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.

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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
Keyword: Indian Chicken Korma
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.


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  1. Hi, Sabrina!
    Might I be able to sub the chicken for lamb chunks? Do you think it would be a similar process/cooking time?
    Thanks so much!

  2. Thank you SO much for this recipe! I use it as a base and it’s such a solid foundation. I don’t usually have cardamom or almonds on hand but it takes really yum anyway! One time I made it without butter (how could i forget!) and it was STILL delicious! One time i didn’t have yoghurt, and it still turned out good! I doubled the amount of spices for only 3 chicken breasts and it was, again, delicious. This recipe gave me more confidence to experience and it always turns out great. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  3. I’ve made this wonderful recipe countless times at this point. My six year old son (who is very picky) requests this Korma on a weekly basis. We all love it and Korma night has become a thing. The flavors are amazing…it’s comforting, it’s satisfying and it’s addictive! Between Sabrina’s awesome Asian and Indian recipes we no longer get take out…they hit the spot and save us cash. Thanks, Chef!!!

  4. If I were to add mango into the recipe when would I do that? My favorite Indian restaurant from my home town did a mango chicken korma and I have yet to see it anywhere else so I was going to try and make it myself but I can’t seem to find a recipe for it either! I’m very excited to try your recipe and I think it would be perfect to add the mango to it I’m just not sure at what step I should do it at?

    1. Oooh, that sounds amazing! I haven’t tested it but I think you could add 1 mango to the food processor and then add another chopped up with the cream in the last step. I’m going to add this to my research list though as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. I have a HUGE aversion to onions. For example, I can’t stand it if my teeth slice into one while I’m eating lasagna. I am OBSESSED with chicken korma from our local Indian restaurant and have never NOTICED the presence of onions. Can I leave them out? Or if I include them as called for, will they not be obvious in the textural sense? I want to make this for me and my husband so bad and i want to be able to enjoy it fully. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    1. If they’re an issue for you, just leave them out and add 1 tablespoon of onion powder instead. It’ll change it up a bit but it will still be delicious! Enjoy!

  6. Absolutely delicious recipe. I used chicken breast meat instead of thighs. I also used a really thick strained yoghurt with 10% cream and then coconut milk. It was lobelh and rich and luxurious. The whole family licked their bowls clean. Will definitely be making this one again.

  7. I can’t wait to make this. I’ve made your tikka masala and chicken saag and they were fantastic. They tasted as good as I’ve had at Indian restaurants. Thank you!

  8. its a tasty recipe ,but i changed a few things , i doubled up on dried spices and ginger and garlic as used this second amount after frying the onions in ghee for 20 mins on a slow low heat .i added heavy cream , as well as evaporated milk and coconut milk and some chicken stock , this gave it more sauce without compromising on flavour of the spices ( hence doubling up ).i also added the ground almonds to the sauce as well as to the marinade .
    i also griddled the marinated chicken on a high heat to char it and added to the sauce , this gave the chicken thigh a lovely spicy coating in the finished dish . it turned out full of flavour with a nice thick sauce on the sweeter mild side . kashmiri chilli powder gave it a great colour too and is nice and mild ….. thank you , will be batch cooking this again

    1. They are very similar but masala often contains cardamom with coriander and mace including fennel seeds, jeera, nutmeg and other blends of spices. I hope you enjoy this dish.

  9. When mixing the tomato paste and all the spices and almonds it came out in a ball. Would it be best to add the yogurt during that mixing process To smooth it out?

    1. My ingredients didn’t come out smoothly either, so I added the yogurt to make it blend better. The recipe still turned out really good! 🙂

      1. I had the absolute same situation and saw your comment it out of the yogurt as well. I think it has to do with the food processor because if you add tomato paste And then I’ll dry ingredients there’s no way it wouldn’t come out to be sick until you added something with a little more liquid. If you had a super fast high processing food processor it may liquefied a bit.

  10. What would I need to do for this to be extra saucy? A couple of the reviews say it was a little on the dry side.

  11. I absolutely love this recipe. It has become a part of my menu rotation for over a year. I do have a question though. I shop at an Indian grocery store for the Masala and other things. I’ve noticed that they have a spice labeled korma. What is the difference between that and the Garam masala?

    1. They have many of the same ingredients but the flavor profiles are different. Korma has fenugreek and cumin and Garam Masala has a much stronger flavor and uses more pungent spices. Glad to know you love the recipe so much.

  12. Easy and most delicious Korma ever! Second time making it and it’s so much easier now. Yes the 1-2 hour to marinate is long wait but it’s all worth it. Let the mixture soak into the chicken. It’s worth the wait.

  13. Another absolutely amazing recipe from you. SO good! Next time I’ll double the cream and let it simmer longer so there’s more sauce for soaking up with naan.

  14. The best, bar none. I was even able to find all of the ingredients in my rural Nebraska town (I generally keep the spices and basmati rice on hand) Fantastic recipe!

  15. Super simple and delicious every time! I’ve made this numerous times. I use coconut milk instead of heavy cream and have subbed cashews for the almonds a time or two–still turned out great.

  16. I am wondering if this can be converted to a slow cooker recipe? Would I need to add broth or change the timing of the yogurt or heavy cream?

  17. The flavour of this was stellar!!! It was very dry, but I knew I wasn’t making an English-style korma, so I wasn’t expecting a lot of sauce. I did add water with the chicken to deglaze the pan and add a bit of moisture.

    I made the recipe with what I had on hand, so these were my subs:

    -chicken breast instead of thighs (so took less time to cook);
    -cashews for the almonds and “cashew cream” for the heavy cream;
    -adding two small roasted chiles de arból instead of the crushed pepper;
    -sour cream instead of yoghurt (and I added it directly into the food processor with the spices and nuts because the spices and nuts refused to come together into a paste);
    -adding carrot with the onion to cut down on the heat a bit from the chiles.

    This one is going into the rotation. I almost never follow recipes exactly because I find the seasoning isn’t enough, but the spice quantities for this one were perfect.

  18. This was absolutely fantastic. It truly rivaled the korma from my favorite Indian restaurant. I will definitely make again and try some of your other Indian recipes.

    1. So glad you like it! I love it when it is a take out copy cat 🙂 Let me know if you try other recipes and how they turn out!

  19. Question – I don’t like ginger much. Can I skip this or is ginger pretty necessary? I’m using Garam Masala that I bought premade at the store and that has ginger in it. Is that enough?

    another question – can you marinate the chicken as long as you want or does it need to be 1-2 hours?

    SO excited to try.

    1. I wouldn’t marinate more than 24 hours, but at least 1-2 hours. Skipping ginger would alter the flavor, but it sounds like it would be more to your liking.

  20. Wow! What a great recipe! I made it as written and it was extremely delicious. Everyone in my family declared this to be their new favorite. ? Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Also, that was not meant to be a question. I’d better quit trying to add emojis and just use more creative descriptors. (insert laughing-crying face here)

  21. Thank you for this recipe! I’m excited to try it. I went out for Indian food last night and had an incredible Korma. I swear it had cashews and maybe even some golden raisins. Are those not normal in this dish? I can’t imagine it without them after having it that way lol

  22. Love this recipe!! So delicious and comforting! I totally didn’t read ahead and refrigerate the chicken in the yogurt spice mix (whoops!) and it still turned out amazing! Thank you for sharing all of your delicious recipes!! Several of them are staples at our house!!

  23. Hi Sabrina,

    I cooked this dish today and it was extremly good. The hole family enjoyed it with a big smile.

    I have a question I would like to aske you, my korma chicken never became yellow, it became more or less the same colour as tikka masala. What could I have done wrong?

    Thank you in advance and I look forward to try cooking your other recipes.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m not sure why it would’ve been reddish in color as the ingredients that would cause that are in small quantities.

  24. So good! I’ve made and eaten…LOTS of korma…and this was delicious…just like some of the best restaurant versions. I’ve now made it now two ways – a couple of times with almonds as your recipe calls for…and once with 1 cup cashews instead of almonds. I loved both!

    Thanks for sharing!

        1. I’ve never tested it with a substitution so I’m not sure what would work. You could always just leave them out and see how that turns out. Good luck!

  25. My GF loves chicken korma and after making this recipe for her she wants to marry me. It’s definitely going into my fav recipe binder. Very straight forward and clear instructions! Not as quick as I usually like to cook (prep time was prob closer to 40 min) but I tend to be slow and careful with new dishes and the more I make it the faster it’ll go. The flavor profile however was well worth the time and effort.

  26. Greetings from Australia!
    I just made this tonight….it worked really well and was delicious! I had no idea making a korma was so easy!!! Thank you! 🙂

  27. LOVE this recipe!!! I’ve made it twice and now crave it on a regular basis. I have struggled in the past making Indian recipes flavorful but this one turns out very tasty! Thank you for the recipe!

  28. This dish came out great and was gone quickly in my household, even without the almonds (I don’t like nuts, so I skipped that part). I also used regular plain yogurt instead of greek yogurt and was very happy with how the dish turned out.

    1. Absolutely stunning. Added cauliflower. First gave it some colour then added butter and panfried it rather than boiling it and then adding to the dish.

  29. made this today for my wife (I don’t eat curry’s or any spicy food) she loved it said it was better than what she buys from our local Indian restaurant. problem I see now is I know how to make another great dish. I will be asked to cook this again I know it.
    cheers from a happy cook.

  30. sorry to sound a little dumb when you say add chicken do you add all the ingredient (marinade and chicken) to the pan ?

  31. So easy to make and very delicious, I did marinade it for most of the day and used coconut milk since I don’t have heavy cream. This one is going into the have to make it again list. Thank you

    1. My wife and I thought it could use a bit more spice as well, but it wasn’t too hard to add more to taste. A bit of cumin and cayenne pepper helped a lot. Still a good recipe for those who prefer the milder creamier aspects of korma.

  32. I don’t usually post comments on recipes but this is really good!! Pair it with a nice dry Riesling and you have an awesome dinner. 13/10 would recommend 🙂

  33. Just made this tonight for dinner. It was awesome! We loved it, this William replace my regular visit to my favourite indian restaurant. Made pesshwari rice as accompaniment. Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  34. Made this recipe last night and it came great! Very flavorful with the right amount of spicy tingle. I marinated the chicken the night before, to cut down on day of prep time. Worked great!

  35. Outstanding dish, thank you for such a rich, savory recipe! Very clear and easy to follow directions. Took me a little longer, but well worth the wait. Thanks again!

  36. Hi Sabrina!  

    This recipe is fantastic. I made it today for the first time. Both my husband (Indian heritage) and I LOVED IT. He can be fairly picky about Indian food, but he had nothing but good things to say about this dish. I loved the almond flavor (I used roasted almonds because I wasn’t sure). 

    Super easy and very flavorful. I didn’t modify it at all—but I did add a bit more salt than yours called for. 

    I would maybe add some cilantro to the dish next time, but it certainly doesn’t need it. 

    Oh, and I’ll probably double the recipe so we have lots of leftovers. 

    Thank you for sharing! 

  37. Love Indian dishes! I haven’t attempted to make many dishes at home, but this is happening this weekend!

  38. In traditional korma you would cook spices/aromatics first, then onion, then marinated yogurt chicken. I’ve never seen korma with tomato paste or almonds either, cashews are normal. I make chicken coconut korma weekly. I just wanted to let you know in case you’d like to try a traditional method. Otherwise looks good. 🙂