Kormas were bought to the Indian subcontinent by the Central Asians, a creamy braised meat dish traditionally made with yoghurt, nuts, seeds, and later the addition of cream and nuts by the Mughals. The word korma means ‘to braise’ in Urdu, and this is a style of cooking found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent. They vary from creamy nutty sauces to rich aromatically spiced ones, using mutton, beef or chicken. In Pakistan the traditional korma is a festive dish found at weddings, it is rich brown and fragranced with kewra (screwpine water). Many North Indian recipes are creamier with cashew, almond and yoghurt bases. Kormas are not about chilli heat but more about haunting aromatics and gentle warming spice. Try this Bengali inspired Chicken Rezala, that is based on a recipe found in Kolkata and was passed on to me by my aunt’s family who are Bengali.
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