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Originally published April 2, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM


Recipe: Chicken Korma

Serves 42 tablespoons poppy seeds 1 cut-up fryer chicken 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 3 to 4 green cardamom pods...

Serves 42 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 cut-up fryer chicken

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 to 4 green cardamom pods

3 dried red chilies, broken open and seeds removed

½ cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes

2 to 3 tablespoons oil

1 cup thinly sliced onions

2 medium cloves garlic, very finely minced

2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger

½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste


½ cup water

½ cup plain yogurt

Optional: ¼ cup heavy cream

Optional: mint leaves and lemon wedges

1. Soak the poppy seeds in warm water 10 minutes; drain in a fine sieve, then place sieve on a folded paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Remove the skin from the chicken; if possible, cut chicken into 12 smaller pieces and set aside.

2. Place a dry skillet on medium heat. When hot, add coriander, cumin, cardamom and chilies. Toast until fragrant and golden.

3. Using a blender or small food processor, or by hand with a heavy mortar and pestle, grind together soaked poppy seeds, toasted coriander, cumin, cardamom and chilies. Add coconut and grind until blended. (The mixture won't have a smooth texture.) An electric coffee grinder can also be used, but grind the mixture in two batches.

4. Heat oil in a pan set on medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook until they are translucent and slightly golden. Add garlic, ginger and salt, stirring 15 seconds; stir in ground spice mix. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes, turning often. Add ½ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan and simmer 25 minutes if chicken has been cut into smaller pieces, or 30 minutes for larger pieces. Turn heat to medium-low.

5. Uncover and stir some of the hot liquid and spices into the yogurt. Add to the pan, stirring well. Cook about 10 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through. Watch carefully — if the yogurt becomes too hot it will curdle. Stir in cream and heat through. Garnish with mint leaves and lemon wedges.

Times Kitchen Note: Although not traditional, the chicken can be removed from the bone for easier serving and stirred back into the sauce.

Adapted from

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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