Chicken kurma recipe – A simple Indian chicken kurma recipe that pairs well with plain rice, biryani varieties, pulao, roti/chapathi. Kurma is a curry made using various ingredients like coconut, yogurt, nuts, poppy seeds, vegetables/meat and spices. This recipe is roughly adapted from the vegetable kurma recipe. There are so many ways of making a kurma, this chicken kurma recipe is different from the mughlai or Shahi Chicken korma that is made using cream and yogurt.
This is one of our favorite chicken kurma and is kids friendly too since it is not very hot and spicy like the typical south Indian curry. This tastes delicious with a thick gravy and subtle aroma of spices.
We served chicken kurma with simple ghee rice, it can also be served with pudina rice, veg biryani, cashew pulao or even with a chicken biryani or roti. Also a mint raita or onion raita complements the meal.
Chicken kurma recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
to grind to smooth paste (optional refer notes)
- 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds or 6 cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup coconut , chopped or grated coconut
for the chicken kurma
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 star anise
- 1/2 tsp cumin or shahi jeera or jeera
- 2 green cardamoms or 3 small
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick , small
- 1 cup onions , finely chopped
- 1 green chili slit
- 1 pinch turmeric
- salt as needed
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 500 grams chicken or 1/2 kg , (bone-in chicken can be used)
- 1 ripe tomato , medium
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala (refer notes) + 1/4 tsp
- 1 sprig curry leaves or 8 pudina/mint leaves
- 1 tbsp yogurt , thick / curd (optional, refer notes)
- 1 sprig coriander or mint leaves
How to make the recipe
preparation for chicken kurma
- Powder poppy seeds first. Add coconut and blend to a smooth paste with little water. Set this aside.
- Chop onions tomatoes finely. Mash the tomatoes with your hand. set aside.
- Wash the chicken thoroughly, Drain off completely. Keep it aside.
making chicken korma – to be cooked on a low to medium flame
- Fry dry spices in oil till they begin to sizzle.
- Add onions, chili and salt. Fry until golden.
- Fry ginger garlic paste with the onions till the raw smell disappears.
- Add chicken, turmeric and little more salt.
- Fry till the chicken turns white in color. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in between if needed to prevent burning.
- Add mashed tomatoes. Fry till they turn soft. Cover and cook if needed.
- Time to add in chili powder, garam masala. Stir and fry for 3 minutes.
- Add curry leaves or mint and coconut paste. Stir and fry until the mixture begins to leave the sides.
- Stir in yogurt and fry until it leaves the sides again.
- Pour water just enough to make a medium consistency gravy.
- Cook covered till the chicken turns tender and soft. Towards the end add 1/4 tsp garam masala. Switch off the stove.
- Transfer chicken kurma to a serving bowl. Best to serve after 30 minutes. Garnish with coriander or mint leaves just before serving.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
2. Store bought garam masala can be used. For a chicken kurma a mild garam masala works great. Adjust the quantity as needed. If your garam masala includes red chilies, skip using red chili powder from the recipe.
3. Folks have different thought of what a kurma is. If you are a coconut person go with the ground paste and skip curd totally or use as mentioned. If you are someone to think that yogurt is a must in kurma, then you can skip coconut and just use yogurt.
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
Preparation for chicken kurma
1. Powder poppy seeds first to a fine powder. Add chopped or grated coconut and blend till smooth with little water. Since we don’t get poppy seeds in Singapore, i used cashews. But poppy seeds work the best. Make a smooth paste, If needed leave it for a while after partially ground and blend it again. Set this aside.
2. Pour oil to a hot pan, add dry spices and fry till they begin to sizzle. If your garam masala doesn’t have saunf in it, you can crush about 1/4 tsp of fennel seeds/ saunf and add it now.
Tempering spices for chicken kurma
3. Add onions and green chilli. Sprinkle salt and fry till they turn golden. The raw smell must go away. I did not use chilli, but i suggest using it.
4. Add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes away.
5. Lower the flame. Add chicken, little more salt and turmeric.
6. Fry 2 to 3 minutes or until the chicken turns white in color.
7. Cover and cook on a low flame for about 5 to 6 minutes. Stirring every three minutes.
8. Add chopped and mashed tomatoes. Fry until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Cover and cook if needed.
9. Add garam masala, red chili powder and mix well.
10. Fry for about two to three minutes.
How to make chicken kurma
11. Add the ground paste, mint or curry leaves. Fry til the mixture begins to leave the sides.
12. Add yogurt, Mix and stir well and cook till the mixture leaves the sides.
13. Pour water. Mix well.
14. Cover and cook on a low to medium flame till the chicken turns soft. I like to adjust the color of the gravy by adding little more chili powder if needed while it is cooking. Sprinkle little more garam masala powder to finish off.
Serve chicken kurma with plain rice or any biryani varieties or chapathi.