Chicken Korma is a luscious nut and tomato curry. It’s flavored with warm earthy spices and finished with a drizzle of cream. It’s an indulgence and definitely not meant for days when you want to eat light. Some people might think that it’s a huge effort to make Chicken Korma, but the fact is that it’s actually an easy curry to make. This super easy Chicken Korma curry takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. You do want to marinate the chicken overnight or at least 4 to 5 hours for the best result. Marinating chicken also helps in cooking the chicken faster while keeping the flavor intact.
What is Chicken Korma?
Chicken Korma/Murgh Korma is also sometimes referred as Mughlai Chicken. It is one of the most popular dishes from Mughal cuisine. It’s not a typical spicy chicken curry but more of a mellow type with a hint of fennel seed, cumin and coriander. What makes Chicken Korma special is the creamy gravy that is made with almond, cashew and poppy seeds blended with yogurt.
This is one of most favourite curry to prepare, especially on weekends. Sometimes instead of Chicken Korma, I prepare the same curry with vegetables or paneer or egg. The korma paste is what makes it so delicious. Every time I have a party, and my guests requests for chicken curry, I often make this curry. It is always loved by everybody and I don’t have have any leftovers.
What ingredients are used in Chicken Korma Recipe?
Don’t get intimidated with the long list of ingredients. Once you read the directions, you will realize it needs a little prep but other than that, it’s easy!
Chicken – I always prefer to use a combination of boneless chicken thighs along with drumsticks. The cooking time will cut down a lot more if you use just boneless chicken thigh. I would recommend not to use chicken breast as it can get overcooked very easily as you simmer the curry.
White Poppy Seeds – While a lot of people may not use this in the Korma paste, using white poppy seeds adds a beautiful aroma and creaminess to the curry.
Yogurt – Plain white yogurt is added with nuts and white poppy seeds to make the korma paste.
Spices that go in – Fennel Seed and Green Cardamom, followed by the combination of Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Chili Powder, Fennel Powder and Turmeric. Apart from these spices, Garam Masala is also added right at the end.
Onion, Garlic and Ginger – The combination of red onion with garlic and ginger is almost a mandate in most chicken curries. For chicken korma, I do prefer to chop it very finely.
Chicken Korma is a nut based gravy, if you are allergic to nuts, you can make the korma paste with just poppy seeds and yogurt.
Almond and Cashew – Chicken Korma is a nut-based curry and the combination of almond with cashew makes it quite delicious!
Fresh Green Chili and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper – The korma paste gives a mild sweetness to the curry which calls for a good balance of heat. A couple of green chilies along with black pepper makes that beautiful flavor balance.
Ghee – It is a rich curry and so, I prefer to prepare it in ghee, but you can choose oil too.
Heavy Cream – A little drizzle of heavy cream at the end makes the Murgh Korma curry rich and luscious.
Can you use Coconut Milk instead?
Yes! You can absolutely use coconut milk instead of heavy cream and avoid the dairy. However, the taste of the chicken korma will also change a lot based on that.
I have prepared this murgh korma/chicken korma several times in the past. I have also made the same curry with paneer and mixed vegetables. The korma curry is always a hit with my friends and family. It tastes great with steamed white rice or with Indian flat bread (paratha), but with my Instant Naan, it is a feast!
Few other delicious Chicken Curry you would love to try:
DISCLAIMER: This is an old post that I have updated with better photos and content.