There are few dishes more comforting than korma. Creamy and gently spiced, it's the ultimate hug-in-a-bowl on the sofa at the end of a long week.
Cooking the korma
You'll find different kormas popping up all over India – Shahi and Mughlai versions are most common, where yoghurt is mixed in with crunchy almonds and braised with the meat. Over in south India, they sub in coconut milk instead of yoghurt, creating a much creamier, sweeter wonder.
But the flavour and intensity that we all know and love comes from the spices that are bundled into the mix. You've got the earthiness of the ground cumin seeds, while subtle sweetness and nuttiness is added with ground coriander.
Flavours fit for a king
The word korma comes from the Urdu meaning 'to braise' – but the dish itself is believed to have originated in Asia, and more precisely in what is known today as India and Pakistan. But it was actually the result of sheer experimentation in the royal kitchens of Mughal emperor Akbar the Great during the 16th century.
It – of course – found instant popularity, and was named in honour of the warrior Rajput Kurma. Because of its associations with the emperor's court, the korma is sometimes preceded by the word Shahi – AKA 'royal'. Now how many curries have that claim to fame?
Cream of the crop
Nothing brings people to the table quite like the warm spicy aroma of local Indian institutions – and when there's a korma around, you simply can't go wrong. Bitesize pieces of meat of vegetables swim in the lightly-coloured curry, which is rounded with a mild creamy finish. You'll be mopping up every last bit with a strip of naan bread.
Camberwell Kitchen add extra cashew nut paste, and finish the dish with a splash of cream and slivered almonds. Miami's Indian Kitchen make their korma with everything from sweet vegetables to kangaroo meat, while Beyond India make their sweet and mild with cardamom notes.
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