Chicken Korma Recipe | Hari Ghotra
4.0/5 rating (62 votes)

Chicken Korma Recipe

Chicken in Coconut Almond Sauce

  • Heat Mild
  • Serves 4
  • Dietary Info CONTAINS-NUTS GLUTEN-FREE
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Marinade 30 mins
  • Cook 20 mins
                             

Beautifully tender pieces of chicken delicately spiced and cooked in a thick coconut and almond flavoured sauce.

Hari says

This is one of my guilty pleasures. Chicken Korma is a dish that comes from the Mughal Dynasty when it was cooked for the wealthy and enjoyed a prestigious status associated with the royal courts.

There is so much about this dish that I could tell you, but the main thing is that if you don't like the heavy, sweet, creamy korma curries served in restaurants then please, please, please forget what you know and try this Korma recipe. It is simply amazing. It's light, it's fresh and has a subtle sweetness which comes from the cassia bark rather than spoonfuls of processed sugar.

Just remember there is no rule book that says a korma has to be mild. I like the gentle blend o flavours in this dish, but I also love my food hot, so just dial up the chilli and you'll create something beautifully balanced and delicious. Come on, let's cook this now!

To buy the main ingredients for my Korma recipe, check out my Chicken Korma curry kit.

And if you're looking for something with fewer calories, check out my Healthy Chicken Korma recipe!

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 4-6 chicken thigh fillets, skinned and chopped into chunks
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp milk

Marinade

  • 3cm ginger, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 150g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 heaped tsp gram flour 
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp butter ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 1-3 dried red chillies
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 3cm pieces cassia bark
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 75g creamed coconut/400ml coconut milk
  • 2 heaped tbsp almonds, ground
  • 1 tsp white poppy seeds, ground
  • Handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Crumble saffron into a small bowl, add the milk and leave to steep.
  2. Place the coriander seeds, salt and peppercorns into a pestle and mortar and crush.
  3. Then add the roughly chopped ginger and garlic and pound to create an aromatic paste.
  4. Place chicken into a large bowl and add the yoghurt, gram flour, turmeric and the paste from the pestle and mortar. Stir thoroughly, cover and leave to marinade for an hour or longer if possible.
  5. Heat ghee in a pan and add the cloves, cardamom, cassia and the dried red chillies and fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
  6. Add the minced onions and fry gently on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they just begin to brown.
  7. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes on a medium heat.
  8. Place the lid on the pan, reduce the heat and leave to cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Pour in the creamed coconut, with the ground almonds and poppy seeds then stir to thicken.
  10. Increase the heat and simmer until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want. Pour in the saffron milk for added decadence and remove the pan from the heat.
  11. Garnish with the garam masala and fresh coriander. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice for added freshness, then serve.

Served with

Serve with just some plain basmati rice or some naan bread - this dish requires nothing more.

 

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Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Calories454
Fat (g)12
of which saturates (g)3
Carbohydrates (g)41
of which sugars (g)4
Fibre (g)17
Protein (g)25
Salt (mg)791
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Comments

Comments (44)

  • Annelise Tyler

    Annelise Tyler

    30 September 2016 at 20:12 |
    Love this korma! Have made it several times with breast of chicken and thigh - both really yummy. I was wondering - would it work well with lamb do you think?

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      04 October 2016 at 17:39 |
      Hi Annelise Lovely comments - thank you for trying the recipe! Yes it would work with lamb but it would need to be cooked for longer on a low heat. Personally I'm not a fan of this light sauce with red meat but give it a go and let me know what you think. Thanks very much. Hari

      reply

  • Ktulu

    Ktulu

    01 July 2016 at 01:20 |
    Hari, do you think I can replace gram flour with coconut flour? Will it work the same way? I have made chicken korma twice so far and my main problem was splitting yougurt, which doesn't look pleasant...

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      04 July 2016 at 07:57 |
      Hi Katarina You can use coconut flour but the yoghurt shouldn't really split. Which yoghurt are you using? you can also whip the yoghurt first which should help. Ideally, a thick greek yoghurt should work. Also, try not to have the heat really high until the yoghurt has incorporated into the sauce. Let me know how you get on. Thanks Hari

      reply

  • Anne

    Anne

    19 June 2016 at 10:08 |
    Well, my white poppy seeds finally turned up and I made the korma with the creamed coconut........and it was fantastic! I would never normally order or buy korma as I found it bland, but this is full of fresh flavours, and as someone else said, very Moorish! Planning on doing this for a football evening along with the lamb madras, another dish which I cannot praise enough.

    I am very happy that I found your site Hari, as is my partner and quite a few of my friends, keep the recipes coming please.

    Anne x

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      20 June 2016 at 07:39 |
      Hi Anne Thank you for your wonderful comments i'm so glad you enjoyed the Korma. Thank you for using the site I am so happy you are finding it useful and that you are loving the recipes. Thank you so much and I will do my best! Thanks

      reply

  • Anne

    Anne

    12 June 2016 at 13:15 |
    Hi Hari, have made a few of your recipes so far and they have been amazing! Would really like to make this but it says 75g creamed coconut/400ml coconut milk, do you add both or is just one of them depending on what you have in the cupboard?
    Thanks

    Anne

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      12 June 2016 at 13:39 |
      Hi Anne it's one or the other. Creamed coconut is thicker so you don't need as much. Hope that helps. let me know what you think. Hari

      reply

  • Diane martin

    Diane martin

    19 March 2016 at 20:54 |
    Hi hari we have tried a few of your recipes and we tried the chicken korma tonight and it was amazing. It was the best one yet but we made it a little more spicy. Thank you.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      20 March 2016 at 08:32 |
      Hi Diane I like my korma more spicy too, wonderful to hear that you loved this one. Thanks so much for commenting I love to hear that the recipes are being cooked and enjoyed. Hari

      reply

  • Chris Stark

    Chris Stark

    02 March 2016 at 14:12 |
    Hello Hari. I cook korma all the time, but was looking for another version. I find that my chicken is always overcooked (but tasty), due to the simmering time. Is the inclusion of flour ur marinade to speed up the thickening of the sauce? Or for some other reason. If it is, I shall knock some in. Kind regards, Chris

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      03 March 2016 at 08:01 |
      Hi Chris it stops the yoghurt in the marinade splitting and helps with the thickening too. What chicken do you use? Try using thigh fillets these will stay lovely and moist. Did you try the recipe? Thanks Hari

      reply

  • mixy

    mixy

    27 February 2016 at 17:30 |
    I made a typo in my comment... I meant "tsp of salt" but it went down as "tsp of sale"... sorry for the confusion :-)
    Basically, I wanted to know if you add more salt in any other steps of the recipe
    Thanks

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      29 February 2016 at 21:55 |
      Hi Mixy thanks for clarifying. The salt is added to the marinade and a little to the sauce too. You can adjust this when you taste it so don't add too much. I hope that helps thanks for trying it and let me know how it comes out the next time you try it. Thanks

      reply

  • mixy

    mixy

    26 February 2016 at 09:52 |
    I forgot to ask...

    apart from the tsp of sale that goes into the marinade, do you put any more salt ?
    Also, do you add salt to the water when cooking basmati rice?

    Thanks again. I love your site!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      26 February 2016 at 12:52 |
      Hi Mixy Glad you love the site - I didn't really understand the question but the marinade should be 3cm ginger, roughly chopped 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped, 150g Greek yoghurt, 1tsp gram flour, heaped, 1tbsp coriander seeds crushed, 6 black peppercorns crushed, 1tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt or to taste. Doe that help?
      Yes you should add salt to your rice, I have to admit I don't always depending on what I'm having it with - if it's a really intense sauce then I don't bother. Hope this helps. Hari

      reply

  • mixy

    mixy

    26 February 2016 at 09:51 |
    Hi hari,
    I cooked Korma last night and it is getting better. :-)
    There is just one thing: I got the right sauce consistency (liquid-coconut cream-almonds-poppy seeds), but there was still some coconut taste missing in the sauce. I am not sure if this makes sense, but the taste was a bit "woody", I guess that the suspects would be cassia, cloves or cardamon?

    Thanks

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      26 February 2016 at 12:49 |
      Hi Mixy Thanks for your feedback - What coconut are you using? One thing I have found is that they do vary significantly so what I tend to do is only use either coconut cream which is thicker and more intense or if im using a tim of coconut milk I only use the solid coconut but that sets at the top and not the watery bit.another thing that gives a more intense coconut flavour is using coconut powder. it shouldn't really be woody maybe reduce that amount of cassia used you only need a small stick. Let me know if you have any questions and do let me know how you get on next time. Thanks Hari

      reply

  • mixy

    mixy

    14 February 2016 at 13:03 |
    Hi Hari,
    I had a great chicken korma in an Indian restaurant last week and I had to ask for the basic recipe steps to the waitress. She told me they don't use yogurt in the marinade and they use double cream at the end of the cooking process. Is that the decadent replacement to your "milk + saffron" step ?
    All great! but It seems to be there is not too much consensus in the dairy part? Milk, yoghurt, cream, coconut milk...
    Thanks!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      15 February 2016 at 08:54 |
      Hi Mixy Thanks for your comment - Yes you are right there are different ways to make most dishes and all restaurants do it differently. For me I didn't want to use too much cream as I wanted to get away from the cloy heaviness a Korma can have. I also didn't want to add any sugar to add the sweetness so opted for the yoghurt, coconut and cassia. The key ingredients in a Korma are almonds and poppy seeds for the flavour. This is way I love cooking there are many ways to create awesome dishes, there are very few right and wrongs and you make food to suit your tastes. Thanks so much for your very interesting comments - sounds like they do a pretty tasty Korma at that restaurant. Hari

      reply

  • Dominique

    Dominique

    31 January 2016 at 16:32 |
    This is my usual order at the curry house, but this recipes is just out of this world, full of flavours, very morish. It does make the curry house one so bland, This has a bit of a kick without leaving you mouth totally on fire!! We've not been to a curry house since doing Hari's recipes, there's just no comparison. keep the rcipes coming Hari , we love them.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      31 January 2016 at 21:07 |
      Hi Dominique I will do my best - I have just added a whole selection of lamb dishes, thanks for trying this one and thanks for your comments too. Glad you loved it! Hari

      reply

  • Richard

    Richard

    18 January 2016 at 12:23 |
    I prepared and cooked this dish for the first time on Saturday for my dinner guests.
    It was a tremendous success in every way.
    It's far superior to any Chicken Korma one would ever expect to get, or would have had in a Restaurant.
    It tasted truly traditional and was full of flavour. Adding the Garam Masala to the dish as a final ingredient brought all the flavours together and added an amazing fragrance to the dish.

    reply

  • Barbara

    Barbara

    27 November 2015 at 17:49 |
    Hello Hari
    I love cooking various Indian and Bangledeshi dishes and we grow our own chills at home and use them fresh and dried! I had a great Hot Korma in Devon which was lovely spicy and hot = it tasted much darker and less sweet than the conventional versions. - therefore I googled your recipe as looking for a hot korma. I will let you know how it goes! Thank you so much for your video…

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      30 November 2015 at 19:12 |
      Hi Barbara Oooh that sound like a traditional Kurma rather than a Korma. My one is a bit of a half way between the traditional and what you get in most restaurants but I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for getting in touch. Hari

      reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    16 August 2015 at 07:53 |
    Hi Kevin It is fairly toned down I would just increase the spice a touch and reduce the amount of coconut milk so it's not so sweet. Let me know how you get on. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Kevin

    Kevin

    15 August 2015 at 20:42 |
    Hi Hari

    This dish was good, unlike the inedible takeaway version which bears no resemblance. However I did find it too creamy and a little bland compared to the version I had in Mumbai.

    Any suggestions. Thanks.

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    22 July 2015 at 20:22 |
    Hi Dominique Does your friend like a bit of chilli heat even though she can't have chillies? Is it all varieties of capsicum she is allergic to? If so may be try black pepper for a bit of a kick. Hope that helps. Thanks

    reply

  • Dominique

    Dominique

    21 July 2015 at 10:40 |
    Hi Hari, we've got a friend who's allergic to Chillies and peppers, what can essentially chillies be replaced with if anything at all? Looking forward to hear from you. Many thanks. Dominique.

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    22 June 2015 at 14:09 |
    Hi Darragh That's fine - it usually auto corrects to Hair so Hard is a new one! Thanks for getting in touch really lovely to hear that you are about to embark on Indian food journey! You can use a little cinnamon fora similar flavour but it doesn't give the sweet warmth but its a good alternative. It you struggle to get it let me know I can pop some in the post to you. Looking forward to hearing how you get one. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Darragh

    Darragh

    17 June 2015 at 21:00 |
    ... Sorry, I obviously meant to say "Hi Hari" in the last messege... Autocorrect :-P

    Darragh

    reply

  • Darragh

    Darragh

    17 June 2015 at 20:58 |
    Hi Hard,

    I'm a young Irish student, I love Indian food and have been looking for some real authentic recipes with natural ingredients with little luck until I stumbled upon your website. I haven't tried anything yet but just wanted to let you know everything looks and sounds amazing, I can't wait to get stuck in and basically wanted to say thanks for all your hard work in sharing all of these recipes :)

    Before I try this though, I wondered could you suggest an alternative to cassia bark as I love in a small town and it is next to impossible to find...

    Thanks again!

    Darragh

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    04 June 2015 at 18:53 |
    Hi Mixy, Great to hear from you. In answer to your questions.
    Fresh turmeric is fine for most people turmeric powder is more convenient.
    Poppy seeds add a thickness to the sauce so using them whole is fine but because this is a nice creamy smoothish sauce I say ground - You can whizz them up yourself in a spice grinder but you don't have to.
    The reason I add the coconut milk later is that I want the chicken to cook in it's own juices first so you have more depth of flavour. You will find that the amount of juice from the chicken will vary every time and by letting it cook before you add the coconut means you can judge how much coconut milk to add so it doesn't get too watery. That said there is nothing wrong with doing it your way if it become too watery you can just levee it to cook and thicken.
    I'm so glad you are enjoying this dish. I really hope this helps. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • mixy

    mixy

    04 June 2015 at 07:40 |
    Hi Hari

    I cooked your korma again, and it was delicious!

    I have a couple of final questions :-)
    - turmeric: any reason for not using fresh?
    - white poppy seeds: i found them in the shop, but not ground. Does it matter? They are very small seeds anyway.
    - chicken liquid: because I did not want to risk the chicken not releasing enough juice and getting dry, I added the coconut milk after stir frying it for 5m. You add it one step later, after the chicken cooks for 20m. Does it matter? Or is it important for the chicken to release the juices before adding the coconut milk?

    Thanks!!! I can cook good korma now :-)

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    13 April 2015 at 14:45 |
    Hi, sorry I haven't been able to respond but I'm in India at the moment. I hope I'm not too late ... if you want a little spice in your Korma I would leave the chilli in.
    Thanks. Hari

    reply

  • Eileen

    Eileen

    12 April 2015 at 11:07 |
    Hi Hari, I am making this today for a family cookoff. Do I take the chilli peppers out of the ghee before I add the onion?
    thanks Eileen

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    30 March 2015 at 19:43 |
    Hi Mikel The amount of sauce you get does depend on the amount of chicken you use and this can vary anyway but just as you did if you want more of a sauce just add either more coconut or water as you did.
    With the ginger just cut it to about a 3cm block - if its easier you can grate it and measure about a tbsp. Let me know when you try it again and remember you can just use this as a guide and increase or decrease the different spices depending on how you like it. Hope this helps
    Thanks for your support
    Hari

    reply

  • Mixy

    Mixy

    29 March 2015 at 13:46 |
    Hi Hari

    I cooked it yesterday and it was very tasty indeed. I feel I need to cook it again to get it 100% right. I will. ha ha...

    Cooking the chicken for 20m in the pan with a close lid (step 8), did not make as much sauce as the chicken in your video. In other words, the chicken didn't release too much juice in my case. Could it be the chicken thighs i used? Or the quantity of chicken? in my first attempt I only used 3 thighs in case it did not work .. :-)
    So, I had to add water before adding the creamed coconut, but I did not add enough and it turned out quite thick.
    It tasted great but next time i will try to get it more juicy.

    Also, by 3cm ginger, do you mean 3cm long? A 3cm cube? Gingers can have different widths so i was wondering

    Thanks again for sharing this great recipe with us

    Mikel

    reply

  • Jay

    Jay

    27 March 2015 at 14:03 |
    Making this now for dinner tomorrow will let u know how it goes's

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    26 March 2015 at 10:25 |
    Hi Mixy
    Thanks for the feedback its great to hear that you are using and enjoying the content.
    Creamed coconut - you can buy this in cartons it's just thicker then coconut milk so gives a richer sauce this explains it a bit better http://www.harighotra.co.uk/cooking-guides/indian-cooking-ingredients/coconut-facts. What I sometimes do is get a tin of coconut milk and just use the thick white creamy bit and not the water that's at the bottom. If you feel it's too thick then yes add some water.
    Poppy seeds - these are used to thicken the sauce as well as a little flavouring but if you don't have them you can just miss this out.
    Yes you can make this the day before - These dishes taste better on the second day anyway. Just make sure you cool it and refrigerate it.
    Hope that helps - let me know how you get on. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • mixy

    mixy

    26 March 2015 at 10:15 |
    Hati, your content is definitely addictive
    It is so well presented with clear instructions, quick and long videos that you just want more and more...

    I am gonna try your chicken korma this weekend. A couple of quick questions :-)
    - If you use creamed coconut, should you add water? I had the feeling that 75g of creamed coconut would not be interchangeable with 400ml if coconut milk without the added water?
    - I could not find poppy seeds, but I have sesame, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Would that work?
    - Finally, can you cook this dish 1 day ahead of time? I wanna have guests on Saturday, and I am not 100% sure I will get this right the first time, so I was thinking of doing it on Friday and judge... :-)


    Thanks again!

    reply

  • Julia

    Julia

    27 November 2014 at 11:59 |
    Awesome recipe Hari! Looks delicious! What restaurant have you had the best chicken korma? Remember to add it to your Besty List! http://www.thebesty.com/harighotra

    reply

  • Jack Catford

    Jack Catford

    31 May 2014 at 16:14 |
    Made this last week and it was absolutely delicious, I took the cassia bark and chillies out too soon I think which meant it lacked some flavour, but it was still amazing despite my lack of knowledge in cooking Indian food - Great recipe I will definitely be making this again.

    reply

  • Emma Elliott

    Emma Elliott

    23 May 2014 at 13:41 |
    I made this last night and it was gorgeous - the nicest korma I have had! Really easy to follow the method too.

    reply

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Hari Ghotra