Chicken Kurma Recipe

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Chicken Kurma


  • 1 pound skinned chicken (about 6 pieces such as thighs or breasts)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened powdered coconut
  • 2 small slices fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 12 raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. khus khus (white poppy seeds)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-4 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 3 to 5 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel
  • 1/2 cup onion, cut lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (as desired)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro


  1. Cut chicken thighs and breasts into small pieces. Wash the chicken pieces, drain, and set aside.
  2. In an electric blender, grind together coconut, ginger, garlic, chilies, almonds, cumin, fennel seeds, the khus khus with 1 cup of hot water to facilitate the grinding process. Process on high for at least 2-3 minutes until mixture has a creamy, liquid consistency. Set kurma sauce aside.
  3. Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add bay leaf, cinnamon and curry leaves, cumin and fennel seeds. Stir-fry until seeds are brown.
  4. Immediately add onion and tomato and cook for a few minutes. Add turmeric powder and mix well.
  5. Add the chicken pieces to saucepan. Stir well and cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until chicken becomes opaque and slightly brown.
  6. Pour kurma sauce over chicken mixture in saucepan. Add salt, curry powder, garam masala and 1 cup warm water. Cook, covered, over low heat, until chicken becomes tender (approximately 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  7. Add cilantro and continue cooking over low heat for a few minutes.

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