Shahi Chicken Korma… what is Shahi? A term for royal in reference to the imperial court of Mughal Empire. What is korma? a mildly spiced meat or vegetable dish often made with yogurt, cream or nuts or all three for special occasions. All this can sound intimidating but with little prep and patience you can make this dish and give yourself and friends a tour of the royal tastes. This chicken korma is perfect for a special occasion or a weekend treat as it is very rich in texture.
Making the korma will require a few easy preps that you can do ahead of time, lets walk through them.
To make the the crispy brown onions, thinly slice one large onion ( i use a mandolin ). In a deep pan or small wok heat 2 inches oil on medium low flame for deep frying . Once the oil is hot add the onions and fry them on a low medium flame. Carefully watch them as they should turn golden brown and crispy not dark brown, or your korma will taste bitter. Drain on paper towel and let it cool completely. Store them in an air tight container until ready to use.
Take 6 to 7 unsalted raw cashews and boil them for about 4 to 5 minutes Once slightly cool make a smooth paste of it in a blender with the help of just a few table spoons of water ( I used just 3 tbs). Store in a container in the fridge until ready to use.
2 inch- cinnamon stick
5 -6 -green cardamoms
3 -4 -peppercorns
Grind all these whole spices in a coffee grinder to make your garam masala spice mix powder. I usually make this fresh but you may store in an airtight bottle to use for any recipe that requires garam masala. This is the garam masala i use for when i want a good fragrant one.There are store bought ones but they have a lot more ingredients that i think over power this dish.
The above steps were the only major pre prep that is required to make this dish.
2 Pounds of Chicken cut in to 2 inch pieces . I used bone in chicken as i find it helps keep the chicken moist, more flavorful and tender. If you prefer boneless thats fine too, just adjust your cooking times (boneless tends to cook a lot faster).
1 cup – crispy brown onions
1 tbs- ginger paste or grated
1tbs- garlic paste or grated
2 tbs- cashew paste
3 tbs- plain greek yogurt
1/3- cup of heavy cream
1/4- cup cooking oil
11/2 tsp- chilli powder
1 tbs- corriander powder
1 tsp-cumin powder
1 tsp- of garam masala
2 pinches of saffron
1 -bay leaves
1tbs- sliced almonds
1tsp- sliced pistachios
1/2 cup- water if needed to adjust the consistency
salt to taste
Heat a Dutch oven or any heavy bottom pot on a medium flame with the 1/4 cup of oil. Once the oil is heated, add the bay leaf and pepper corns and saute for a few seconds before adding the chicken along with the ginger garlic paste. Sear on medium high for a couple minutes.
Once the meat is seared add the chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and stir well . Cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on a medium low flame. While that is cooking, in a blender add the brown onions with the greek yogurt and blend to make a thick paste.
After 7 to 8 minutes of cooking add the brown onion and yogurt paste to the chicken along with salt to taste and stir well. Cover and cook for another 7 minutes on low medium heat. Uncover and add the cashew paste, cream, raisins, almonds, pistachios and saffron. Cover and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Once done sprinkle a tsp of the garam masala that you made and and the optional 1 tsp of rose water if you have. Serve hot with naan or rice . Enjoy the royal experience!