My Chicken, Chickpea and Butternut Korma is a no-apologies cheat – I harness the power of a spice pot to make this the perfect throw-together-in-a-hurry weeknight meal. Who am I to argue with someone somewhere who spent a lot of time putting together the perfect balance of Korma spices! Replace the chicken with veg/tofu/quorn for an easy vegan curry.
I’m no spice namby-pamby (although I don’t like things to have so much of a kick I can’t feel my face) so I’m not a Korma fan because I can’t handle anything hotter, I just like them. I used to ask for extra chilli. Once upon a time there was a misunderstanding and I got ‘extra hot’ instead. I just keep them mild nowadays!
My favourite Indian/Bangladeshi restaurants are Jaflong in Peckham/East Dulwich, Spice of Life in Grimsby and Jaypur in Banbury. Jaflong makes a Korma thats just to my liking – super sweet, extra garish yellow and full of chicken! In fact I suggested Jaflong as a venue for my bookclub last year and we haven’t looked back – we may honestly be more into the curries than the books! You’ll never beat the naan breads at the Jaypur though – they’re the size of a single duvet. And I’m only exaggerating a little. Also, I am fully aware that ‘naan’ means ‘bread’ and that I just referred to ‘bread breads’ but frankly I don’t really care. Sorry not sorry. For other instances where I bastardise takeaway classics, do look at my Sweet and Sour Chicken!
Sometimes I like a little more substance to my Korma and its always a good idea to add in some veg to any dish. And so in a flurry of work-lunch-meal-prep, I made this curry. Fair warning – it involves a shop-bought paste. Now of course you and I can both make a fresh curry paste, and I don’t doubt that it would be super easy and an absolute delight. But the lovely folk at Pataks and many of their fellow companies have kindly done that work for us so we can whip up a curry from start to finish in a half hour or so. I don’t think it would be out of the realms of reality to suggest using a jar of korma sauce in lieu of the paste pot, coconut milk and water. Go crazy and ‘cheat’ away. For other instances where I bastardise takeaway classics, do look at my Sweet and Sour Chicken!
Now obviously I have mentioned both the words ‘chicken’ and ‘vegan’ in the title of this post. Don’t worry I haven’t lost the plot – I am aware that vegans aren’t generally a fan of chicken! However, take out the chicken and this dish is absolutely vegan. You could add in something like well drained and fried tofu, quorn pieces or another vegetable such as cauliflower florets, aubergine, or phat mushrooms. Can you get a vegan version of paneer? Maybe that if it exists! My Carrot, Red Lentil and Satay Meal Soup is equally gluten free and vegan if you just don’t add the chicken. I see a theme forming here!
Serves 4 (with sides)
150g Butternut Squash
2 Tbsp Oil
Sea Salt Flakes
450g Chicken Breast
70g Korma Paste Pot
1 Can (400ml) Light Coconut Milk
1 Can (240g) Chickpeas
3 tbsp Cornflour
- Leave out the chicken and the dish is not only vegetarian but also vegan. You could add other veg to bulk it up – aubergine, courgette, red peppers maybe.
- To otherwise bulk it up a little and gain a more classic texture, add some ground almonds.
- Serve with rice (one of the microwave packets would be my likely choice) and any chutneys, poppadoms or Indian breads you desire.
Chop 150g Onion and 150g Butternut Squash into 1cm cubes and add to a deep wide pan on a medium heat with 2 Tbsp Oil and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes. Fry gently for 5 minutes until the onion has softened and the butternut is little golden.
Meanwhile, cube 450g Chicken Breast into 2-3 cm chunky pieces and add to the veg once its ready. Fry gently for another 5 minutes.
Add a 70g Korma Paste Pot and continue to fry for another couple of minutes. The spices need to cook out a little before the liquid is added.
Add 1 Can (400ml) Light Coconut Milk, 1 Can (240g) Chickpeas and 400ml Water. Bring to a simmer and leave for 10 minutes. You may want to stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking.
Mix 3 tbsp Cornflour with a little water to make a slurry and add to the sauce. Continue to stir until the sauce has thickened a little. (If you want to add ground almonds, add them at this stage).
Garnish with a swirl of yoghurt or creme fraiche (omit for vegan – maybe swirl some more coconut milk/cream) and fresh coriander leaves. Serve with rice and naan as you wish.
This can be be placed in takeaway containers and easily frozen then defrosted and microwaved or reheated on the hob.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
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For more easy weeknight dinner ideas, why not check out some of my other popular speedy recipes:
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Turkey and Butternut Chowder
Pan Fried Gnocchi with Chicken Meatballs and Pea Puree (10 Minute Meal)
Skinny Mac’n’Cheese Side Dish (or Full Meal with Gammon and Mushrooms)
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