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 29 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

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

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

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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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  21. 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!!

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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! 🙂

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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 🙂

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

  33. 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!

  34. 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! 

  35. 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. 🙂