Nilgiri Chicken Korma.

This recipe hails from the Nilgiri Hills in India’s Tamil Nadu state. The name Nilgiri would seem to derive from two Sanskrit words meaning ‘Blue Hills’, which refers to the purple blossoms of the kurinji flower that blooms there in spring. This is a rather simplified version of the classic dish, but the delicious combination of tastes is maintained.

1 onion, chopped.
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped.
25mm ginger, grated .
2 tomatoes chopped.
1 green chilli deseeded, chopped .
1/2 cup yoghurt .
3 cloves.
2 tsp fennel seeds.
6 cardamom pods, crushed.
½ tsp cinnamon.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
A little oil.
300g lean chicken meat, diced.
1 bay leaf.
1 cup mint leaves, chopped.
1 cup coriander leaves, chopped .
160ml coconut milk .

Blend the onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and chilli in the yoghurt and set aside. This is best done some time beforehand and left covered in a cool place for the flavours to combine. Dry fry the cloves, cardamom, and fennel over a hot flame until the seeds pop. Transfer to a mortar and grind together along with the cinnamon, turmeric and salt. Set to one side.

Heat a little oil in a wide pan over a hot flame and stir fry the meat until sealed. Add the spice mix, stir well until the meat is fully covered, then add the onion mixture and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, stir through, cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Stir in the mint, coriander and coconut milk, bring to the boil and simmer gently, stirring for 2-3 minutes then serve over rice .

Serves: 2.

Variations: Nilgiri Beef Korma, Nilgiri Lamb Korma, Nilgiri Pork Korma. In all of these cases, used very thinly sliced lean meat.


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