Does anyone remember what I wanted ground almonds for?
Nope, me either….
But there it was, lurking in the back of my pantry… A bag of ground almonds.
Nicely stored in a sealed container, of course.
I have no idea why or when I bought it, but I decided it was time I used it.
Last spring ( did I mention time was slipping by me rather quickly of late?) our friend from Spain stopped for a visit and brought me a recipe.
He loves to cook and does mostly Indian and Thai recipes.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to eat most of his food as he likes to make it blazing hot.
He made this Chicken Korma, based on a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey, and decided it was mild enough even for my wimpy taste buds.
I modified it a but further – eliminating the Cayenne Pepper and Garam Masala, and making only enough for 2 servings..
It was wonderful – without heat but with lots of complex flavors.
Chicken Korma, with Almonds and Apricots
Total time: 45 minutes
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, each breast cut into 3 pieces
- 1/2 cup ground almonds (2oz, 60gr)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 piece of ginger, about 1/2 inch long, finely minced
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 cardamom pods
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 inch of a cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) Greek yogurt
- 3oz (90gr) dried apricots, cut in half
- 1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) chicken stock
- 1/2 cup (3.3oz, 95gr) Basmati Rice
- 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
- Heat 1 tbs oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and stir-fry 10 seconds.
- Add onion and fry until tender and starting to brown..
- Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and stir-fry 2 minutes longer.
- Add tomato paste and stir well to combine.
- Add chicken pieces, ground almonds, chicken stock and heat to simmering
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Cook rice.
- Add yogurt to chicken and stir well to combine.
- Add apricots, cover and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
- When rice is done, fluff with a fork and spoon on to 2 plates.
- Top with Chicken Korma and serve.
I have new spices in my kitchen!
Sumac is used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. It has a slightly tart taste.
Zaatar is a conundrum.
My spice bible says zaatar is a mixture of lemon thyme, sumac and sesame.
My Moroccan cook book says za’atar is the Arabic word for thyme, specifically a wild thyme that is more pungent than the cultivated varieties. A substitute would be dried Greek thyme or fresh lemon thyme. It goes on to say not to confuse it with the Lebanese herb and spice mix used to sprinkle on bread.
Ha! I’ve been using fresh lemon thyme for years.
I did say that I was going to expand my culinary horizons.
I could wish that the fun spices didn’t come in those silly, useless glass tubes, though…..
If you want nutrition information for the recipe, try this site: Calorie Count