Chicken Korma’s flavor doesn’t require fat

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A serving of 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.


Chicken Korma

4 servings

Adapted from “Make It Lighter: Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Recipes,” by Angela Nilsen.

2 medium onions

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 cardamom pods

1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1-inch piece ginger root

3 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons plus

⅔ cup water

One 3-inch cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1½ teaspoons garam masala

¼ teaspoon ground mace

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

⅔ cup plain low-fat yogurt, at room temperature

½ 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 sauté pan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onions and stir to coat. Cook for about 12 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are golden. Turn off the heat.

Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and lightly crush them. Discard the pods.

Trim off and discard fat from the chicken, then cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Peel the ginger and garlic; coarsely chop together.

Transfer one-third of the sautéed onion to a mini food processor; add the ginger, garlic and the 2 tablespoons of water; purée 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 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, 1¼ 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 ¼ teaspoon garam masala.

Discard the seeds from the chilies, then mince the chilies and add (to taste) to the pan.

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 dollops of the remaining yogurt. Serve warm.

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