Indian Chicken Korma

4 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Authentic Chicken Korma recipe for an easy fragrant chicken curry with chicken thighs, tomato paste, Greek yogurt and lots of Indian spices.

Indian Cuisine is known for curries filled with prominent spice profiles and a creamy, velvety texture like Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, and this amazing Indian Chicken Korma recipe.

Indian Chicken Korma with rice in bowl

Authentic Indian Korma is a delicious dish made with Indian spices, yogurt, and almonds that is known for being mild yet indulgent, with layers of earthy warmth. It’s definitely one of the more family friendly curry recipes and it’s a great introduction to those just learning to cook Indian food. Make it a full meal and serve with other classic Indian recipes like Garlic Naan and Vegetable Biryani.

This easy Chicken Korma recipe starts with tender chicken pieces marinated in a creamy tomato paste and yogurt mixture. It is mild, but don’t worry it’s still packed with plenty of spice! The chicken marinade also has some raw almonds, fresh ginger, and garlic for more amazing flavor.  It marinates for at least an hour to get pieces of chicken that are juicy and filled with that warm, rich and mildly-spiced flavor that makes this dish so amazing!

What really makes this easy homemade Chicken Korma recipe stand out from other Indian curry dishes is the loads of spices. It has garam masala, which is a classic spice blend in Indian cooking. Even more spices including paprika, red pepper flakes, and turmeric are added so there is plenty of spice, yet it balances out with the cream for a Chicken Korma sauce that is mild, indulgent with immense depth.

If you love the amazing flavor profile of Creamy Chicken Curry, try our Indian Butter Pot Roast or Indian Keema Aloo. Traditionally you serve curry over rice, but if you want your dinner to have more of that delicious, prominent spice profile, try sides like Indian Spiced Honey Roasted Carrots or Indian Bombay Potatoes and Peas

What is Chicken Korma?

Chicken Korma is a classic Indian recipe originating from the Mughlai cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. The dish has marinated chicken pieces that are cooked in a creamy sauce made with yogurt, cream, nuts, and Indian spices like garam masala, cardamom, and paprika. This curry recipe is known for being filled with warm, earthy creamy flavors and is milder than other Indian food. Like other Indian curry dishes, it is served over rice dishes like Basmati rice.

What is the difference between Butter Chicken and Chicken Korma?

While Butter Chicken and Chicken Korma share many similarities, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a creamy tomato-based dish with a rich and tangy flavor. In contrast, Chicken Korma offers a more delicate and nuanced taste, thanks to the inclusion of almonds and a unique spice blend.

Indian Chicken Korma collage of prep steps

How to Make Chicken Korma

  • Prep: Dice the boneless chicken thighs into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
  • Marinade: Blend the tomato paste, ginger, garlic, garam masala, pepper, paprika, cardamom, salt, turmeric and almonds in a food processor on high speed until completely smooth.
  • Marinate: Toss chicken with marinade until well coated then cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
  • Onions: Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onions for 5-7 minutes, until they start to caramelize.
  • Chicken: Add the pieces of chicken and the marinade to the hot skillet with the onions. Cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the meat is cooked through.
  • Finish: Stir the heavy cream into the skillet until well mixed. Simmer another 3-4 minutes, then serve over rice with the sauce.

Amazing Indian Side Dishes

FAQs for Indian Chicken Korma

What is the difference between a korma and a curry?

Korma is actually an Indian curry dish, often made with yogurt, cream, nuts, and garam masala, resulting in a rich and mildly warm spiced sauce. On the other hand, curry is a broader term encompassing a wide range of spiced dishes with varying levels of heat and flavors, offering more diversity in ingredients and cooking styles.

What is the difference between Korma Chicken and Tikka Masala Chicken?

Korma Chicken is an authentic Indian dish known for its rich and creamy sauce, infused with a blend of aromatic spices, yogurt and cream with warm, mild spice. Tikka Masala Chicken is a tomato-based sauce with a tangy and slightly spicier flavor, and is actually a British-Indian fusion.

Indian Chicken Korma collage of cooking steps

Key Ingredients

  • Garam Masala: Garam masala is a popular blend of spices commonly used in Indian curries.  It adds complexity and depth of flavor, with its warm and aromatic notes of ground spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander. You can buy a premade blend or check out the recipe in this post if you have the powdered spices on hand.
  • Almonds: Almonds provide a creamy texture and subtle sweet nuttiness to the sauce. They enhance the richness of the dish and complement the blend of spices.
  • Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt serves a dual purpose in Chicken Korma. Firstly, its tanginess helps tenderize the chicken, resulting in moist and succulent meat. Secondly, its creamy consistency adds richness to the curry sauce.
  • Turmeric: Known for its vibrant yellow hue, turmeric is not only a visual delight but also imparts a warm, earthy layer of flavor to Chicken Korma.
  • Cardamom: There is cardamom in garam masala, but this recipe adds an extra helping of the powdered spice to bring out more of its floral, warm sweet flavor.
  • Tomato Paste: Tomato paste serves as the base of the sauce, providing a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the Chicken Korma curry. It adds a fresh layer of flavor to balance out all the warmth from the aromatic spices. 
  • Fresh Aromatics: Fresh ginger brings a zesty punch of flavor with some spiciness and freshness, while garlic infuses its robust and pungent taste in this flavorful dish.
  • Additional Spices: There are plenty of spices in this flavorful, authentic korma dish. Paprika adds a mild smoky sweet flavor. For those who enjoy a hint of heat, crushed red pepper adds a subtle kick. Kosher salt is used to season the chicken and balance the flavors in the prominent spice profile.
  • Butter: Butter adds an indulgent velvety texture and buttery flavor to Chicken Korma curry. The combination of canola oil and butter creates a delightful balance between richness and lightness.
  • Onion: Yellow onion provide a savory and slightly sweet base for the sauce. When caramelized, they add depth and complexity to the authentic flavor profile of this Korma Chicken recipe.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream lends a creamy and silky texture to the sauce. It also tames all the strong aromatic spices slightly so you end up with a rich and mildly-spiced flavor that is perfectly balanced and delicious.

Can you make Chicken Korma ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, the flavors of Chicken Korma tend to deepen and develop when prepared in advance. You can make the sauce ahead of time and marinate the chicken overnight. When ready to serve, cook the chicken in the preheated sauce, and voila! A delicious and effortless meal in minutes.

Indian Chicken Korma with rice in bowl and fork


  • Veggies: The classic Chicken Korma recipe includes onions, garlic and ginger but red or green bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, peas, or potatoes would work well in the dish as well as they’d complement the lighter flavors of the korma curry.
  • Coconut: You can swap the heavy cream for coconut milk for a similar creamy texture but a delicious sweet flavor. For more of the tasty coconut flavor, add some toasted coconut shreds. Make sure to use full-fat coconut milk for the best texture.
  • Nuts: You can use other nuts for creaminess like cashews, peanuts, or macadamia nuts. You could also use sunbutter, tahini, or sesame seeds soaked in water to replace the nuts.

Homemade Garam Masala

3 ½ tablespoons ground cardamom
2 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons ground cloves
3 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

Add the spices to a dry skillet and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently until you can smell the spices. Let them cool before adding them to an airtight container to use within 2 months. 

Indian Chicken Korma with rice in bowl

More Delicious Indian Chicken Dishes

How to Store

  • Store: Do not leave Chicken Korma at room temperature longer than two hours. Once it’s cooled, store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: It’s best to reheat curries slowly so that the cream doesn’t curdle and the chicken doesn’t dry out. Heat it over low heat in a deep skillet, or you could even make a big batch and reheat it in a slow cooker on low.
  • Freeze: Chicken Korma can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat gently in a saucepan on the stove.

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Indian Chicken Korma Recipe

Authentic Chicken Korma recipe for an easy fragrant chicken curry with chicken thighs, tomato paste, Greek yogurt and lots of Indian spices.
Yield 4 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 6 chicken thighs , boneless and skinless
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger , peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  • Cut the chicken thighs into small 1 ½ to 2 inch chunks and put them in a large bowl.
  • Add the tomato paste, ginger, garlic, garam masala, crushed red pepper, paprika, cardamom, salt, turmeric and almonds into a food processor on high speed until completely smooth.
  • Add the mixture to the bowl with the chicken along with the yogurt and mix well.
  • Cover and refrigerate for1-2 hours.
  • Add the canola oil and butter to a large cast iron skillet or heavy skillet on medium high heat.
  • Add the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until just caramelized.
  • Add in the chicken and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Add the heavy cream to the skillet and mix well, cooking for an additional 3-4 minutes.



Calories: 682kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 210mg | Sodium: 582mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 895IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Indian Chicken Korma Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Indian Chicken Korma Recipe

Easy Chicken Korma
Indian Chicken Korma
Easy Indian Chicken Korma

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Have you checked the FAQ section above to see if your question has already been answered? View previous questions.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. It’s a keeper. The recipe was easy, tasty and very good. Due to personal preferences, I will double the cream, crushed pepper and add a bit more salt.

  2. Love this recipe, I make it all the time. Not only does it taste wonderful, the house smells so good afterwards. I serve with naan and cauliflower rice (my spouse is on a keto kick). Sometimes I pair it with your saag recipe. Always a hit!

    1. This is an amazing recipe loved by the whole family, I use ground ginger instead of fresh and it works, I also add a tablespoon of honey to sweeten it up xx

  3. Hi, with the korma chicken recipe, do you wipe off the marinade from the chicken completely or just a little, looking forward to trying out your recipe,thanks

  4. Made this based on ratings alone even though I was hoping for an instant pot recipe. Wasn’t able to marinate for the suggested times and was still so delicious!!!! Making for the second time and know it will not disappoint. So easy but captures the warm and rich Indian flavours perfectly.

  5. Delicious, authentic, easy, restaurant quality meal! Saving it to my recipe file. I definitely would make this again!! I will be trying your other recipes. Thanks for sharing this one!

  6. Really nice combination of spices and very simple. I marinaded the chicken all day as I was working. Turned out great.

    One thing I wanted to ask was how to loosen the suave up as it went very thick when sitting with rice. I read add water but wouldn’t that dilute the flavors?

    1. It shouldn’t dilute the flavors too much, just don’t add a lot of water all at once. Try a tablespoon at a time. Glad you enjoyed it!

    2. Hi Sabrina
      Looking forward to making your recipe. Just wanted to know what the weight of the 6 thighs are…approx…..I want to us3 breasts?

        1. This was insanely delicious! I love ordering chicken korma when out to eat. This was my first time trying this at home. It’s a keeper!

  7. Love this recipe, would definitely recommend for a date night. I elected to use cashews rather than almonds and add some more bulky veggies. This was excellent and look forward to trying many other of your recipes

  8. Hi Sabrina,

    I searched online for a couple hours looking for a korma recipe and was quite pleased to find yours. This is amazing! I ended up cooking it a day later than anticipated, so chicken marinated for 24 hours. It was very tender and the spice blend and ratio are great. I garnished with chopped cilantro and served with basmati rice and garlic naan. Hubby and I stuffed ourselves until we couldn’t move ?

    I will definitely be making this again and will try it with the homemade garam masala which I’m sure will add even more flavor. Planning to try your Tikka Masala next.

    Question: for the recipes containing yogurt in the marinade, can the chicken be frozen in the marinade for future use? It sure would be convenient to make bigger batches and freeze in dinner sized portions with very little work needed to complete the meal.

  9. Haven’t made this recipe yet, but looks good. I’m trying to find some tweaks to improve my recipe. For those who had issues grinding the almonds try almond flour, it’s blanched peeled ground almonds. I’ve even used almond butter before and it’s worked well too.
    The only thing a little different with this recipe is how the ingredients are pureed first in the marinade, most recipes I’ve seen/used the puree is done after cooking the onions, and usually with the cream or some yogurt to help thin it. I am going do a quick puree for the marinade to really blend it, but will still blend the onion and nuts later. I’m going to add the tomato to the marinade, I’ve never used tomato in my korma but am willing to give it a try (I think adding it to the marinade will allow the spices to blend better).
    Definitely toast your spices if you can!

    1. I am going to try this recipe tweeking the amounts here and there! It looks yummy. I find using the mortar and pestle as I find it easy to ground the almonds then an electric grinder!

  10. I must of missed what the butter goes into ?! But I’m making this as I write so I’ll just add it to the skillet to sauté the chicken and sauce!!!

  11. Made it for my History project. Tasted great! I do have to say when I was processing my paste I had to add water because the almonds did not want to blend. Thank you!

  12. I like the flavors of this recipe a lot, but I find that the paste you have to make with the almonds, tomato paste, ginger, garlic and spices is just so difficult and impractical to do in a food processor, unless it’s just because I have a very small and cheap 3 cup counter-top appliance? It just won’t do it. Maybe if you have a very expensive and powerful blender it’s ok, but it’s a very dry mix. I can only do this easily by actually grinding the almonds first in a coffee grinder and even that isn’t very ideal… but it’s workable.

    The paste you get is so thick and I always have to add a little water, and a little more… I almost feel like this would be better done by hand with mortar and pestle but that’s too tedious for me to make it an easy meal. I’m an American that’s just begun to appreciate the deep flavors and rich combinations of Indian spices, and I know these are sort of westernized recipes but I like them so far a lot, I just have trouble with the preparation as given and I wonder if you should make some adjustments to your explanation to note that you need a different method or something because a good recipe should be simple to reproduce exactly if all steps are followed. If you can’t do so, then something is wrong.

    Great flavor, love the dish, but difficult preparation that I wish would be easier.

    1. Alexander, this review is kind of silly, no offense. But, yes, this is an issue with your cheap appliance. I recommend getting a good food processor if you like cooking. This is how Indian recipes are often made, and complaining about the steps is a strange choice. Just practice more, maybe invest in a better processor or accept that good food takes time 🙂

      1. I have a KitchenAid food processor and I had the same problem as Alexander. I didn’t add water, just decided to use the paste with almond chunks instead, since I don’t mind the chunks.

    2. I have an insanely expensive blender that can probably play the national anthem if I press the right button, but I still have to use my old trusty food processor for this kind of job. It’s nothing fancy – big, flat bottom w/ 2 big horizontal blades.

      It sounds to me like the blades on your food processor are either angled upwards, are too short or placed too far from the bottom – the almonds shouldn’t have anywhere to “hide”

      Have you tried adding the yogurt and a few tbsps of water to the mix before blitzing?

    3. A way you could make this easier would be to use garlic/ginger paste (or powder for less flavor) for your marinade and skip the puree until after you cook onions, take them out before you cook the chicken then just puree almonds, cooked onions, and the cream, then add back to the cooked chicken and finish. You can also find almond flour online or in the grocery store which skips the need for grinding almonds. If you use garlic/ginger paste, almond flour, and cut everything small you can skip the processor altogether, it just wouldn’t incorporate the flavors as much I imagine but will speed up the prep.

      You should be able to do all the pureeing necessary with a magic bullet, I’ve done it before with just that! Just add some cream or liquid, the hot onions will help temper the cream and it’s never broken on me.

    4. I love this recipe and I make it about once a month now. However, I agree about the paste so I always add the greek yoghurt to the blender as well now, plus sometimes a little water. It works really well. I honestly don’t know how anybody gets a paste without adding something else to the dry mix.

  13. I have made this many times including for company and its always delicious. Its easy to tweak so it tastes like my favorite Indian restaurant korma (I add cashews and raisins. This is in my regular dinner rotation. Thanks!

      1. Shannon I add the cashews to the chicken when its marinating and sometimes a little cashew butter. The raisins I add when its simmering.

  14. This recipe looks lovely! Are the paprika and the red pepper supposed to be fresh, or the dried and powdered variety?

  15. This has become one of our favourite recipes! I have substituted sun dried tomatoes or a ripe tomato for the tomato paste and it is still delicious. Also, we use a whole chicken cut up and skinned and cook a longer time til done. Thank you.

  16. Hi! I made this last week and it was way too thick. The flavours were there but I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong. Amy suggestions? I think I used 1/2 cup ground almonds instead of whole if that makes a difference? I wanted to try again tonight.

  17. Hey Sabrina! I would just like to provide a clarification as an Indian who has grown up with authentic mughlai cuisine as part of my household. Qorma is a mughlai dish that has a very specific list of ingredients and spices… And any slight variation will shift it towards another category of curry. What I learned from my grandmother and my mother is that certain ingredients are not added in qorma at all. These are turmeric, tomatoes, coriander, green chili, tomato paste. What should be added are fried onions that is crushed and made into a paste with almonds and cashews there’s no cream in it as well. Mace and nutmeg are also essential for the specific aroma and flavor. Another essential ingredient added towards the end is kewra water… Which is an essence derived from the kewra plant. Qorma should be orange – ish in color and the garnish should be fried onions and almond slivers.
    All the best and hope you enjoy making more Indian dishes! 🙂

      1. Restaurant quality korma recipe, I added a little water to the Korma marinade while cooking, but actually as it heated up it thinned up anyway.