Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chicken Korma

I learned a valuable lesson tonight - you can't take shortcuts when it comes to Indian food.


A few weeks ago we bought a jar of Patak's Korma sauce. We came home from the store, stuck the jar in the pantry and then promptly forgot about it. Then this week at the farmer's market we bought a beautiful head of cauliflower and while I was putting away other groceries in the pantry I came across the jar. I had a brilliant idea - I'd use the cauliflower in the korma along with carrots, potatoes, onions and chicken.

We had both been looking forward to tonight's meal since Sunday so you can imagine our disappointment when the meal was blander than bland. It literally tasted like nothing at all, a real shame since the beauty of Indian food is the complex spices.
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6 comments:

  1. I buy patak's too, but the Korma is the worst, IMO. The madras is very spicy and goes well with beef, but the best of them all is the tikka masala.

    Having steamed basmati rice helps, too.

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  2. Anon - thanks! Maybe we'll try the tikka masala sometime after the pain of last night's dinner is a distant memory.

    The only good thing about the meal was that we had basmati rice with it.

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  3. Indian food is soooo tough and time-consuming in order to do it even passably.
    I think Jay makes his own seasoned paste from scratch by following a Cooks Illustrated method. Even then, it still isn't quite what you get at an Indian restaurant.
    We've been buying those $2.50 prepared dishes and then supplementing them with other ingredients. The sauces make a nice base and ghee is apparently crucial for that rich buttery texture. Mostly we buy the palak paneer, okra, spinach and lentil dishes. You got me hooked on those spicy 60-cent samosas at the Indo-Pak grocery stores but now we don't have one convenient to us. So about once a month we head to Little India not far from the Menlo Park mall for a fix of Indian groceries.
    Did you have any leftovers? You might be able to spice them up.

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  4. Erica - mmm...I used to love those samosas. And so cheap! We need to head back to the Indian grocer we used to go. They had the best stuff.

    We do have leftovers - tons of basmati rice and a few servings of the korma. If you have any suggestions for making them better, let me know.

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  5. I asked Jay, and he said he would take some spices and some coconut oil or cream of coconut and sizzle it up with garam masala (cardamon, cumin, coriander) and cinnamon. The fattiness of the cream of coconut or coconut oil (not coconut milk, unless you skim the fatty stuff off the top of the can and heat that in the pan and add more ghee/butter) will help the spices become more fragrant. Then when you have a good sauce, add the chicken and heat it through to eat over rice. Fatty, and if you don't have
    coconut oil/cream then it may require a trip to the store. We just discovered coconut oil at Whole Foods and it's soooo easy to make a quick thai curry now, too. Jay just heats up a tablespoon of coconut oil, adds a little curry paste from a can (he cooks for just himself at night alot since I work then) and throws in veggies and meat or tofu. Tht way you don't have to use a whole can of coconut milk. I'm sure it's slightly more complicated than than that, but it's still quick.

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  6. Well, we have garam masala, but the coconut oil would definitely require a trip to the store. You are so thorough! Thanks!

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Thanks for commenting!