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easy chicken korma

Easy Chicken Korma

Nosheen Babar
This easy chicken korma is a simplified version of an ancient awadhi recipe for a fragrant slow cooked curry favored in Mughal courts.
5 from 1 vote
Print Recipe
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 8 people
Calories 302 kcal


  • 2 lbs chicken
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • 1 large onion SEE NOTES
  • 2 tsp crushed ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 2 tbsp peeled and slivered almonds
  • 1 tbsp kewra

Korma Masala

  • 10 pieces peppercorns
  • 6 pieces green cardamom
  • ½ piece nutmeg
  • 5 pieces mace
  • 2 pieces black cardamom
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 piece cinnamon (1 inch)
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder


Korma Masala

  • Dry roast all the whole spices for about 30 seconds just till the aroma is released
  • Grind to a coarse powder and mix with the salt, turmeric, coriander and red chili powder


  • Grind the onions to a fine pulp in the food processor (SEE NOTES)
  • Heat the oil and saute the onions till they are a dark golden brown
  • Add the garlic and ginger and saute for about 1 minute
  • Add in the chicken a little bit at a time and roast till it turns white (SEE NOTES)
  • Whip the yogurt, mix in the korma masala and add to the slightly fried chicken a few
    spoonfuls at a time (SEE NOTES)
  • Once all the yogurt has been added, cover the pot with a lid and cook on very low heat for about 15 minutes till the gravy thickens and the oil separates and rises to the top.
  • Uncover, check that the chicken has cooked through and add the 6 crushed pods of cardamom and the kewra. Stir gently, plate and garnish with the slivered almonds (SEE NOTES)


HOW MUCH ONION: The onion I had was very large as they often are at my supermarket so I used 1. If yours are smaller then 2 will be needed. I would say approximately 2 cups (1 cup per pound of meat) is a good rule to apply.
GRINDING THE ONIONS: The onions are the mainstay of a good korma. They provide the consistency, flavor and color of the dish. Typically, these are sliced very thin in semi circular slices and sauteed to a nice brown hue. Often strained from the oil, cooled and crushed, they're added back to the curry later. All of this takes quite some time and getting that even brown color can be tricky since it's dependent on a lot of external factors; the stove, the cooking utensils etc. I found a while ago that grinding them in the food processor helps them cook more quickly and evenly and eliminates the need to cool and then crush. Since then I've always done it this way.
BRAISING THE CHICKEN: Adding all the chicken at the same time brings the temperature of the oil down drastically and affects the cooking process. Korma is based on the "braised" cooking technique which means the meat must first be fried on high heat and then cooked on slow heat. For this reason we add the chicken a little at a time, fry it till it starts sizzling which indicates the oil has once again increased in temperature and then add some more. 
MIXING THE YOGURT & MASALA: I always like to mix my dry spices in the yogurt before I start adding them to my curry. Adding them in mixed with a wet base prevents them from getting a burnt taste, especially as they've already been roasted.
ADDING THE GARNISHES: Adding the 6 pods of cardamom and the kewra at this stage is what gives korma it's famous aroma. The entire cardamom is added, but it's crushed lightly to release the essential oils before doing so. Too much of the Kewra can cause the Korma to taste a little bitter so stick strictly to the measurements. The almonds are added right at the end to prevent them from getting soggy.


Serving: 1gCalories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 13gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 645mgPotassium: 268mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 271IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 1mg
Keyword awadhi korma, chicken curry, chicken korma, easy korma recipe, korma, qorma
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