Chicken Korma

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This is a warm, deeply flavorful Chicken Korma recipe that has all the authentic flavor with simple, easy-to-follow instructions. Tested & perfected!! This creamy, delicately spiced Korma recipe is the stuff dreams are literally made of. Loosen up those pants and make this delectable one pot Indian dish at home!

Chicken korma is a mild, creamy curry that is spiced for flavor and not for heat. So instead of using cumin and black pepper, korma uses ingredients such as cardamom and cinnamon. Butter chicken, on the other hand, is also a mild, cream-based curry but it’s spiced with turmeric and chili peppers for that hit taste. Serve this chicken dish with some homemade Naan Bread!

This simple chicken korma recipe is derived from classic ingredients and spices from India, with chicken marinated in a homemade korma paste and yogurt, then cooked quickly and simmered with cream. Mild in heat, but big on flavor, it’s a spicy food lover’s dream. Want something a bit different? Try this Simple Curry Chicken recipe.

Korma originated in India and has spread through the local region. As with any type of recipe like this, you’ll find variation after variation, depending on the location and the preferences of the cook. I really hope you enjoy this tasty recipe!!


Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma

This is a warm, deeply flavorful Chicken Korma recipe that has all the authentic flavor with simple, easy-to-follow instructions. Tested & perfected!!
  • Author: Tea for Tumeric
  • Prep Time: :15
  • Cook Time: :45
  • Total Time: 1:00
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian


    • 1/3 cup neutral oil
    • 2 tbsp ghee, or sub more oil
    • 2 large onions, sliced*
    • 2 lbs bone-in, cut up, skinless chicken (or sub chicken thighs), cleaned and excess skin removed
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/8 tsp whole black peppercorns
    • 3 green cardamom pods
    • 5 whole cloves
    • 1 1-inch cinnamon stick
    • 8-10 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 inch piece ginger, crushed
    • 2 small tomatoes* (optional), quartered
    • 3/4 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
    • 2 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • 1 tsp red chili powder or to taste
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1/2 tsp paprika powder or Kashmiri red chili powder, optional – for color
    • 2 1/8 tsp salt, or to taste depending on amount of chicken
    • 2-3 green chili peppers, chopped


    • 1-2 black cardamom pods (optional)
    • 1 piece whole mace , or sub pinch ground mace or cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp garam masala
    • pinch nutmeg powder
    • 1/2 tsp diluted kewra essence, or sub rose water
    • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, optional – for garnish
    • 10-12 blanched almonds, for garnish


  • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Once hot, add the oil and onions and sauté the onions until they are golden brown (~20-25 minutes depending on quantity). Remove the onions from the pan and transfer them to a food processor. Add tomatoes (if using) and yogurt to the food processor and process until mostly smooth.
  • In the same pan used to brown onions, heat ghee (or oil) and add the whole spices, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds or until the garlic and ginger begin to darken. Add the chicken and fry it until it changes color (~5 minutes).
  • Add the yogurt mixture to chicken along with the ground spices, salt, and green chili peppers and sauté until the mixture comes to a light simmer (~2-3 minutes).
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and allow it to cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir in the black cardamom (if using), mace, garam masala, and nutmeg powder. Cover and cook again for 10 minutes.
  • Raise the heat to high. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water (depending on how thin you’d like the curry) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and allow chicken to simmer for another 2-3 minutes. The oil will have risen to the top. Sprinkle the kewra essence and stir.
  • Turn off the heat and garnish with cilantro and blanched almonds.


*See notes: If you prefer not to use tomatoes, simply increase the amount of yogurt if desired.

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