Lately I have been either eating out (a lot) or taking a shortcut on cooking. One of my recent favorite discoveries is a jar of pre-made korma paste from an Indian store. That’s some good stuff, imagine deeply spiced, restaurant quality curry in 30 minutes. While it tasted amazing and made the korma cooking process fuss-free, the amount of oil and preservatives it packed is not something I want to eat on a daily basis. So I have been on a mission to recreate something similar at home that can be made ahead of time, stored, and used for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries on demand. You will find hundreds of korma paste recipes online but I used Jamie Oliver’s recipe as a guide and tweaked it per my taste and ingredients on hand to make one delicious korma paste!!
Korma means braising the meat, a method where initial braising in done in ghee (clarified butter), yogurt and spices and then allowing it to simmer in water until finished. Generally, blanched and finely ground nuts are also used as thickening agent and finished off with some cream. This dish is believed to have been created in Moghul kitchens of the 16th century but the recipe has been adopted by chef’s, families, and home cook’s with their own personal spin. Apparently, there are different variations of korma and the recipe I am sharing sounds like a close combination between modern and South Indian korma minus yogurt/heavy cream.
I am afraid the korma aficionado may disapprove of my modernesque korma paste but it’s fantastic in terms of it’s taste, health factor, and easiness. Until I find a better recipe, I am going to hold on to this recipe and you should too. All the ingredients in this korma paste are real/natural, spices are freshly grounded, and there is not even a trace of preservatives here which is what we should strive to eat on a daily basis.
The recipe for this homemade korma paste is extremely straightforward but I strongly suggest you to use coffee or a spice grinder (a basic one like this is just fine) for spices and nuts then use a food processor/blender to puree everything into a smooth consistency.
So far I have made vegetarian korma with homemade korma paste and it turned out delicious!! It’s a pretty flexible recipe with whatever veggies you have on hand and homemade korma paste. I will share my vegan/glutenfree version of vegetable korma recipe on Wednesday..stay tuned friends.
Homemade Korma Paste
Serves: 1 cup
Easy, Healthy Korma Paste. It can be stored for several days and used to make both vegetarian or non-vegetarian korma.
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 small fresh root ginger
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 5 oz.tomatoes (or use 2-3 tablespoon tomato paste)
- 4 fresh green chillies
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (I used frozen kind)
- 4 tablespoons ground cashews (use about 2 tablespoon whole cashews and grind it into fine powder)
- 5 sprigs of fresh cilantro
- salt per taste
- Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat and toast cumin and coriander until fragrant. Pay attention because it can turn from golden brown to dark/burnt really fast. Remove from heat and set aside. Then use a coffee grinder to turn it into a fine powder.
- In a food processor, add tomatoes, ginger, and garlic and puree into a paste. Slowly add the remaining ingredients until it forms into a smooth paste. Taste and adjust salt and green chillies per taste.
Also, I’d like to give a big shout out to Madison @wetherillssayido for a slight facelift of this space. Thank you Madison for being so patient with me.