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You don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in this pseudo-take-away dish. Cooked with low-fat yogurt and lean chicken breast, the calorie and fat content is ridiculously low, so you don’t even have to feel bad about serving it up with a decent portion of rice. This healthy chicken korma is also fairly mild so suitable for anyone who isn’t a big fan of spice!
The recipe might seem to have quite a few ingredients, which is typical of most curries. The good news is that a good chunk of the ingredients are simply spices that you need to spoon out of a jar.
How many calories does it have?
The fact that Indian curries are packed with curries is a common misconception. Yes, a lot are cooked in ghee (which is clarified butter, and nearly 100% fat). And many contain a lot of heavy cream and fatty meat cuts. However, making a healthy curry is not too tricky if you’re happy to deviate from some of the traditional cooking methods. Use olive oil instead of ghee or butter, and use leaner cuts of meat or veg instead of fatty skin on chicken or red meat.
This korma recipe uses yogurt which is actually quite true to the traditional recipes (which used yogurt and cream). It comes in at just 330 calories and 15g of fat. Yet it compromises on none of the taste, using several rich spices and flavours.
Can you make it in advance?
This is a great recipe for reheating – it keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge. You can also mix things up a little and add the cooked chicken to sandwiches or wraps or salads (obviously remove the chicken from the sauce when you come to serve it if you want to do that).
I don’t recommend freezing this recipe. Low-fat yogurt can split when frozen and thawed. Plus you’ll need to heat this thoroughly before eating and cooking the yogurt to that temperature may make it more prone to curdling (more on that below). However, if you do freeze and reheat it will be perfectly safe to eat. It just won’t look as great.
How to stop the yogurt splitting?
The type of yogurt you use will make a big difference when it comes to how easily the yogurt curdles or not. Generally, full-fat yogurt will curdle less than low-fat. But, since we are making a healthy chicken korma here there are some tips you can use to make sure that the mixture doesn’t curdle and leave that bumpy texture:
- Firstly, bring the yogurt to room temperature before using. This will stop the yogurt from heating as quickly which can cause it to curdle.
- Whisk the yogurt with a little cornflour. Whisk it really well until everything is fully combined and the texture of the yogurt is a little fluffier.
- This is probably the most important part – make sure the pan isn’t too hot when you add the yogurt. Reduce the heat right down until the curry is warm but no longer bubbling.
If it does curdle then it’s not the end of the world. You can still eat the curry – it just won’t look as great (and the texture won’t be as smooth).
For this recipe you will need:
- Low-fat natural yogurt – you can use low-fat Greek yogurt instead if preferred
- 1/4 tsp cornflour
- Olive oil
- Onion – brown or white both work fine
- Garlic – minced (or you can also finely chop)
- Ginger paste – or fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- Skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Garam masala powder
- Ground turmeric
- Ground cumin
- Cardamom pods
- Cinnamon stick
- Flaked almonds
- Roughly chopped coriander
If you don’t have all the spices in then some you can swap them with include ground dried coriander, nutmeg, ground cloves or a smaller amount of chilli powder. The cumin is quite traditional so ideally don’t swap that. Plus the turmeric adds a lot of the vibrancy to the colour of the dish so it won’t look the same shade if you remove it.
You can use veg instead of the chicken if you want an even lighter option (or you are cooking for a vegetarian. Good options include green beans, mangetout / snow peas, okra or pepper/capsicum.
How to make it
For a full, printable step by step for this healthy chicken korma see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
First, you need to cook the onions. Cook them over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until they are softened and translucent. If they start to brown a lot then the heat is too high. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute.
Transfer the onions, garlic and ginger to a food processor/blender. Blend until you have a smooth paste and then add the water and blend again until fully mixed. I find that my immersion blender tends to make a smoother paste than my blender. You want this to be as smooth as possible as it will affect the overall texture of the curry.
Add some more oil to the pan and heat. Add the chicken and cook for around 5 minutes, turning often, until browned on all sides.
Next add the spices into the pan and stir around for around 30 seconds, until they become really fragrant. Add the onion paste mixture to the pan and stir everything together. Cook for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. It should be cooking at a light bubble but not so much that the pan is splatering.
While everything is cooking whisk together the yogurt and cornflour until the mixture is combined and the yogurt a little fluffier.
Reduce the heat on the pan and make sure that the sauce is hot but not bubbling at all. Add the yogurt a spoonful at a time, combining each addition fully before adding more.
Products that work great for this recipe:
Food Hugger Set
Nest Measuring Cup/Spoon Set
Indian Karahi Curry Bowls
A healthy, low fat, low calorie, alternative to the popular take away dish. This Healthy Chicken Korma is really easy to make and mild yet flavoursome. Enjoy!
The default recipe serves one
- 3 tbsp (60g / 2oz) low fat natural yogurt
- 1/4 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 white or brown onion, sliced (around 50g / 1.7oz)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger paste (or 1 x 1cm piece of ginger, grated)
- 60 ml / 1/4 cup water
- 1 chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces (around 125g / 4.5oz each)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 small stick or piece of cinnamon
- 1 tsp flaked almonds
- few sprigs of coriander, chopped
- Before you start to cook place the required yogurt outside of the fridge in a bowl to let it come to room temperature (which will help it combine well into the curry).
- Heat half the oil in a pan over medium heat. When hot add the onions and cook for around 8 minutes until they have softened and gone translucent. If the onions start to brown at the edges then the pan is a little too hot so reduce the heat. If they start to stick a little then you can add a splash of water rather than more oil.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Transfer the onion, garlic and ginger into a food processor or blender (I actually find my immersion blender works best) and blend until you have a smooth paste. Add the water and blend again until fully combined.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the chicken. Cook for around 5 minutes turning the pieces often until browned on all sides. Add the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon stick and cardamom and season. Cook for a further 30 seconds to ‘bloom’ the spices while stirring to stop them catching. (this lets them release their flavour)
- Add the onion mixture into the pan and bring to a low simmer. It should be spluttering a little but not spitting out of the pan. Cook for a further 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, stirring regularly.
- While the chicken is cooking whisk the yogurt and cornflour together in a bowl until the yogurt is a smooth consistency.
- Reduce the heat on the pan to low and add the yogurt a spoonful at a time, stirring to make sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. Once all the yogurt is added then remove the cinnamon stick and cook for a final 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with the flaked almonds and coriander scattered over the top with rice and/or naan.
To stop the yogurt from splitting or curdling when you add it to the curry make sure to remember to bring it to room temperature before adding. Also make sure to not skip the step of whisking it with the cornflour. If it does curdle it’s not the end of the world and it’s still edible, but it doesn’t look as smooth.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Hob / Stove
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 330
- Fat: 15g
- Carbohydrates: 13g
- Protein: 35g
Keywords: curry, indian, korma, healthy, yogurt, chicken