This Chicken Korma recipe is creamy, moist and juicy! It’s simmered in a spicy, nutty yogurt sauce (using either cashew or almond butter) and seasoned with a plethora of peppery, earthy spices for an unmistakeable Indian flavor. Enjoy this quick meal in less than 40 minutes!
Indian cuisine will always fill your stomach and leave you satisfied – that’s because it’s so delicious, you can’t stop yourself from taking another bite! And chicken korma is a combination of just about everything I love about Indian food. It has the creamy yogurt sauce, a nutty yet savory taste, and roasted spices. My video shows you just how it all comes together!
To be more specific, this is a North Indian korma recipe. It differs from South Indian korma (or kurma) with its yogurt sauce, that creamy nutty flavor, and the addition of onions.
Something this saucy dish should surely be served with naan or rice. A note on the naan: be sure to make plenty! You never want to run out when there’s still food on the plate, and everyone will be reaching for another piece.
Recently I was in London, England after coming back from a trip to Egypt and met with my friend Dan Toombs, also known as The Curry Guy. We had been friends for years online, but we had never actually met in person before. I took a train to meet him and his wife up in York for the day and had a fantastic time. Besides visiting the beautiful sites around the city, all things food and blogging were discussed and it was a great day.
If you’d like, try his authentic BIR style Chicken Korma that originally was the inspiration behind today’s recipe!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chicken – Chop boneless, skinless chicken breasts into uniform, bite-sized pieces. Any boneless cut can be used — tenderloins, thighs, etc.
- Garlic & Ginger Paste – Use ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger and ½ teaspoon of powdered garlic for every tablespoon of fresh. Powdered ginger is even more potent, so use sparingly.
- Red Onion – Red will keep its texture better than white and yellow, but any onion can be used.
- Korma Sauce – In addition to water, Greek yogurt, and salt, it contains:
- Almond Butter – The creamy, nutty texture and flavor is what makes this sauce. Cashew butter is just as delicious and makes a great substitute.
- Chili Powder – For a subtle heat. Add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne if more heat is desired.
- Turmeric – This is where the tell-tale color comes from. It’s earthy and bitter with a bit of heat.
- Tadka Spices – Vegetable oil mixed with the following spices:
- Green & Black Cardamom Pods – If using powdered, use a total of ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom total.
- Bay Leaves – While you usually remove this aromatic, minty yet peppery herb after cooking, we’ll leave them in to cut through the heavier spices. Indian Bay leaves have a essence of cinnamon. Read more here in my Indian Pantry Essentials.
- Cinnamon – You can substitute a 2” stick with ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- Cloves – 4 whole cloves can be substituted with ⅛ teaspoon of ground clove.
- Garnishes – Top with freshly chopped cilantro, toasted and chopped almonds or cashews, and salt to taste.
Chicken Korma Recipe Video
This dish is so full of flavor, you won’t believe how easy it is to make. Watch the recipe video in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN KORMA
- Mix the Korma Sauce. Add the water, yogurt, almond or cashew butter, chili powder, salt, and turmeric to a bowl and whisk together. Set the chicken korma sauce aside.
- Toast the Spices and Sauté. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add all of the tadka spices and stir for two minutes (or just one minute if using ground spices). Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add Garlic and Ginger. Stir the garlic and ginger pastes into the browned, spiced onion sauce. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the Chicken. Add the chicken to the skillet, stir to coat, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the Yogurt. Stir the yogurt korma sauce into the mixture and lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes as the sauce thickens. Stir to completely coat the chicken and salt to taste.
- Garnish and Serve. Sprinkle ground red chile, cilantro, and nuts over top and serve.
Chicken Korma Recipe FAQ
Serve this dish fresh and warm! If you want a heartier dinner, I recommend serving it over a helping of rice.
Rice is a great addition because the sauce will mix right into it, ensuring that you don’t miss a single bite of flavor.
My favorite thing about a chicken korma recipe is the thick, creamy sauce. If you prefer a thinner sauce, though, that’s easy to accomplish. Simply add more water (or milk) to the sauce, then stir to combine.
The more water you add, the thinner your end result will be, so use caution. Just add a little bit of water at a time, stopping when the consistency is where you’d like it to be.
It’s a very creamy sauce. There is a touch of almond/cashew flavor from the almond or cashew butter, which also adds a level of fattiness and richness, that pairs very well with the hot chili powder. As with many Indian dishes, you’ll find the earthy taste of turmeric.
It all blends together very well, and, as far as South Asian sauces go, is relatively simple.
Chicken tikka has a sweeter, tangier flavor. It includes vinegar and/or lemon juice, peppers and tomatoes, and sometimes brown sugar. Its major spice profile is built by garam masala, which has a warm, complex sweetness.
How long can you refrigerate leftover chicken korma?
Cooked chicken can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Thanks to the buttery yogurt sauce, you don’t need to worry about the leftovers drying out! In fact, this is one of those recipes that can taste even better leftover the next day.
Reheat on the stovetop until warmed through. This is pretty quick with the bite-sized chicken. I don’t recommend microwaving as it alters the flavor and texture of the yogurt-based sauce.
Need ideas for a larger meal?
Try serving this along side my Butter Chicken and Creamy Restaurant Style Dal Makhani, too.
Subscribe to my Newsletter, follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for all my latest recipes and videos.
This recipe post, originally published on Silk Road Recipes December, 2020, was updated with new content, photos and/or video in April, 2023.
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" pieces
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 2 tbsp garlic paste (See Note 1)
- 2 tbsp ginger paste (See Note 1)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup almond butter (See Note 2)
- 1 tsp chili powder (See Note 3)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 green cardamom pods (See Note 4)
- 2 black cardamom pods (See Note 4)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick 2-inch piece (See Note 5)
- 4 cloves (See Note 6)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup almonds or cashews toasted and chopped
- Salt to taste
- In a bowl whisk together the water, yogurt, almond butter, chili, salt and turmeric powder and set aside.
- In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the whole spices and fry for 2 minutes. If using ground spices (See Notes), fry for 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and stir, sauté for 10 minutes until translucent.
- Add the garlic and ginger pastes, stir to mix and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped chicken pieces, stir to mix and cook covered for 5 minutes.
- Add the yogurt mixture, stir to mix in, lower heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Sauce should thicken and coat chicken pieces. Season to taste with salt.
- Garnish with ground red chile, chopped cilantro and or chopped nuts.
- Use 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger for every tablespoon of fresh ginger and use 1/2 teaspoon of ground garlic for every tablespoon of fresh garlic. Powdered ginger is more potent.
- Feel free to substitute cashew butter for the almond butter. It’s absolutely delicious as well!
- For more heat ADD 1/4 tsp cayenne powder total.
- For the 4 green AND 2 black cardamom pods substitute 1/2 tsp ground cardamom total.
- For the 2″ cinnamon stick substitute 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon total.
- For the 4 whole cloves, substitute 1/8 tsp ground clove.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Pardon my ignorance please, but is there a step left out as to what to do after frying the “whole spices” if using? I’m guessing they need to be removed and ground using a mortar and pestle or electric grinder and then added back to the skillet? I’m rather new to using whole spices but I know you wouldn’t leave them whole, right? Thanks in advance! I love all your recipes and you make expanding my repertoire of international cuisines not so scary!
Nope, the whole spices are left in the dish itself, which is pretty standard in most Indian dishes. Just be sure to pick them out or not eat when serving Dawn. Just follow the recipe and video and you’ll be good or use the ground substitutions!
I will be making this dish substituting the chicken with crispy tofu chunks. I’m trying to reduce my cholesterol. Really love all your recipes
Excellent! So glad to read this. Thanks so much for following along Karen!
I,m going to make it today!!!!!!!!!!!!! Excellent!!!!!!!!!
Fantastic Miska, thanks for letting me know!
This looks so delicious and tasty! I can’t wait to give this a try!
This chicken is so creamy! My family will love it for sure!
I love the flavors in this dish! It’s incredibly delicious!
Such a fantastic recipe! My family would love this!
This is so good!! Perfect for dinner tonight!!
Thank you Sandra!
This was a huge hit at my house!! Definitely making it again!
This Korma is amazing! Very tasty
This Chicken Korma is looks incredibly delicious!
So full of flavor and satisfying will definitely be making again!
This is amazing, you will not be disappointed.
This looks outstanding! I need to make this asap, but only after I make your butter chicken! Great recipe Kevin. Even though I know I can replace ground cardamon for the pods, I need to find the pods!
Thanks so much Elaine. If you ever need to find an ingredient, please check my Pantry section here on the site for all of the different culture’s recipe ingredients. I have spice alternates and descriptions here in my Indian Spice section and where to find if you can’t. Great talking with you the other day!
This is an excellent recipe, Kevin! Just like the one I had in Malaysia! Glad to see this and the other recipes you are adding! True Gems! You are correct, this is perfect for this time of year!
Thanks so much Julie, appreciate you taking the time to write this. Cheers!
THANK YOU FOR ADDING SUBS. LOVE YOUR RECIPES BUT DON’T HAVE ALL THE INGRED.
Whenever I can Mary! Thanks for following along. 🙂