Murghi Korma (Chicken in Saffron-Almond Sauce)


At our wedding almost two years ago I was overjoyed to have Raghavan Iyer in charge of the dinner for our reception. I still hear from friends about how much they loved the food in the buffet so I was excited, when going through my recipes, to find instructions for each of the dishes we had at the tasting with Raghavan.

So far I’ve only made one of these dishes, but it was one of my favorites. It was surprisingly easy and turned out well both times I’ve made it. I accidentally bought sliced almonds instead of blanched almond slivers, but it turned out great nevertheless. The following recipe is from Raghavan’s book The Turmeric Trail:

  • .5 tsp saffron threads
  • .5 C heavy whipping cream, slightly warm
  • 1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1″ thick strips
  • 2 T finely copped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • .5 C blanched almond slivers
  • .25 C water
  • 1 tsp garam masaala
  • 2 T ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
  • 2 T finely chopped gingerroot
  • 5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  1. Steep saffron in heavy cream for 1-2 min
  2. In medium bowl, combine chicken, cilantro, salt, ground red pepper, and saffron mixture; refrigerate at least 30 min, but no more than 8 hours
  3. In blender puree almonds, water, and garam masaala until smooth
  4. In 10-inch skillet heat ghee over medium-high heat; add ginger and garlic. Stir fry 2-3 min or until golden brown
  5. Stir in chicken mixture and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, 12-15 min or until partially cooked
  6. Mix in almond paste and simmer on low heat covered, stirring occasionally, 8-10 min or until chicken is no longer pink in center


Raghavan has just released his third book 660 Curries and will start a book tour next month including the training of the corporate chefs of Bon Appetit Management Company. Luckily, Bon Appetit is the company that manages the cafeteria at Yahoo! I guess that means tastier Indian lunches for Dave (and sometimes me)!

Give the recipe a shot and let me know how it works out for you!


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