root vegetable korma

January 9, 2012

Korma is a mildly spiced, richly flavoured, creamy curry. It’s also known as the curry for wimps but whilst rich and creamy, this version is not at all lacking in flavour and actually has a good kick to it from the chiles.

As you might be able to tell from these pictures I managed an epic kitchen fail in producing this, mis-reading my own measuring jug and added twice as much liquid than necessary to it. Idiot.

I find this to be especially amusing/frustrating after my blog post last week about following instinct and leaving behind recipes. What a plonker.

In any case, this was delicious, if more liquid-y than I’d like, and if you follow the instructions below, I think you’ll be in for a real treat. The spice-blend of green cardamom, cumin, coriander, chile powder, cinnamon, and turmeric is just right and the root vegetables work wonderfully – thankfully, since there’s an abundance of them around.

Of course, if you wanted to, you could swap some or all of the veggies for chicken and another way to do korma is with coconut milk, rather than cream. Either way, keep an eye on your measuring jug and you’ll be golden.

Root Vegetable Korma
adapted from Tender by Nigel Slater


  • ¬†2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 fat, thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated coarsely
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • a mixture of root vegetables, such as parsnips, carrots, rutabaga (swede), and Jerusalem artichokes totaling 2.5lbs
  • 2/3 cup (100g) cashews
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or butter
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 small green chiles, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) light or heavy cream
  • 2/3 (150g) thick plain yoghurt
  • cilantro, chopped


  1. Coarsely chop half the cashews  and set the rest aside. Prepare the spices: open the cardamom pods with your nails and scrape out the seeds. Crush them into a gritty powder. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds into a fine powder.
  2. Heat the oil or butter into a large, heavy-bottomed pan and add the onions, stirring them occasionally, until they’re soft but not coloured. Add the grated ginger and sliced garlic and continue to cook over gentle heat for a couple of minutes. Next add the spices – cardamom, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chile powder, and the cinnamon stick. Continue cooking, stirring for a couple of minutes, until the fragrance of the spices rises from the pan, then add the root vegetables and the chopped cashews. Season with sliced chiles, salt and pepper.
  3. Stir in 3 cups (750ml) water, partially cover with a lid, and let simmer gently for 45-50 minutes, until the roots are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Toast the remaining cashews.
  4. Carefully add the cream and yoghurt to the curry, letting them heat through but not boil to avoid curdling. Check the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if necessary. Scatter over toasted cashews and fresh, chopped cilantro to garnish. Serves four with rice or naan bread.
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