Gnomon's Cashew Korma

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This recipe is still under development.

This is based on a Nigel Slater recipe. I've changed the method of cooking because I was continually curdling the yoghurt, but I'm not convinced that the new recipe really works. The flavour is amazing but the stew seems to be a bit watery. Further experimentation needed. I've also made the ingredients more general.

This is a one pot recipe, so you'll need a big pot that you can both fry and stew things in. The dish serves 6 to 8 people, and can be served with rice.


I've spaced the ingredients list into three groups to match the stages of the cooking.

Making the Onion Paste

  • cooking oil (sunflower oil is best)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a thumb-sized piece of root ginger
  • a chilli
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • a cinnamon stick

The Stew

  • 300ml water
  • 250ml cream
  • 250ml natural yoghurt, preferably thick, Greek-style
  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1.5kg of mixed root vegetables:

    • carrots
    • Jerusalem artichokes or parsnips
    • potatoes
    • sweet potatoes or butternut squash
  • 100g cashew nuts

The Garnish

  • 30g coriander leaves finely chopped

Jerusalem artichokes are worth including if you can get them. They have a wonderful earthy taste and a pleasant crunch, although they will give you wind. If you can't get them, make sure to include parsnips.


Step 1 - Prepare the Vegetables and Spices

Peel the onions, garlic and ginger and chop them finely. If you're handy with a knife you can chop the other vegetables as you go, but if you're slow you should prepare them in advance. Peel the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and butternut squash and chop them into chunks of about 1 to 1½cm (half inch). Roughly chop half the cashew nuts (50g). Don't peel or chop the sweet potatoes or Jerusalem artichokes yet, as they will turn black.

Break open the cardamom pods with your thumbnail to get the black seeds out. Grind the cumin, cardamom, and coriander seeds. You can do this by hand in a mortar and pestle or using a spice grinder.

Cut the chilli in half lengthways and remove the seeds and the white pith around the seeds. Slice the chilli thinly. If possible wear rubber gloves when doing this, or use a knife and fork to avoid touching the chilli. If you do touch the raw chilli, avoid rubbing your eyes for the next few hours - it won't do your eyes any harm but it will hurt like hell.

Step 2 - Making the Onion Paste

Fry the onions in the oil, stirring with wooden spoon, for about 3 minutes until transparent. Add garlic, ginger and sliced chilli and fry for 1 minute. Add all the other spices to the mixture (cumin, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon stick) and fry for 1 minute, continuing to stir. Remove from heat.

Step 3 - Stewing the Vegetables

Add water, salt, cream and yoghurt, stir well, then gently bring back to the boil. Now peel and chop the sweet potatoes and artichokes. Add all the root vegetables and the chopped cashew nuts to the pot. Bring back to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Check regularly to make sure it is not boiling too vigorously and stir to make sure it's not sticking to the pot.

Step 4 - Preparing the Garnish and Rice

While the vegetables are stewing, toast the remaining cashew nuts (50g) under a hot grill until they start to brown. Keep a close eye on what you're doing - they can burn very easily.

Chop the coriander leaves finely.

The toasted cashews and the coriander leaves should be presented on a plate on the table to be sprinkled on the meal by the diners.

When there's about 15 minutes to go, start making the rice by the method given below. If you prefer a different rice making method, you'll probably need to start much earlier.

Serve the Korma with rice, but you don't need a huge amount of rice because there's a lot of carbs in the korma.

To Prepare Basmati Rice - the Hard Boil Method

You probably have your own way of making rice. This one is easy and pretty fast. It uses lots of boiling water.

  • Put a third1 of a cup of basmati rice per person into a large pot.
  • Add a half teaspoon of salt.
  • Pour on lots of boiling water and bring back to the boil.
  • Boil for 10 minutes with no lid.
  • Pour into a sieve or colander in the sink.
  • Pour more boiling water over it.
1This is a reduced amount because of the high carb content of the korma. A half cup per person is normal for rice.

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