Who can resist that sweet and creamy flavour of a good chicken korma or a vegetable korma curry? Even though the creaminess in the curry comes from other elements, the korma curry paste is an integral part of a good korma curry. Hence, the secret to a fabulous korma curry recipe is starting with a high quality korma curry paste. Whether or not you make it from scratch or you buy a pre-made korma curry paste in a jar, is up to you. There are plenty of applications for korma curry paste so read on to find out more.
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korma curry paste
I know exactly how you must be feeling now. You are probably thinking how the heck can you master this recipe and make korma curry paste from scratch? The fear of cooking Indian food has been with me for a long time but honestly, it’s much easier than it looks and once you master making the pastes, you’ll never go back to the pre-made stuff. Ever! The same rule applies when cooking Thai cuisine. For example, learning to prepare that red Thai curry paste or green Thai curry paste makes all the difference in terms of delivering flavour.
Although many believe that korma curry originated here in the UK, korma curry has been around for centuries on the Indian sub-continent. Even so, some historians argue that it is in fact a Mughal dish by origin. Apparently, if the cook could master the korma curry paste and cook a korma curry, he or she could cook for the Moghul Court. That’s why people refer to this type of curry as a royal curry or curry for kings.
You might also know korma curry as ‘qorma’, ‘askhorma’, ‘kavurma’ and ‘kurma’. It is said that korma is derived from the Persian word ‘Koresh’, which is a sort of Persian mild stew with the use of ghee. Traditionally, korma was made using ghee, which is clarified butter. Today, korma curry along with the korma curry paste has become an essential part of modern cuisine. Whether it is part of a large family meal or a student takeaway, we all love a good korma curry!
So, what is korma curry? It is a yoghurt and cream based curry with the addition of garam masala, cardamom and other spices that usually make up the korma curry paste. There are plenty of versions one can make using the korma curry paste. You can make a vegetable version, like this one. Or you can make a meat version like a chicken korma for example, find it here. In either case, I think prawn korma is definitely my favourite one, especially when I find those beautiful tiger shrimp. Get the recipe here.
Similarly, you can also vary between the use of cream, yoghurt and coconut milk. You’ll find that every region or province in India has its own signature way of preparing the korma curry. So, you have lots of room to experiment. All you need now is the korma curry paste.
korma paste ingredients
As for the main spices, you’ll need cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, garam masala and ground turmeric. In addition, you’ll also need coriander springs, desiccated coconut, cashew nuts, green chillies, tomato puree, fresh ginger, garlic. You can use vegetable oil, or you can use ghee or coconut oil. You’ll need to follow the recipe measurements very closely to get the flavour balance right.
First, you’ll need to gently fry the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds in oil until their flavours are released. You will know because the air will fill with gorgeous smells! The reason this step is done is so that all the flavours of the spices are released and you get maximum flavour into the korma curry paste. Next, remove from the heat and let the spices cool down. Once you’ve done this, place the spices in a food processor along with all the other ingredients. Process until a relatively smooth paste is formed. You might need to add a splash of water to enable to machine to do its job in order to achieve the right consistency.
So, I would really encourage you to try this recipe when you really want to get into Indian cooking. Especially since you’ll have all the spices leftover in the cupboard. You might as well learn how to make other flavourful Indian dishes. For example, the you can use some of the required spices of the korma curry paste for making beef kofta curry, see the recipe here. Or you can make prawn puri like this one. If you’ve got leftover garam masala, you can use it as a spice rib for an Indian roast leg of lamb. Tempted? Check it out here.
where to buy korma curry paste
If you haven’t got the time to make korma curry from scratch, you can easily purchase some pre-made korma curry paste in jars. For example, you might know these:
- Patak’s Korma Curry Paste
- Asian Home Gourmet Spice Paste for Indian Korma Curry
- Geeta’s Korma Curry Paste
- Geo Org Organic Korma Curry Paste
Proceed to use this homemade korma curry paste as you would the shop-bought version. Alternatively, you can also buy the entire sauce pre-made in the jar. No need to source extra yogurt or cream. Just let the main chosen ingredient, such as chicken, prawns, or vegetables, simmer in the sauce. You might find these in the store:
- Patak’s Korma Curry Sauce
- Spicy Nothings- Coconut Curry Korma
- Seeds of Change Korma Curry Sauce
- Loyd Grossman Korma Curry Sauce
So, which korma curry recipe will you follow?
Don’t forget to pair your korma curry with a warm naan, roti or rice. If you want to cut down on carbs or go gluten-free, then eat it as it and just add more vegetables to the curry.
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Korma Curry Paste
Yield 250 ml (1 cup)
Do you have what it takes to make korma curry paste from scratch? Making korma curry paste is easy. You'll need cumin and coriander seeds, cardamom pods, garam masala and ground turmeric.You'll also need coriander springs, desiccated coconut, cashew nuts, green chillies, tomato puree, fresh ginger and garlic. Have fun!
- 15ml (1 tbsp) cumin seeds
- 15ml (1 tbsp) coriander seeds
- 10 cardamom pods, seeds only
- 30ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 5cm (2in) fresh ginger, peeled
- 30ml (2 tbsp) concentrated tomato puree
- 2 green chillies, washed and topped
- 60g (2 oz) cashew nuts
- 8 coriander sprigs
- 45ml (3 tbsp) desiccated coconut
- 15ml (1 tbsp) garam masala
- 5ml (1 tsp) ground turmeric
- Gently fry the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds in oil until the flavours are released. (You will know because the air will fill with gorgeous smells!)
- Remove from the heat and once cooled down place in a food processor along with all the other ingredients.
- Process until a relatively smooth paste is formed. You might need to add a splash of water to enable to machine to do its job.
- Proceed to use the korma curry paste as you would the shop-bought version.
- The stated quantity is enough to serve 8 people once you add other liquids such as yogurt and cream.
Serving Size 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 14.2 g
Saturated Fat 5.5 g
Sodium 24 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Sugars 1.6 g
Protein 2.4 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.