Recipe for Coconut and Pistachio Chicken Korma served with a coriander and mint chutney

50g (1/2 cup) pistachio nuts, raw
50g (1/2 cup) cashew nuts, raw
10ml (2 teaspoons) cumin seeds
10ml (2 teaspoons) coriander seeds
30ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
15ml (1 tablespoon) butter
2 shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
5cm piece ginger, grated
7 cardamom pods, crushed, husk discarded
3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
5ml (1 teaspoon) Kashmiri chilli or 5ml
3/4 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
½ teaspoon fine salt
60ml (1/4 cup) water
12 free range chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks) skinless, bone-in
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
400g tin coconut milk
2 cinnamon sticks
15ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Fresh Coriander and mint chutney:
a handful of each, mint, coriander and flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
several slithers lemon peel
15ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
45ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil
a generous pinch of sea salt flakes

Hot Cumin butter:
5ml (1 teaspoon) cumin seeds
a pinch of chilli flakes
zest of half a lemon
45ml (3 tablespoons) butter

How to
Place the pistachio and cashew nuts in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soften for at least an hour.

In a pan, dry toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind until fine.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil and the butter in a Le Creuset Signature round casserole. Sauté the shallots until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Scrape the onions into a food processor.

Drain the soaked nuts, then add to the onions, along with the cardamom, desiccated coconut, Kashmiri chilli, chilli flakes and salt. Add the ground cumin and coriander and blitz until the nuts are breakdown down. Add the water and pulse to form a paste.

Season the chicken lightly with salt and black pepper. Heat the remaining oil in the Le Creuset Signature round casserole and brown the chicken in batches. Return all the chicken to the pot. Add the spice paste and braise for 3-4 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, coconut milk and cinnamon sticks. Cover and simmer on a medium heat for about 50-55 minutes. Add the lemon juice and adjust seasoning if needed.

For the chutney, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside until you’re ready to serve.

To make the cumin butter, dry toast the cumin over a medium heat for several minutes. Add the chilli, lemon zest and butter. Once the butter starts to splutter, pour over the curry and serve immediately with brown basmati pilau, roti and sambals.


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Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email [email protected].