Indian Chicken Korma

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Chicken Korma is a traditional Indian dish that’s light and flavorful almond curry made with tomato paste, plenty of spices and cream thats buttery and completely delicious.

Indian Food is one of my favorite new sections on the blog, including favorite recipes like Butter ChickenVegetable BiryaniChicken Tikka Masala and Easy Tandoori Chicken.

Indian Chicken Korma Recipe
 Indian Chicken Korma Recipe

Curries are so different and yet somehow they are all so comforting. I never really enjoyed them until I had graduated college but now I find I absolutely love experimenting with all different versions of curries from Chinese to Japanese to Thai to Indian.

My favorite is probably Indian Curry because I love the warm flavors and I prefer the addition of heavy cream instead of the more coconut flavors of Thai curry.

This Chicken Korma recipe is well flavored and balanced, but it is less of a punch of flavor than my favorite Indian recipe, Butter Chicken.

How do you make a chicken korma?

This easy Chicken Korma recipe is made using a spiced yogurt marinade, butter cooked chicken and onions that is lightened with cream. Apart from time it marinates, the curry can be made in just 45 minutes.

Is a korma a curry?

Yes, korma is an Indian Curry dish made with garam masala.

Easy Chicken Korma

What vegetables can you put in a chicken korma?

The classic chicken korma recipe includes onions, garlic and ginger but red bell peppers, carrots or potatoes would work well in the dish as well as they’d complement the lighter flavors of the korma curry.

Can you substitute coconut milk?

Absolutely. If you have a preference for coconut milk to heavy cream you can add it in. I prefer heavy cream personally for it’s richness and because it doesn’t compete with the flavors of the spices in the chicken korma.

What can I substitute for Garam Masala seasoning? You can make your own! Here’s a great homemade version for you:

Homemade Garam Masala Recipe:

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons ground cardamom
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  1. Add the spices to a dry skillet and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently until you can smell the spices.
  2. Let them cool before adding them to a covered container to use within 2 months.



Indian Chicken Korma Recipe

4.97 from 30 votes
  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Chicken Korma is a traditional Indian dish that's light and flavorful almond curry made with tomato paste, plenty of spices and cream thats buttery and completely delicious.  


  • 6 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sized piece of 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


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Cut the chicken thighs into small 1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks and put them in a large bowl.
  2. Add the tomato paste, ginger, garlic, garam masala, crushed red pepper, paprika, cardamom, salt, turmeric and almonds into a food processor on high
  3. speed until completely smooth.
  4. Add the mixture to the bowl with the chicken along with the yogurt and mix well.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

  6. Add the canola oil and butter to a large cast iron skillet or heavy skillet on medium high heat.
  7. Add the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until just caramelized.

  8. Add in the chicken and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

  9. Add the heavy cream to the skillet and mix well, cooking for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 Servings, Amount per serving: 682 calories, Calories: 682g, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 55g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 210mg, Sodium: 582mg, Potassium: 658mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 895g, Vitamin C: 4.3g, Calcium: 126g, Iron: 2.3g

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Keyword: Indian Chicken Korma
Indian Chicken Korma
Easy Indian Chicken Korma

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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.