Video: How to make chicken korma and egg bhuni

Abdul Mannan, from Bangladesh, shows how to make chicken korma and egg bhuna.

Abdul Mannan and his wife Momtaj Begum came to Dunedin from Bangladesh in December 2008 because the education opportunities were better for their children, Mueed Hasan (now 13) and Mridula (now 9). A mathematician and statistician, he studies part-time and works at the University of Otago library and Momtaj trained as a chef at Otago Polytechnic.

Since coming to New Zealand he has learned to cook from her, he says.

He says chicken korma served with biryani (spiced buttery rice) and egg bhuna is food the family would serve at Eid ul Fitri, the festival at the end of Ramadan.


Chicken korma and egg bhuna

Abdul Mannan
Abdul Mannan
500g skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
cooking oil or butter
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tsp ginger, garlic and onion paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
½ -1 tsp red chilli or to taste
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 bay leaves
5-6 cardamom pods
1 tsp sugar
2 cups water
salt to taste
2-3 Tbsp plain, unsweetened yoghurt

Garnish
crispy fried onion
cashew nuts and raisins
chopped, cooked vegetables such as peas, carrots
coriander leaves

Egg bhuna
6 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tsp ginger, garlic and onion paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 bay leaves
5-6 cardamom pods
½ tsp red chilli powder or to taste
salt and turmeric to taste
oil

Abdul's chicken korma.
Abdul's chicken korma.
Heat a large frying pan, add the oil and when it is hot, add onion and garlic. Stir, turn to medium heat and cook until browning at the edges. The onion and garlic will melt down and thicken the sauce.

When cooked, add all the spices and sugar and stir. Then add two cups of water and the yoghurt.

Stir until the spices colour the sauce and it starts to simmer.

Then add the chicken pieces and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Taste to check if you need more salt. When ready to serve, garnish with crispy fried onion, cashew nuts, raisins, vegetables or coriander leaves.

Serve with spiced rice.

Abdul's egg bhuna. Photos by Gregor Richardson.
Abdul's egg bhuna. Photos by Gregor Richardson.
Egg bhuna
Heat oil in a frying pan and add chopped onion and garlic to soften, then add spices. Allow to cook until onions are beginning to brown at the edges.

In another pan, heat some oil and a pinch each of salt and turmeric. Put in the whole shelled boiled eggs and allow to roll around to coat the outside. Cut the eggs in half lengthways.

When the onions are soft and browning, add the eggs and stir gently to coat with the sauce.

Serve garnished with with crispy fried onion, cashew nuts, raisins, vegetables or coriander leaves as with the korma.

To make biryani (spiced rice)
Heat a little oil or butter in a pan or rice cooker, add a chopped onion, a few cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick, and a couple of bay leaves.

Stir to soften, then add washed rice and stir to coat with the oil and spices. Add water and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice cooked and dry.

Abdul had also prepared shemai, a favourite Bangladeshi dessert made with vermicelli, which is sweet and creamy and decorated with cashew nuts.

Heat 20g butter in a pot, break in 200g of vermicelli (very thin pasta), and stir until coloured and crisp. Add 500ml milk and bring to a simmer.

Stir in 300g sugar and 2-3 whole cardamom pods. Allow to simmer very gently for 10 minutes then add a little cream and cook for another few minutes or so. Pour into a serving dish and chill. Decorate with nuts or raisins.


Tips
• Instead of chicken you could make a lamb korma, but it will need to cook for longer.
• Along with the eggs you can add cooked potato to the bhuna.
• In Bangladesh potatoes, several varieties of radish, gourds and pumpkins, tomatoes, okra and many other varieties of vegetables are eaten, which can be used to garnish these dishes.
• You can add nuts and raisins to the shemai along with the milk.


Thanks to Afife Harris and Centre City New World.