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 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
  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.

Recipe

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Indian Chicken Korma Recipe

4.98 from 37 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.  

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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

  1. Cut the chicken thighs into small 1 ½ 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

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

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

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Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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!

  10. 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 🙂

    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.

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.