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?
This recipe post, originally published on Silk Road Recipes December, 2020, was updated with new content, photos and/or video in April, 2023.
- 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.