Chicken Korma

5 from 10 votes
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Our all-time favorite chicken curry, Chicken Korma, is a bold, rich, and flavorful dish that’s simple to prepare at home. It features marinated chicken in a spiced yogurt sauce, cooked to delicious perfection in a creamy gravy. This spicy, impressive meal is perfect for any occasion.

If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, you’ll definitely want to try my butter chicken, this tikka masala, and one of my faves, tandoori chicken!

chicken korma served alongside some rice and topped with chopped cilantro.


Chicken korma is a hearty, comforting curry dish that has become especially popular in curry houses recently. A korma is known for its mildly spiced flavor and rich, thick sauce, which includes ingredients like almonds, cashews, or other nuts, along with coconut cream or coconut milk. My recipe features a rich, onion-based gravy seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices, delivering an authentic chicken korma with robust flavor. This delicious dish is a must-try if you love Pakistani or Indian food!

Worried about making homemade curry? Don’t worry ’bout it! The process is straightforward as long as you follow the recipe, and soon, you’ll be savoring this flavor-packed Indian chicken korma that you’ll be eager to make over and over—I guarantee it. Also, this korma recipe is quite adaptable, allowing for modifications based on the ingredients you have on hand or what’s available at your local supermarket.

Chicken korma served with rice and topped with fresh cilantro.

What You’ll Need

To make chicken korma at home, you’ll need a few basic ingredients and a handful of spices to give it that flavorful curry taste. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for full details.

  • Chicken: You’ll need skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces. Chicken breast can be used in a pinch.
  • Spices and Seasonings: Throughout this recipe, we’ll use a number of spices including ground ginger, garam masala, ground cardamom, turmeric, ground cinnamon, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Yogurt: Sour cream works, too, but plain yogurt is preferable for its texture.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice has the brightest flavor, but you can definitely use bottled lemon or lime juice if that’s what you prefer.
  • Onions: Thinly sliced onions are an essential part of chicken korma!
  • Cashews: Coarsely chopped raw cashews give the korma a unique flavor and texture. Almonds are a great alternative.
  • Vegetable Oil: For extra flavor, you can substitute ghee or butter for some of the oil in the gravy.
  • Bay Leaf: A whole bay leaf adds a pungent note.
  • Peppercorns or Black Pepper: Optional, but whole black peppercorns pack a punch of flavor.
  • Chilis: Seeded and diced serrano chilis add heat and flavor to the curry. Leave them out for a milder curry.
  • Heavy Cream: To add a bit of velvety richness to the korma sauce. You can use coconut milk instead.

How To Make Chicken Korma

This korma recipe is relatively easy, but there are a number of steps, so it’s helpful to read over them a couple of times before you begin. Here’s the process in detail. 

  1. Marinate the Chicken. Combine the chicken, ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl, or in a zip-top bag. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Make the Onion and Cashew Sauce. While the chicken marinates, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium-low heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt, and let them cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often. Then, add the cashews and cook for a minute. Scoop the mixture into a blender or food processor. Add in the yogurt and pulse until smooth and combined. 
  3. Cook the Spices. Return the skillet to high heat, and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the bay leaf and peppercorns, and cook them together for a minute. Next, stir in the cardamom and cinnamon, as well as the diced chilies, and cook for another minute. 
  4. Add the Chicken and Sauce. Stir in the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes before adding the onion mixture and about half a cup of water. Stir this well, adding in the garam masala, salt, and chili powder. 
  5. Simmer. Cover the skillet, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Then stir in the heavy cream, and cook for about two minutes, or until heated through.
  6. Season and Serve. Taste for salt and other seasonings. Adjust if needed, and taste again. When the korma is seasoned to your liking, take it off the heat, garnish, and serve. 
Bite-sized chicken pieces simmering in a creamy gravy in a skillet.

Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Marinating: While I don’t have a set time when marinating my chicken, you could marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours, or up to 2 days, in the refrigerator. Marinating it simply on the counter while you saute the onions is fine, too.
  • Cashew Variants: Instead of cashews, some korma recipes use almonds. However, if you are not digging the nutty flavor in this recipe, replace the nuts with more yogurt (this may change the texture). You can also add chopped tomato or tomato paste for a more takeout style curry.
  • Thickness: If you’re want a less creamy sauce, add a bit of water until you’re okay with the consistency.
  • Bone-In Chicken: Korma can be made with any type of chicken, including bone-in if you prefer. I recommend removing the skin.
  • Spices: This chicken curry dish can be made with all kinds of spices, both whole and ground, so feel free to play with the spice blend to suit your tastes. Remove any whole spices – like the black peppercorns and bay leaf – as you enjoy the korma during your meal.

Serving Suggestions

This easy Chicken korma recipe is wonderful with a simple side of basmati rice, but adding a side dish or two can really change the whole dining experience.

Chicken korma served over some rice and topped with cilantro.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can also freeze chicken korma for 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To reheat, put the desired amount in a covered skillet over low heat and cook until heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave.

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5 from 10 votes

Chicken Korma Recipe

Rich and flavorful Chicken Korma is an all-time favorite chicken curry recipe that’s easy to make at home.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6


For the Chicken & Marinade

For the Onions & Cashews

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 small yellow onions,, thinly sliced
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup raw cashews,, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt

For the Gravy

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns,, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 serrano chilis,, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon salt,, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • fresh chopped cilantro,, for garnish
  • cooked rice,, for serving
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  • Marinate. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken pieces, ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; mix well, cover, and set aside. You can also let it marinate for 2 hours and up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
  • Cook the onions and cashews. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions to the hot oil; season with salt and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until caramelized. Stir often to prevent burning. Stir in the chopped cashews and cook for 1 minute.
  • Blend. Remove from heat and transfer the onions and nuts to a blender or food processor; add ¼ cup yogurt and process until smooth and combined. Set aside.
  • Saute. Return the skillet to high heat and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add the bay leaf and peppercorns, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cardamom and cinnamon. Add diced chilis and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the rest. Stir in the chicken and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the prepared onion paste and ½ cup water; season with garam masala, salt, and chili powder.
  • Cook. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Add cream. Stir in the heavy cream and cook for 2 minutes or until heated through. Taste the dish for salt and seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  • Serve. Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro, and serve with rice.


Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 603mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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5 from 10 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. Jasmine L says:

    I have made this recipe twice this week. My kids (3&7) loved it and asked for seconds. They are normally quite picky kids too. I was worried the peppers were going to make very spicy, but it didn’t. I added a bit more cream, and was excellent! Thank you!!!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great! I’m very glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  2. Sandra says:

    Such a flavorful and comforting meal! I will definitely make it again!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank YOU! I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      1. Nessy says:

        Can you use fat free yogurt in this recipe please? I know it’s got cream in so not exactly low fat but I thought this could lower it a bit if it works

  3. Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says:

    This Chicken Korma sounds amazing! I want to dive into my screen!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank you so much! I hope you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

  4. Juliane says:

    Perfection! So much flavor I can SEEEE it!!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank YOU! Please enjoy! 🙂

  5. Amanda says:

    I am very interested! This sounds amazing and looks very flavorful. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I hope you’ll enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  6. Beth says:

    I can almost taste this right now! I love that infusion of citrus in this one. I’ve never had chicken korma, so I can’t wait to try it.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I hope you’ll enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  7. Kristyn says:

    This dish definitely doesn’t lack any flavor! My kids love it!! They love it over some rice. It’s on our dinner rotation!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great to hear! I’m very glad everyone enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  8. Agnes says:

    Ooh I am intrigued! I haven’t tried this dish before but I do love curries and butter chicken so i am sure I would love this. Can’t wait to cook this!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Please enjoy! Thank YOU! 🙂

  9. Erin says:

    I’ve been looking for a good chicken korma recipe, and I am so glad I found this one. It’s so tasty, and it’s now on my meal plan ALL THE TIME!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great! I’m very happy you loved it! Thank YOU! 🙂