A serving of traditional chicken korma can clock in at more than 600 calories and 34 grams of fat. This version is lighter and quicker than a standard korma, yet it delivers plenty of flavor.
Serve with basmati rice.
Adapted from “Make It Lighter: Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Recipes,” by Angela Nilsen (Hamlyn, 2014).
2 medium onions
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cardamom pods
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-inch piece ginger root
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons plus 2/3 cup water
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt, at room temperature
1/2 cup low-fat milk (2 percent)
1 or 2 small green chilies
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, for garnish
Handful cilantro tender stems and leaves, for garnish
Coarsely chop the onions.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions and stir to coat. Cook for about 12 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are golden. Turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and lightly crush them. Discard the pods.
Trim off and discard any visible fat from the chicken, then cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Peel the ginger and garlic; coarsely chop (together is OK).
Transfer one-third of the sauteed onion to a mini food processor; add the ginger, garlic and the 2 tablespoons of water; puree to a paste. (This can be done with a mortar and pestle, but it will take longer.)
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the remaining onions in the saute pan; return to medium-high heat. Add the cardamom seeds and cinnamon stick, then the chicken. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the coriander, 11/4 teaspoons of the garam masala, the mace and black pepper; stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Stir in all but 3 tablespoons of the yogurt, then the reserved onion-garlic paste. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the 2/3 cup water and the milk. Once the liquid starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon garam masala.
While the korma cooks, discard the seeds from the chilies, then mince the chilies and add (to taste) to the chicken korma.
Toast the almonds in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant and lightly browned.
Coarsely chop the cilantro and some tender stems.
Remove the korma from the heat. Discard the cinnamon stick. Divide among individual bowls; garnish with the cilantro, almonds and a dollop of the remaining yogurt. Serve warm.
Nutrition Per serving: 330 calories, 43 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar