🔥 Creamy Chicken Korma Recipe | Quick & Easy

by | Jun 3, 2024 | Chicken Recipes, Recipes

One chilly evening, I craved a meal that would warm both body and soul. Luckily, I found a recipe for creamy Chicken Korma. It was called the best by many. It promised an easy meal ready in just 20 minutes. This dish could also last up to 3 days in the fridge. So, I started this culinary adventure with chicken thighs, Greek yogurt, and a mix of almonds, garlic, and ginger. The simple list of ingredients matched the dish’s creamy texture and mild spice. Plus, knowing it could be frozen for up to 3 months made it perfect for meal prep. With Joanna Cismaru’s guidance, I learned how easy it is to cook delicious chicken korma, even when busy.

Key Takeaways

  • Recommended 1 pound of chicken thighs for the recipe.
  • Perfect for meal prep, lasting up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
  • Contains 394 calories per serving with significant protein content.
  • Features a creamy texture achieved through Greek yogurt and ground nuts.
  • Easy adaptation of traditional Mughlai Korma with modern convenience.

Introduction to Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma dates back to the Mughal Empire’s royal kitchens. Over time, it has become a favorite around the globe. It mixes special spices with a creamy taste, thanks to ingredients like cashew nut paste.

Homemade chicken korma has become very popular. Every Indian region has its own version. They use unique spices and put their twist on it. For example, some add whole spices and chilli for extra flavor and heat.

The real magic of chicken korma is its rich and creamy texture. This comes from marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices. Then, it’s fried with onions and more spices. Often, cashew nut paste is added to make it even creamier.

There are even vegan versions available. They use more cashew paste instead of yogurt. This shows how korma can be flexible to different diets.

When cooking, you can adjust the time and method. Traditionally, this dish simmers with a lid on after adding cashew nut paste. It includes spices like cumin and turmeric, as well as ground almonds. Chicken thighs are often used for their rich flavor.

Chicken korma fits well into today’s meal plans. It goes great with pulao and salad. It is good for family dinners or even big events. You can also make more than you need for later, making it convenient for busy times.

Making chicken korma at home is a labor of love. People often let the chicken marinate for a long time to get the best taste. Final touches, like fresh cilantro, add to its charm. It’s more than just a dish; it’s a way to bring people together.

Key Ingredients in Chicken Korma

Knowing the main chicken korma ingredients can boost its taste and feel. The choice of chicken, spices, and nuts helps make it creamy. Each ingredient adds its own special touch to the Korma we all love.

Chicken Selection

Choosing the right chicken is key for a great chicken korma. It’s best to use bone-in or chicken thighs. This adds a lot of flavor when cooking. Marinating the chicken is crucial. It keeps the chicken juicy and tasty.

Spices and Aromatics

The mix of spices is the heart of Chicken Korma. Spices like bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom are common. Adding garam masala at the end makes the flavors even richer. Garlic and ginger are must-haves. Sometimes, fried onion paste is used for extra taste. This spice and aroma mix gives Korma a deep, rich taste that’s both familiar and new.

Nuts and Dairy

Nuts and dairy give Chicken Korma its creamy goodness. Almonds or cashews are often used for their creaminess. Greek yogurt makes it both creamy and rich. Together, they turn Korma into a special dish.

chicken korma ingredients

Ingredient Role in Dish
Chicken Thighs Tender, flavorful meat that remains succulent
Garam Masala Adds depth and complexity to the flavor
Almonds Contributes to the creamy texture and richness
Greek Yogurt Used in both marination and gravy for a creamy consistency
Garlic & Ginger Essential aromatics that enhance overall flavor
Fried Onion Paste Contributes to aroma and rich flavor

Step-by-Step Directions for Quick & Easy Cooking

Cooking quick chicken korma can be fun and easy with these steps. You’ll make a tasty dish fast without any complicated steps. Let’s dive in and make this creamy treat without any fuss.

  • Marinating the Chicken: Start by marinating 2 lbs of chicken breast. Cut it into 1 1/2″ cubes. Mix it with yogurt, almond butter, and spices such as turmeric and garam masala. Be sure to coat the chicken well for the best flavor.
  • Sautéing the Onions: Use a large pot or Instant Pot for this step. Sauté 2 ½ cups of finely chopped onions and 2 tsp of kosher salt. Cook until they’re soft and golden, about 20 minutes. This creates the flavorful base of your korma.
  • Cooking the Chicken: Now, add the marinated chicken to the pot. Also, pour in ½ cup of tomato puree. Mix it well and let it simmer for a short while. If you need to avoid nuts, you can skip them. You can choose to use chicken thighs or breasts.
  • Adding the Cream: For a creamy touch, pour in coconut milk and add chopped cashews. Or, use heavy cream if you prefer. This makes the korma low in carbs and gluten-free, fitting various diets.
  • Final Simmer: Let the mix simmer to blend the flavors, balancing creaminess with spice. You can also use the pot-in-pot method to cook rice along with the korma. This makes it a complete meal in 30 minutes.
  • Flexible Cooking Methods: You can use an Instant Pot for a faster cook or a slow cooker if you prefer. Both are outlined to match different timeframes and tastes.
  • Garnishing: Finish your dish with 1 tbsp of minced cilantro. You can also add toppings like pan-fried cashews or raisins for a varied texture and taste.

This quick chicken korma is both budget-friendly and versatile. It can serve four people at less than $14 when served with a side. With these simple steps, you can perfect this dish for special gatherings or everyday meals.

Ingredient Quantity
Chicken Breast 2 lbs
Finely Chopped Onions 2 ½ cups
Tomato Puree ½ cup
Garam Masala 2 tsp
Coriander 1 tsp
Cayenne Powder ½ tsp
Cinnamon ¼ tsp
Green Cardamom Pods 10 pods
Almond Butter ¼ cup
Coconut Milk/Heavy Cream ½ cup
Minced Cilantro 1 tbsp

Traditional vs. Modern Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma is known for blending rich, aromatic flavors with tender chicken in a creamy curry. We will look at how the traditional recipe differs from the more modern ones.

Traditional Method

In South Asia, the Mughlai folks first created the traditional chicken korma recipe. It involves cooking chicken in ghee or oil with whole spices like bay leaves and cumin seeds. The curry’s base is made from yogurt and fried onions. One might use ingredients such as blanched almonds, mace, kewra essence, and green chili peppers.

This cooking takes time as the chicken flavors need to develop slowly. The dish is served with naan or rice, fitting for special occasions.

traditional chicken korma recipe

Modern Adaptations

Modern life has led to faster ways to make chicken korma. This includes shortcuts like using pre-fried onions and pre-cooked chicken. They still keep the traditional taste but are ready much quicker, in about 20 minutes.

Modern versions use ghee, garlic, ginger, and other simple ingredients. These changes make it easier for quick everyday meals.

Aspect Traditional Method Modern Adaptations
Cooking Technique Slow-cooking, braising Quicker methods, pre-cooked ingredients
Main Ingredients Whole spices, bone-in chicken, blanched almonds Pre-fried onions, pre-cooked chicken, ground almonds
Total Cooking Time Approximately 35 minutes Approximately 20 minutes
Serving Suggestions Naan, rice Naan, rice

Whether it’s cooked traditionally or with modern twists, the heart of chicken korma remains the same. It’s about rich spiced, creamy curry that shows true cooking skill.

Homemade Chicken Korma: Why It’s the Best

Making your own chicken korma has many benefits. You get to choose the best ingredients which means better taste and quality. By using bone-in chicken, the flavor is richer and authentic, not the same as what you find in stores.

Cooking korma at home lets you adapt the dish to your liking. You can make it spicy or mild, creamy or light. A style from North India uses yogurt, nuts, and brown onion paste for a rich, creamy texture.

On the other hand, South Indian korma is lighter, using coconut and seeds. Marinating chicken with turmeric, yogurt, and spices brings out deep flavors. The traditional marinade is key to making the dish complex and enjoyable.

Health is another plus when you cook korma at home. Homemade korma is nutritious without losing its great taste. It’s packed with valuable nutrients from ingredients like yogurt and nuts, and doesn’t need unhealthy starch for thickening.

Korma is very versatile and goes well with many dishes. It pairs nicely with rice, roti, naan, or paratha, fitting any occasion. Using authentic spices like bay leaves and cumin adds a unique and strong flavor.

In conclusion, homemade korma stands out for its freshness, high quality, and flexibility. Being able to customize the dish means you can create the perfect korma for your family. This ensures a dining experience filled with exceptional taste and variety.

Tips for a Perfect Creamy Chicken Korma

Getting your Chicken Korma just right means focusing on a few key things. Marinating well, cooking it just so, and adding your own touches. We’ll show you how to make Chicken Korma like they do in top restaurants.


To get deep flavors into your chicken, start with marinating. You should marinate for at least 3 hours, but up to 24 hours really lets the flavors soak in. Use a mix of Greek yogurt, garlic, ginger paste, and spices for great results. This step makes the chicken thighs extra juicy and tasty.

Cooking Technique

The right cooking method is key to the dish’s creamy texture. Melt 2 tbsp of ghee and fry whole spices like a 1cm cinnamon stick first. Then, fry the marinated chicken until golden and add some warmed base curry sauce. Cook gently for about 20 minutes, adjusting the sauce thickness by adding more curry sauce or simmering it further. This technique keeps the chicken juicy and the sauce creamy.


Customizing your Chicken Korma makes it really unique. Change the spice level with more or less garam masala or red chili powder. For extra creaminess, use full-fat coconut cream. If you like a nutty flavor, add 3 tbsp of ground almonds. Taste as you cook to adjust how sweet, creamy, or nutty you want it. You can also use different meats, like lamb, or go vegetarian with paneer or vegan options.

Also, here are the nutrition facts for each serving:

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories 310
Protein 11g
Total Fat 25g
Saturated Fat 16g
Sugar 8g
Fiber 2g

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma is adored by many, but there are some mistakes to watch out for. To make this dish perfectly, you must pay close attention and avoid common errors. A key to this creamy meal is in the details.

Skipping Marination

Many miss out on the marination step, which is a big mistake. Marinating the chicken ads deep flavors and makes it tender. You should marinate the chicken with yogurt, spices like garam masala, and aromatics including garlic for at least 2 hours. This also helps blend flavors if you’re adding nuts.

Overcooking Chicken

Don’t overcook the chicken; it’ll turn tough and less creamy in the Korma. You use pre-cooked chicken, adding to the base curry sauce and simmering gently. This way, it stays soft. Spices like cloves and cardamom add flavor. But watch the heat and time carefully to avoid overcooking.

Common Mistakes Optimal Practice
Skipping Marination Marinate for at least 2 hours
Overcooking Chicken Limit cooking time to 20 minutes
Ignoring Ingredient Quality Use full-fat Greek yogurt and fresh spices

Following these steps ensures you steer clear of usual errors in making Chicken Korma. Knowing the importance of marination and the right cooking methods helps you perfect this classic dish.

Serving Suggestions for Chicken Korma

Enjoying creamy chicken korma is more than just following a recipe. It’s about creating a top-notch meal with the right sides and drinks. With the perfect side dishes and pairing beverages, every bite becomes unforgettable.

chicken korma serving suggestions

Side Dishes

Tasty choices for korma include Basmati rice and naan bread. Basmati’s light, fluffy grains mix well with the sauce. Naan, especially when it’s just out of the oven, brings a chewiness that pairs perfectly with the chicken.

  • Basmati Rice: Its long grains and fragrant aroma are the perfect match for chicken korma.
  • Naan Bread: Soft, pillowy naan helps scoop up the delicious korma sauce.
  • Raita: A cooling yogurt-based side dish that balances the spices in the korma.
  • Cucumber Salad: Adds a refreshing crunch to the meal.
  • Pickles: Tangy pickles can add an extra layer of flavor contrast.


Choosing the right drink can make your korma meal even better. Traditional options like Lassi and Raita are not only tasty but also help cool down spice. They are perfect pairings for your dinner.

  • Lassi: This yogurt-based drink comes in sweet and savory options and is excellent for balancing the rich flavors of korma.
  • Raita: Although primarily a side, it can double as a drink to refresh your palate.
  • Chai Tea: A subtly spiced chai tea can be an excellent warm beverage to accompany the meal.
  • Mango Juice: The sweetness and acidity of mango juice provide a delightful contrast to the creamy korma.

Remember these chicken korma serving ideas for your next meal. Good side dishes and perfect drinks make a big difference. They ensure a tasty and enjoyable dining adventure.

Substitutions and Variations for Different Diets

Making Chicken Korma to fit special diets is simple and fun. You can easily change it up to suit all kinds of dietary needs. This means it can be enjoyed by those who are dairy-free or have nut allergies.

Dairy-Free Option

To make a dairy-free chicken korma, just switch out the yogurt and cream with coconut milk. Coconut milk keeps the texture creamy. It also gives a nice flavor boost to the sauce. This change is great for those who can’t have dairy, including vegans, without losing the dish’s taste.

Nut-Free Option

Making a nut-free chicken korma is easy. Just leave out the cashews or almonds. Instead, try sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a similar texture. This method makes your chicken korma variations safe for everyone to enjoy.

Don’t forget, below is a helpful list of alternatives. It will help you satisfy different dietary needs when making Chicken Korma:

Diet Traditional Ingredient Substitute
Dairy-Free Yogurt, Heavy Cream Coconut Milk
Nut-Free Cashews, Almonds Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds

Storage and Reheating Suggestions

To keep Chicken Korma’s rich flavor and creamy texture, proper storage and reheating are key. Here are simple rules for the best outcome.

chicken korma storage


Store Chicken Korma in the fridge at less than 40°F (4°C) for the best results. It can stay fresh in the fridge for up to four days. Make sure it reaches room temperature within two hours before you cool it.

Refrigeration Tips Details
Max Refrigeration Time 3-4 Days
Cooling Time to Room Temp No more than 2 hours
Storage Temperature Below 40°F (4°C)


Freezing Chicken Korma lets you keep it up to three months. Cool it before freezing in tight containers or bags. This way, it will taste just as good when you defrost it.

Freezing Tips Details
Max Freezing Time Up to 3 Months
Thawing Time in Refrigerator 24 hours for every 5 pounds
Thawing Time in Cold Water Approx. 30 minutes per pound


To keep Chicken Korma creamy and the chicken from drying, reheat gently. Here are the best methods:

  • Oven: Warm at 350°F (175°C) for bone-in chicken (15-20 minutes) or for boneless, change the time.
  • Stovetop: Heat gently until it’s 165°F inside.
  • Microwave: Use high heat for 2-3 minutes but stir every 30 seconds for creaminess.
Reheating Methods Instructions
Preferred Method Oven or Stovetop
Oven Temp 350°F (175°C)
Safe Internal Temp 165°F
Microwave Time 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds

Follow these steps for storing and reheating to enjoy great Chicken Korma every time.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chicken Korma

Many folks wonder about chicken korma. So, we’ve put together some top Q&A for you.

What are the key ingredients in chicken korma? Key stuff includes chicken, onions, and spices like garam masala. You also need almond butter and cream for that special touch. All these make the real taste of this dish.

How is chicken korma different from chicken tikka masala? Chicken korma is creamy and mild, known for its nutty sauce. On the other hand, chicken tikka masala is tomato-based and spicier.

What is the difference between korma and curry? Korma has a thick and rich sauce with nuts or cream. Curry’s sauce is thinner, spicier, and usually tomato or coconut-based.

Can I make chicken korma ahead of time? Yes, you can make korma in advance. Keep it in the fridge for four days or freeze for three months. To reheat, use low heat to preserve the texture.

What are some serving suggestions for chicken korma? Have it with naan or rice, and maybe some nuts and cilantro on top. Side it with a yogurt salad and finish the meal with a sweet treat like Kulfi.

How much time does it take to prepare chicken korma? It takes about 10 minutes to prep and 25 minutes to cook. It’s a fast and straightforward recipe.

We hope these FAQs help you understand chicken korma better. Enjoy making this dish at home!

Chicken Korma Recipe for Special Occasions

Creating a special occasion chicken korma is all about the right flavor and look. This festive chicken korma recipe elevates your meal with quality ingredients. By following some key advice, your korma will be the star at any special event.

If you’re making this for a big crowd, adjust the recipe accordingly. It usually serves 6-8 folks and uses 2 pounds of chicken. Just increase the ingredients if there will be more guests. This ensures everyone gets to enjoy the meal.

Marinate your chicken in yogurt, garlic, ginger, and nuts. This makes the dish creamy and flavorful. Don’t forget to add garam masala, and other spices. They make the korma smell great and taste even better.

For cooking, use fresh items like red onions and add plenty of herbs as a finish. This not only tastes good but also makes the dish look vibrant. It’s perfect for events where you want to show off your cooking.

Here’s the nutritional info for those who are mindful but still want to indulge:

Component Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories 394
Carbohydrates 9g 3%
Protein 19g 38%
Fat 32g 49%
Saturated Fat 11g 69%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 297mg 13%
Potassium 399mg 11%
Fiber 3g 13%
Sugar 3g 3%
Vitamin A 700IU 14%
Vitamin C 4.2mg 5%
Calcium 92mg 9%
Iron 1.5mg 8%

Making a special occasion chicken korma takes careful planning. Paying attention to detail ensures your guests both enjoy and remember the meal. A great korma can be the highlight of your special celebration.

Prominent Health Benefits of Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma is tasty and good for you. It uses 2 pounds of boneless chicken, offering lean protein. This helps your immune system and digestive health. It also reduces food allergies.

It uses spices like garam masala and turmeric. These spices can help you detox and boost metabolism. A serving of Chicken Korma gives you vitamins, which helps your skin. Adding nuts like cashews makes it good for your joints too.

The marinade includes 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt. This is great for your stomach. It also has garlic and ginger, which fight germs. They make your digestion better.

Chicken Korma is rich in taste but not very spicy. It fits well in a balanced diet. Nutritional facts show it’s nutritious. It has 671 calories, 56g of protein, and vitamins A and C. This makes it a great choice for a comforting meal.

  1. Boosts immunity
  2. Heals the gut
  3. Optimizes digestion and minimizes food sensitivities
  4. Improves joint health
  5. Enhances detoxification and metabolism
  6. Promotes youthful, glowing skin

1 tablespoon of olive oil is used. You can also pick dairy or nut-free options. This makes Chicken Korma good for many dietary needs. Everyone can benefit from its health advantages.

Related Recipes to Try

If you enjoy creamy chicken korma, you’ll love these classic Indian chicken recipes. They each have their unique mix of spices and textures. They promise a delicious experience for your taste buds.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala features juicy chicken in a creamy tomato sauce. It’s marinated, then grilled, adding deep flavors. You’ll taste garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and more. This dish is customizable for heat and great with naan or rice.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken, or Murgh Makhani, is a velvety favorite. Its sauce is made from butter, cream, and tomatoes. The chicken gets smoky from cooking in a tandoor. It’s best with naan or rice, like chicken korma.

Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken are great ways to enjoy Indian food. They capture the essence of this diverse, spice-filled cuisine.


Exploring the chicken korma recipe has been quite a journey. It’s filled with fragrant aromas and bold flavors. You started by picking the best ingredients, like boneless chicken and spices such as cloves and cumin. For those who love spice, ginger and dried chilies mix in for a kick.

The cooking part is a well-timed dance. Prep takes 15 minutes, and it all cooks in 50. Season with almonds and sea salt for taste. You then simmer, letting it all come together. For a colorful touch, add red pepper. The dish tastes even better the next day. You might even swap the meat for chickpeas for a veggie version. This shows how adaptable the recipe is.

Chicken Korma is about getting the flavors just right. It’s a dish anyone can enjoy, from beginners to expert cooks. You can eat it freshly made or enjoy it the next few days. This recipe links traditional Indian food with our modern kitchens. It’s a dish that can stand the test of time, becoming a favorite for many.


What are the essential ingredients for Chicken Korma?

To make Chicken Korma, you’ll need chicken thighs, garam masala, and paprika. Add turmeric, coriander, and salt for flavor. Don’t forget the garlic and ginger. Mix in tomatoes, Greek yogurt, and heavy cream. Finally, choose between almonds or cashews.

How long should I marinate the chicken for the best flavor?

Marinate for 4 hours to get great taste. For even better results, do it overnight. This lets the spices and yogurt soak into the chicken deeply.

Can I make Chicken Korma spicy?

Yes, it’s easy to make Chicken Korma spicy. Just add more chili powder or fresh chilies. How much you add depends on your taste for spice.

What is the difference between traditional and modern Chicken Korma?

Traditional Chicken Korma uses old, slow cooking methods. It often includes passed-down family secrets. Modern versions are quicker but aim to keep the original taste with a few changes. They might swap some ingredients or use faster ways to cook. But, the goal is to keep this dish true to its roots.

How should I store and reheat Chicken Korma?

To store Chicken Korma, put it in an airtight container in the fridge. It can last up to 3 days there. For longer storage, freeze it for up to 3 months.To reheat, do it slowly either on the stove or in the microwave. This keeps it creamy and makes sure the chicken doesn’t dry out.

Are there dairy-free substitions for Chicken Korma?

You can make a dairy-free Chicken Korma by using coconut milk. This swaps out the Greek yogurt and heavy cream. It keeps the dish rich and tasty without dairy.

What are some suitable side dishes to serve with Chicken Korma?

Basmati rice and naan bread are great with Chicken Korma. Lassi or raita are perfect drinks to balance out the meal. Together, they make a delicious and complete dinner.

Can I make Chicken Korma without nuts?

Yes, you can make Chicken Korma without nuts. Just leave out the almonds or cashews. It will keep its creamy texture and still be flavorful.

What common mistakes should I avoid when making Chicken Korma?

Don’t skip marinating the chicken. Also, be careful not to overcook it. Marinating and cooking carefully ensures your Chicken Korma will be tender and tasty.

How can I make sure my Chicken Korma has a perfect creamy consistency?

To get the perfect creamy Chicken Korma, use the right amount of Greek yogurt and cream. Always simmer the sauce gently. This prevents the sauce from curdling or burning.