chicken korma

Chicken Korma Recipe

By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

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.

chicken korma recipe

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.

It is best served with Butter Naan, roti, Paratha or with steamed basmati rice & Jeera Rice.

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.

chicken korma recipe

More Indian Chicken Recipes
Chicken Tikka Masala
Rogan Josh
Chicken Vindaloo
Butter Chicken
Indian Chicken Curry
Chicken Masala

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.)
adding yogurt ginger garlic to make chicken korma

2. Next add

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (or paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon salt
adding spice powders to marinate chicken for korma

3. Mix all of them and set aside until needed. You can also refrigerate this overnight.

marinating chicken for korma

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.

sauteing spices to make chicken korma

5. Add 1 cup sliced onions (2 medium onions). Saute them stirring often until golden brown & caramelized.

adding onions to make chicken korma

6. This is how the onions look – golden brown & caramelized. Turn off the stove. Add 4 almonds and 6 cashews. Cool this completely.

frying nuts to make chicken korma

7. Add the onions and nuts to a grinder or blender jar. Pour ¼ cup yogurt or coconut milk.

adding yogurt to make paste for chicken korma

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)

making fine onion paste for chicken korma

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.
adding spices to make chicken korma

10. Add marinated chicken and slit green chilli (optional).

frying chicken to make korma

11. Saute on a medium heat until the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away. This takes about 5 to 7 mins.

frying chicken marinade to make korma

12. Add the onion paste. Pour ½ cup water.

adding onion paste & water to make chicken korma

13. Add ¼ teaspoon salt.

adding salt to make chicken korma

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.

adding spice powders to make chicken korma

15. Mix well. Cover and cook on a medium heat until the chicken turns tender and is soft cooked.

simmer chicken korma on a low flame

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.

garnish with coriander leaves

Serve chicken korma with rice, jeera rice, roti, naan or paratha.

chicken korma recipe

Pro Tips

  1. Bone-in chicken tastes best in this recipe as the juices from the bones seep to the korma and make the gravy delicious.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The aroma comes from the fried onion paste, take care to fry the onions evenly.
  5. If you have a nut allergy just skip the nuts in the recipe and add more yogurt.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

chicken korma recipe

Chicken Korma Recipe

Delicious creamy chicken korma made made with yogurt, nuts, spices and onions as the base. This is best served with Jeera Rice, plain Basmati rice, Butter Naan, Plain Paratha or roti.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes

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

  • 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
  • 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.
  • Serve chicken korma with Jeera rice, plain basmati rice, Butter Naan, roti or paratha.


You may skip the whole spices but they release a nice aroma when added to the hot oil.
The amount of water to use may vary as it depends on the age of the chicken used. Older chicken requires more water. So pour water just as needed.
If you do not have a powerful blender, you may blend the onions and onions with half cup water called in the recipe.

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)

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Korma Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 405 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 558mg24%
Potassium 398mg11%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 490IU10%
Vitamin C 6.4mg8%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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© Swasthi’s Recipes

Chicken Korma Recipe

About Swasthi

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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5 stars
I love all your recipes. Can this Korma be made in an Instant Pot? I have a large crowd I want to feed.

5 stars
Amazing recipe!

5 stars
I followed this recipe almost to the T (didn’t have some of the spices on hand) and it came out absolutely amazing! I would taste the gravy before salting it just to get a feel of how much to add before the suggested amount. Absolutely will make this again!

5 stars
Made this with Lamb instead of chicken but followed the recipe closely from that point. What a really nice Korma, this with rice, Naan and a couple of beers was the perfect finish to a lazy, lazy day

5 stars
I made this korma as well as your raita and mint chutney along with homemade cheese naan for my boyfriend and father last night. The whole meal turned out wonderfully. It was my father’s first ever taste of Indian food and he enjoyed it. I have made your lamb korma twice before for my boyfriend and a large group of friends. I really love the creamy consistency of this recipe as I added a few more nuts and did the gravy with full fat coconut milk. Do you think I could use this recipe with the Lamb? Thank you so much for your recipes.

5 stars
This was delicious, I didn’t know it was supposed to be a healthy recipe, i had 90% of the ingredients, just missing the cardamom and cinnamon sticks, i will do this one again!

5 stars

5 stars

My onion gravy was not as much as yours and I did the measurements correctly. Did I miss something?

Can I use yogurt for the marinade and coconut milk for the korma sauce? Or should I just choose one for the entire recipe? Thanks!

5 stars
It was soooo delicious!! My husband and I loved it!

5 stars
How long finally should I cook the chicken?

5 stars
Amazing Korma
I love to cook, after reviewing many Korma recipes I opted to follow this recipe and the key difference is blending the onion, ginger and garlic and cashews to a paste is the difference what an amazing Korma, you really do taste the caramelised onions in the paste, awesome

5 stars
I used a little too much ginger, I’ll fix it next time. I used to order a takeout korma from a local Indian restaurant, but then the restaurant changed hands a the dish became nearly liquid and devoid of any flavor. This recipe is exaclty how I remember it.

5 stars
This was very nice,i swapped all the water for coconut milk and also for the yoghurt in the onion nut paste and did half/half yoghurt coconut milk in the marinade.The onion nut paste was magic i could eat that alone with a crispy paratha. Great recipe and easy to muck about with if your so inclined,the whole spices are a must. Thanks, i will be trying some of your others.

I am making this and while everything smelled delicious, my gravy appeared purple in color. Is there a reason for this?

5 stars
Absolutely brilliant recipe -my favorite by far. My whole family loved it. I also added kasuri methi in the curry and that took it up a notch. Squeezing lemon and served with onion slices, makes it even more enjoyable

5 stars
I don’t leave comments normally, but my partner and I just made this and it was absolutely amazing!! Very easy to make overall, super flavorful, the chicken is so tender if you marinade it overnight, I recommend this recipe to everyone!! Thank you for sharing this recipe, it’s going to be a go to in our house from now on! 🙂

5 stars
Super recipes, however please make the recipe printing simple. As lots of ink gets wasted with the colors and unnecessary images. It would be great to allow people to simply cut paste and print.Your page does not allow this.

Loved it! But the cashews mentioned in the recipes, do you count two half ones(that you receive in shops as well as prepackaged ones) separately or do you count a full fruit as a single cashew?
Not sure if I used double the cashews or not. TIA.

5 stars
I’ve made this recipe twice for my family and my parents love it! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe ✨♥️