Our nut-free korma paste recipe is bursting with flavours yet mild enough. It’s perfect for the whole family, even those with sensitive taste buds. The fragrant curry paste is straightforward to make and ready in under 10 minutes. All you need is a simple mix of spices, coconut, fresh ginger and turmeric.
The easy peasy nut-free korma curry paste recipe makes the perfect start for the most flavoursome of meals. It’s the ultimate base for a korma curry but can also be used as a delicious marinade for a barbecue. It is also free from the top 14 allergens and can be frozen. What more could you possibly want from a curry paste?
Why we think a korma curry is the ideal family meal
According to a recent article in The Independent, number 7 in The UK’s top 20 family meals is the mighty chicken curry. Who doesn’t love a korma curry? It’s one of the most popular dishes in Britain and also one of the least spicy of Indian curries. What’s more, it’s really quick and simple to make.
Older members of our family really struggle with spicy food, especially when eaten for dinner. Their troublesome guts and digestive systems prevent them from digesting spicy food at night. Whenever we want to share a curry with them, we opt for a Korma. One of my girls can’t tolerate any spicy food either. The tingling sensation on her tongue and in her throat remind her of what happens at the start of an allergic reaction, so most curries we make at home are pretty mild.
Why bother following a nut-free korma paste recipe when I can just buy it in a jar?
Granted, you can find decent korma paste in a jar, and for years, I used Patak’s korma curry paste. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free and also free from artificial flavours or preservatives. One of my daughters has nut allergies and the jar had a ‘may contain’ warning for nuts and peanuts. To avoid a potential allergic reaction, I started making my own curry paste when she was little.
I loved Patak’s korma spice paste at the time so literally just checked the ingredients on one of their jars. I then ‘created’ my own homemade Patak’s korma paste. My first couple of attempts at making korma paste were ok, but not earth-shattering (and admittedly a bit bland). I kept working at it, adding ingredients and removing others, until I ended up with the perfect gluten-free, nut-free korma paste recipe. I would never go back to a jar now. It’s quick and simple to make your own korma paste and so much richer in flavours than the ready-made equivalent.
Can you freeze korma paste?
Absolutely! Curry paste can be frozen for up to three months. Three to four tablespoons of the korma paste are perfect for a curry for four to six people, so I tend to freeze ours in small plastic containers.
Alternatively, use an ice cube tray. It’s ideal if you’re planning to make the nut-free korma paste recipe in large quantities. Each ice cube tray is the equivalent of a tablespoon of korma paste. It makes it really easy to measure how much you need when you retrieve cubes from the freezer. As soon as you’ve made it, spoon the curry paste into ice-cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a sealable plastic bag and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Don’t forget to label the bag with a permanent marker (Korma Paste / expiration date 3 months later than you made it).
Because you can freeze the paste, I make sure I always have a few portions in our freezer for a quick mid-week curry that’s ready to serve in under 30 minutes.
You can defrost your korma paste in the fridge up to 24 hours before you’re planning to use it, or use straight from frozen. Simply place a large pan over a medium heat and once hot, drizzle a tablespoon of vegetable oil (I tend to go with sunflower or rapeseed oil). Once the oil is hot (about a minute), let the paste melt in the pan, stirring constantly to release all the flavours. It should take a maximum of four or five minutes and it will smell incredible.
What can I make with korma curry paste?
Our nut-free korma paste is so versatile you can use it in lots of different ways. It is perfect to enhance the flavours of vegetable sides or meat and vegetarian curries. Since it’s free from the top 14 food allergens, this nut-free korma paste recipe is suitable for a lot of allergy sufferers as well as anyone on a dairy or gluten-free diet, unlike many jars of ready-made korma paste.
Chicken korma curry is the first dish that comes to mind, and one of the most popular curries in the UK. It’s also one of the meals we make every week in our house as we all love it so much.
In the couple of years, we’ve dramatically reduced the amount of meat we eat and replaced it with meat-free alternatives. They’ve been getting better and better over the past few years. It’s easy as pie to make a lovely korma curry using a meat substitute like vegan Quorn.
I also love replacing the meat with cauliflower or even be more adventurous and make a mushroom and chickpea korma.
The korma paste will also add lots of flavours to any stew you’re making in the slow cooker (just make sure you cook the paste first, as described above, to release all its flavours).
You can also plop a cube or two of the curry paste into soup. Since the paste is so full of flavours, you don’t have to simmer the rest of the ingredients for very long
Another option is to stir some of the paste into noodles for a quick, 5-minute meal.
OK Mel, are you actually going to share your korma paste recipe?
Yes, let’s do this!
First of all, the best way to enhance the flavours of all the spices we’re using is to dry roast them. It’s very simple: place all dry spices in a pan over a low heat and stir constantly until they are lightly browned. Don’t take your eyes off the spices or be tempted to increase the heat as spices burn really easily.
I don’t bother grinding the spices before dry roasting them. You can do that in your pestle and mortar afterwards. Straight after grinding your dry roasted spices, you can add all other ingredients and mix well to incorporate all ingredients.
There are just a few simple steps to put together our easy korma paste recipe. It really couldn’t be any easier. We always make a vegan or chicken Korma with this paste, but you could use it to make a whole lot of different curries.
With no further ado, here’s our nut-free korma paste recipe:
Nut-free Korma Paste Recipe – A Quick & Easy Staple
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chilly flakes
- 3 peppercorns / a pinch of pepper
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 tbs vegetable oil
- 3 tbs tomato purée
- 6 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and grated
- fresh ginger large thumb-sized piece, peeled and grated
- fresh turmeric large thumb-sized piece, peeled and grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place a dry pan over a medium heat. Once warm, add in all dry spices apart form the salt. Keep roasting for four to five minutes, stirring constantly until the spices start to brown. Do not leave the spices unattended as they would easily burn.
- Once cooled, use a pestle and mortar to grind the dry-roasted spices to a fine powder. Add in the grated garlic, turmeric, ginger, desiccated coconut, tomato paste, salt and oil. Mix well until all ingredients form a thick paste.
You can freeze half of the paste and use the other half straight away. Alternatively, keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days before using it.
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If you’re after more spice mixes for a lovely curry that’s also allergy-friendly, then you might like our Sri Lankan curry powder recipe. Just like this nut-free korma paste recipe, it dit isn’t too spicy and the heat of the curry powder comes from black pepper. The curry mix can then be stored for up to two months in an air-tight container and used with meat or in vegan curries as and when you need it. My favourite way to use it is in our easy one-pot Sri Lankan Chicken Biryani curry.