Vegetable Korma

This dish is top – why eat that weird creamy mucky falsely colored stuff that many take-aways sell when you could make this fresh, subtly flavoured and delicate dish so easily!?  I serve this with the flatbreads which you can find the recipe for here.

There are two rules – when I’m talking about tablespoons, I mean tablespoons, not dessert spoons, and whatever type of spoon I’m talking about, I’m meaning big heaped spoonfuls – don’t be afraid of these flavours, you aren’t going to find it too hot or too much, I promise.  I’d probably use 18 cardamom pods, but I’m trying to make a recipe that suits most.

Ingredients for the sauce

Serves 6 (p.s. this freezes well, so make all this, then keep some in the freezer so next time it’s really easy)

250g unsalted cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for minimum of 2 hours (I likt to soack them for 6 hours though)

1 and a half large white (brown) onions
3 cloves garlic
40g fresh ginger (skin left on)
Half a bunch fresh coriander
1 red chilli

12 green cardamom pods
10 black peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds

1.5 tbsp ground turmeric
Half tbsp garam masala
Half tsp cinnamon

1 pack (block) creamed coconut
3 tins of coconut milk (if you are in the UK, I really recommend Aldi’s coconut milk*)
400ml hot water
0.5 tbsp salt
1.5 tbsp sugar
100g sultanas


So, your cashews are soaking – they should be anyway.  Do it before you leave for work, just throw a kettle-full of water over them and go about your day. Then…when you get home:

  1. Take the onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander and put them in a blender and blitz until finely chopped.
  2. In a large pan, heat some vegetable/sunflower/rapeseed oil and heat, add the mix from the blender and fry for a couple of minutes whist stirring.  Turn the heat down to the lowest, stick a lid on the pan and leave it for around 20 mins.  You don’t want to colour this, you just want to cook it until it is sweet and GOOD.
  3. Toast the cardamom pods, peppercorns and coriander seeds in a dry hot pan until you can smell them a little.  Grind up in a pestle and mortar. Discard the husks of the cardamom and retain the seeds. Grind to a powder.
  4. Drain the soaked cashews.  Add them to the blender with one tin of coconut milk, and the chopped block of coocnut cream.  Blend until as smooth as you can get it.  Add the spices you just ground, and the turmeric, garam masala and cinnamon.
  5. Throw this yellow creamy spicy dream into the onion pan.  Add the the other 2 tins of coconut milk and the water. Simmer all of this so the coconut cream melts.
  6. Add salt and sugar and sultanas.  Gently cook for a half hour.


So, that’s the sauce.  I think the longer it sits, the better, as the sultanas plump right up.  What to do with this sauce hey?  Well, I usually blanch (parboil) some broccoli, cauliflower and green beans, then add them to a hot oiled frying pan with a quartered tomato.  I let the tomato skin blister and the veg colour a bit before adding a spoonful of korma sauce, heating through and then I throw in some spinach.  I have also used the sauce on crispy pre-fried tofu and veg, but really, you can put this sauce over any ingredients you might use in a curry.  Serve with fresh coriander on top, and a nigella seed flatbread.

*Aldi’s coconut milk is 91% coconut – this is far higher than any other available. Reduced fat coconut milk is a false economy – please don’t buy it/fall for it! You just get more water added to the tin, so you get a thinner and less tasty sauce, for the same price.  You are literally paying the same for a watered down product which is not truly lower fat.If you want less fat, add less from the tin and add your own water.  You can freeze the rest in tupperware and use it another time. Check the back of the tin for coconut percentage and always get the highest.
















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