. (I’ll usually put a frozen chicken breast in the crock pot with some vegetable broth in the morning and cook it on low all day)
In a large frying pan, add 1 Tbsp coconut or olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion with 1/2 tsp sea salt, yellow curry powder, turmeric, chili powder, and cayenne pepper, and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until they are mushy, a few more minutes. Add these veggies and spices to the blender with your paste. Blend until smooth. Pour the blender contents back into your pan. Add about 1/2 cup water to the emptied blender jar, put lid on, and swirl it around to get all the paste sticking to the inside of the jar, and pour into the frying pan. Keep pan on medium-low heat and stir in your coconut milk until blended together.
Add your optional cooked chicken/veggies/raisins,or just keep it as a plain Korma sauce. Allow the flavors to cook together another 5 minutes before serving over brown basmati rice (or any cooked rice; I will also often have it over just steamed broccoli and cauliflower). Sprinkle your serving with a tiny bit of salt, and then garnish with chopped cilantro. Also great with a side of Naan, or whole wheat pita bread that’s been toasted.