First posted: Jun 25, 2020

Butternut and Chickpea Korma


Yes, there are a lot of ingredients – that’s because we’re here to build up lots of layers of beautiful flavour, but if you need to save time don’t be afraid to go for your favourite store-bought Korma paste or spice mix and cook along from there. You’ll still end up with a gorgeous, creamy, curry sauce that’s impossible to resist. And if you’re going to go to the effort of making this, think about doubling up and stashing a couple of portions in the freezer for a rainy day.



Cooks in:        Serves:4

For the Korma Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter (or use extra oil)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed to release the seeds
  • 1 tsp each of: turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, medium-hot curry powder and garam masala
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 tsp honey/maple/sugar
  • 1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup ground almonds or cashews
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • A squeeze of lemon juice, to taste or if necessary to balance the flavours
  • 300g butternut or pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 100g baby spinach or ½ cup frozen peas, to stir through at the end
Optional to Serve
  • Chopped fresh coriander
  • Basmati or Cauliflower Rice
  • Store-bought Rotis

What to do

1. Add the olive oil and butter to a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the onions and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring often, until the onions have softened and are golden. Add the fresh ginger and garlic with all of the spices and cook for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Take care not to let the garlic burn.

2. Add the sugar, coconut milk and ground nuts, stir well and bring to a simmer.

3. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a blender (remove the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods first) and allow to cool for a few minutes before blending until smooth and then return to the pan.

4. Make the rice and set aside.

5. Add in the butternut and chickpeas, leave to simmer with the lid off until the butternut is tender, 15-20 minutes.

6. Once the butternut is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, stir through the chickpeas and spinach/peas if adding, adjust the seasoning and add in extra sweetener or a squeeze of lemon juice if necessary. Serve the curry and cauli rice in warmed bowls topped with fresh coriander and the chapatis on the side.

You could also add in 300g firm tofu, cut into cubes and fried until golden and then stirred through just before serving. A tip with fried tofu is to make sure drain any excess liquid before frying, to do this, lay the tofu on a double layer of kitchen paper set on a plate, top with another double layer of paper and then something heavy like a cast-iron pan. Leave to stand for 10-15 mintues to drain before cutting into slices or cubes and frying in a little oil until golden on all sides.

Photo Credit Henk Hattingh

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