Chicken korma recipe with video and step by step photos – Korma is a delicious gravy usually made with onions, spices, nuts, yogurt, seeds, coconut, vegetables or meat. It originated in the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal Era & later became immensely popular across the world.
There are so many ways a korma is made, most of them are adapted to the regional cuisines. So ingredients like coconut, poppy seeds, almonds, cashews & yogurt are most commonly used based on the region.
My recipe is pretty straight forward and uses only pantry staples. It will help you make a very tasty, flavorful, creamy and delicious chicken korma.
Onions, nuts and yogurt form the base for this chicken korma. To begin with, first onions are sauteed in oil until golden and then they are pureed with the nuts and yogurt. Nuts help the gravy to thicken and impart a creamy texture.
Later it is spiced and cooked with marinated & sauteed chicken.
How to Make Chicken Korma (Stepwise photos)
1. To a mixing bowl, add
- ½ kg chicken (1.2 lbs)
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt (or coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic (We usually rub the chicken with turmeric and then rinse off before cooking. Hence the yellow color here.)
2. Next add
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (or paprika)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon salt
3. Mix all of them and set aside until needed. You can also refrigerate this overnight.
Make Korma Sauce/ Gravy
4. While the chicken marinates, go ahead with the recipe. Heat 1½ tablespoon oil or ghee in a pan. Add 2 to 3 cardamoms. I used a bit more here as we like the flavor.
5. Add 1 cup sliced onions (2 medium onions). Saute them stirring often until golden brown & caramelized.
6. This is how the onions look – golden brown & caramelized. Turn off the stove. Add 4 almonds and 6 cashews. Cool this completely.
7. Add the onions and nuts to a grinder or blender jar. Pour ¼ cup yogurt or coconut milk.
8. Blend to a smooth puree. If you do not have a powerful blender, then you may pour half cup water and blend. (remember to skip adding water later for the gravy)
Make Chicken Korma
9. Pour 1 tablespoon oil to the same pan and spread the oil. Then add the following whole spices: (skip if you don’t have)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cloves
- 1 cardamom
- 2 inch cinnamon. I used Ceylon cinnamon so used more. If you are using cassia, just use a 2 inch thin strip. Saute the spices for a min.
10. Add marinated chicken and slit green chilli (optional).
11. Saute on a medium heat until the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away. This takes about 5 to 7 mins.
12. Add the onion paste. Pour ½ cup water.
13. Add ¼ teaspoon salt.
14. Add ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala and 1½ teaspoon coriander powder. You can also add little chili powder if you prefer red color korma.
15. Mix well. Cover and cook on a medium heat until the chicken turns tender and is soft cooked.
16. Taste test and add more salt if needed. Once done, if the korma is too thick, add some hot water to bring it to consistency. Sprinkle some coriander leaves.
Serve chicken korma with rice, jeera rice, roti, naan or paratha.
- Bone-in chicken tastes best in this recipe as the juices from the bones seep to the korma and make the gravy delicious.
- Marinating the chicken is optional. It is just done to tenderize the meat. If you prefer to skip the step, add all of the marinade ingredients together to the pan along with chicken.
- A korma curry gets its creamy texture from yogurt and nut paste. Traditional korma recipe does not use any kind of starch to thicken the curry.
- The aroma comes from the fried onion paste, take care to fry the onions evenly.
- If you have a nut allergy just skip the nuts in the recipe and add more yogurt.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ kg chicken (bone-in) (1 to 1.2 lb)
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt or coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (ground or crushed in equal quantities)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala or korma masala
- 1 to 1¼ tsp Kashmiri red chili powder (less spicy variety, minimum ½ tsp)
- ½ teaspoon salt
To saute & blend
- 1½ tablespoon oil or ghee
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 cup onions sliced (2 medium)
- 6 cashews
- 4 almonds (or substitute with cashews)
- ¼ cup plain yogurt or coconut milk
For chicken korma gravy
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small bay leaf (optional)
- 4 cloves (optional)
- 2 inch cinnamon (optional)
- 1 cardamom (optional)
- 1 to 2 green chilies slit or chopped (optional)
- ½ cup water (more if needed)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala
- 1½ teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
- ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (optional, for color)
- 3 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro) chopped
- To a mixing bowl, add chicken, 3 tablespoons yogurt, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, ¼ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp red chili powder and 1 tsp garam masala.
- Mix all of them well. Cover and set aside until needed.
Make Korma Paste
- Heat a pan with 1½ tbsps oil and add 2 cardamoms.
- Add sliced onions and fry them evenly until golden brown. Next add cashews and almonds. Cool these completely.
- Later add the cooled onions and nuts to a blender jar along with yogurt. Blend these to a smooth puree. Set this aside.
How to Make Chicken Korma
- To the same pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and heat it.
- Optional – Saute whole spices – bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom in oil for a min.
- Add green chilli and marinated chicken. Saute on a medium heat until the raw smell of ginger garlic paste goes away. This takes about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Then add the onion nut puree. Pour ½ cup water and mix well.
- Add salt, coriander powder and garam masala. If needed you can also add more chili powder for color.
- Mix well. Cover and cook on a low flame until chicken is cooked to tender.
- Cook further till the gravy reaches a desired consistency. If it is too thick then pour some hot water to bring it to consistency.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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