Almond curry

February 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

This curry is delicious.  It is mild, creamy and nutty.  Don’t be fooled – just because it’s not burn-your-tastebuds hot doesn’t mean it isn’t packed full of flavor.  You really have to use the whole spices to get the effect (and make sure you fish them all out before you serve, lest you spoil your appetite with a soapy surprise by chomping on a cardamom pod masquerading as a raisin).

From: Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking


1 inch ginger, chopped

8-9 cloves garlic, chopped

6 T blanched, slivered almonds

4 T water

7 T vegetable oil

3 lbs chicken, cubed

10 cardamom pods

1 inch cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

5 cloves

7 oz (200 g) onions, finely chopped

2 t cumin

¼ t cayenne

7 T plain yogurt

10 oz. (300 ml) cream

1.5 t salt

1-2 T sultanas (this is British-speak for golden raisins.  they like to use fancy french-sounding words for simple things to make them seem cooler than they really are.  to wit: not eggplant, but aubergine.  not zucchini, but courgette.  not napkin, but serviette.)

¼ t garam masala


1.  Blend the ginger, garlic four tablespoons of almonds and the water into a paste.  I don’t have a blender or a food processor, but do have weird immersion blender thingy and it KIND of worked.

2.  Lightly toast the remaining almonds in the oven under the broiler on a baking sheet to use for garnishing later.  Toss them often, they burn quickly.  Like, instantly.

3.  Brown the chicken pieces in the oil on medium high heat.  Remove and set aside.

4.  Put the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cloves into the same oil and fry for a few seconds.  Add the onions and fry a few minutes until golden (3-4 minutes).  Add the almond paste, cumin and cayenne and fry 2-3 minutes or until the oil seems to separate from the spice mixture.  Add 1 T yogurt.  Stir and fry 30 seconds.  Add the rest of the yogurt, 1 T at a time, in this manner.

5.  Add back the chicken pieces (and any juices), and also add the cream and salt.  Cover, turn the heat low and simmer for 20 minutes.

6.  Add the sultanas and turn the chicken pieces.  Cook covered for 10 more minutes.

7.  Add garam masala and stir to incorporate.

8.  Serve with rice and sprinkle toasted almonds on top.

NOTE: do not eat the whole spices (i.e., cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves).


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