Chicken Korma

murgh korma 3

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.


Chicken Korma | Playful Cooking #chicken #korma #curries

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.

Murgh Korma | Playful Cooking #chicken #korma #curries

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:

Chicken Tikka Masala

Caramelized Onion Chicken Curry

Chicken Ghee Roast

murgh korma 3

Chicken Korma

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Chicken Korma is a luscious nut and tomato curry,
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.


  • 1 lb. chicken, mix of boneless thighs and drumsticks
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup nuts, cashew and almond
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1- inch fresh ginger
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 green chili
  • 1 tablespoon white poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons plain thick yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ tablespoon fennel powder
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. If you are using drumsticks, make sure you score it before marinating the chicken. In a mixing bowl, add the chicken pieces with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon turmeric and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Give it a mix and leave it aside for at least 4 to 5 hrs. Letting it marinate overnight in the refrigerator is advised as it helps in cooking the chicken faster. step 01
  2. When you are ready to prepare the curry, soak the nuts in a bowl and leave it aside for 15 minutes. step 02
  3. In the mean time, finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger along with the green chili (I removed the seeds of the green chili because my kid still can’t eat spicy food). murgh korma step 03
  4. After 15 minutes, peel the almond. The skin would come out easy. Discard the water and add the nuts in a small blender along with the poppy seeds and the yogurt. Blend it to a smooth puree. step 04
  5. Place a pan at medium heat and once the pan heats up, add the ghee. Sprinkle the fennel seeds and cardamom. Let it sizzle for a few seconds. Then, add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and green chili. Mix it around and add ½ teaspoon salt along with all the cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, chili powder and rest of the turmeric. Give a mix and let it cook for 2 minutes. step 05
  6. Layer the marinated chicken pieces and mix it around. Let it sizzle for 5 minutes. step 06
  7. Add the nut puree and mix it around. step 07
  8. Pour the tomato puree, give it a mix and cover the pan. Cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the chicken should be cooked through. If not, continue cooking covered until the chicken is no longer raw. murgh korma step 08
  9. Finally, add the garam masala and cook for 2 minutes. step 09
  10. Sprinkle the finely chopped cilantro leaves followed by the heavy cream. Mix it around. Check for salt and add any, if needed. step 10
  11. Serve warm with your choice of bread or rice. step 11
Food photography of Indian Curry #chicken #murgh #indian #curries

Indian Korma Curry

DISCLAIMER:  This is an old post that I have updated with better photos and content.  

Did you enjoy this Chicken Korma? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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  • Rose/Magpies Recipes
    Rose/Magpies Recipes
    December 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    wow K! so yum! I love all creamy Mughal curries! hmmm maybe I will drive up to SJ tomorrow 🙂

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    December 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    The flavors sound incredible!

  • Nandita
    December 18, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Wonderful post Kankana!! Mughlai cuisine is something to die for and this curry of your look absolutely divine. Loved the presentation 🙂

  • Nicole
    December 18, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    I love learning about all the different regions of India and different types of cuisine. Learning through food seems like a pretty good idea to me. Thanks for the lesson and the great recipe. Your photos are beautiful. Love all the dishes.

  • Rosa
    December 18, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Scrumptious! What fabulous flavors. A divine curry!



  • Simone
    December 18, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Gorgeous Kankana…. I love The flavors here and those photos are just beautiful!

  • Sudeshna
    December 18, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    One of my favorite chicken preparations. Loved your photos Kankana

  • Arch
    December 19, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    The pictures and presentation are beautiful. Love the recipe, so tempted to try this out over the weekend.

  • nisha
    December 19, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    sounds elaborate, but im totally sold..i love any mughlai dishes 🙂

  • indugetscooking
    December 19, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    I love these kind of dishes. Looks perfect with naan and white rice! Yummy pics, as always

  • thyme (Sarah)
    thyme (Sarah)
    December 19, 2012 at 5:13 AM

    This dish really does sound so exotic. The list of spices mixed all together is so intriguing. I’ll bet your house smelled amazing! I especially like the knowledge of which dynasty the flavors derived as one dynasty after another ruled India.

  • Tadka Pasta
    Tadka Pasta
    December 19, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    Really enjoyed this post! Your pictures are beautiful, as always and the dish looks scrumptious!

  • Soma
    December 19, 2012 at 5:53 AM

    One of my favorites!! the colors of the photographs are stunning!!It is almost like I can smell and taste from here!

  • Soma
    December 19, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Beautiful pictures, absolutely mouthwatering. I agree that the mughlai dishes are an indulgent but well worth it.

  • Manju
    December 19, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    I have only one word to say…Creamy and looks delicious(okay 3 or 4 words)


  • Lail | With A Spin
    Lail | With A Spin
    December 19, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Mughlai dishes are devine.

  • Dixya
    December 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    the korma looks so delicious and comforting for this weather. will make it soon 🙂

  • Vijitha Shyam
    Vijitha Shyam
    December 19, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    That looks so good! Have you started using your new cam for food pictures? I love murgh kurma with nuts. So creamy and delicious! Sometimes I make it with just cashews or almonds and sometime with both of them. Whatever nuts you use, it is sure to please the taste buds. Oh! I am craving for it now.

  • Eha
    December 19, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    The more I cook Indian food, the more both Mughlai and Keralan seem to get chosen! What a fullbodied elegant recipe 🙂 !

  • Kathy Steger
    Kathy Steger
    December 19, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    WOW, this is right up my alley. 🙂 YUMM

  • Sarvani
    December 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    I make more or less a similar version.. and I prefer the creamy, nutty gravy to some of the red-hot spicy ones… and ghee always helps!!beautiful photographs!! pssst… saw your blog on the saveur’s ‘sites we love’.. brilliant!!!

  • sulagna
    December 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Kankana this smells of royalty and grandeur and over the top celebration..perfect for a winter dinner when we have called a visiting Kaku Kakima home :)thanks for the idea

  • Tanvi@SinfullySpicy
    [email protected]
    December 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I really love the color & consistency of the gravy Kankana. Yummy looking! My husband wud be so happy if I made this for him everyday, I havent for ages.

  • reese@SeasonwithSpic
    [email protected]
    December 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    I’m surely convinced that this majestic Mughal dish is worth all the effort for a festive table. What a great dish, Kankana! The last similar dish I had was during the Diwali festival at a friend’s place in Malaysia. His chef wife prepared a massive spread and one of the dishes was spiced nut chicken. She told us that she ground the almonds & cashews with the traditional mortar & pestle. Yep! It was just a memorable meal! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’d definitely try making it, but with the modern food processor:)

  • Deepa
    December 20, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    So you have decided that you are gonna kill me with your killer recipe pictures !! The addition of fennel seeds, poppy seeds makes it so creamy and flavory..Would love to have this with some naan.

  • tigerfish
    December 20, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I so love your photos! So professionally taken fit for the food magazines cover page. Thanks for sharing the background about Mughal dishes.

  • Pia
    December 21, 2012 at 6:04 AM

    The mix of metal props and masala is stunning, Kankana! And the Korma looks divine. I’ve learnt to avoid Korma in the UK; it’s usually sweet enough to be dessert.
    Before we take off for Kolkata: a very merry Christmas to you and your family, from me, D and Chotto-Ma. Holiday hugs; and catch you in the new year! 🙂

  • maha
    December 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Delicious and creative, I’d love to try it….BTW plz visit my space n check out new FB page if u free..Hope u will ..thanx in advance.

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie
    December 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Woooowww my mouth is watering now! This looks amazing, thanks so much for sharing Kankana. Happy Holidays!

  • Kate@Diethood
    [email protected]
    December 23, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    I haven’t had this since my trip to Australia ten years ago… but I remember it so well. It was out of this world delicious!
    GORGEOUS photos, as always.
    Hope you are enjoying your Holidays!! xo

  • Karen
    December 23, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    So-o-o yummy! The preparation was intriguing and different from any other Indian dish I’ve made. A lot of different steps but it wasn’t overwhelming. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the dish and can’t wait to heat up the leftovers.

  • Jacqueline
    December 23, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Another one of your glorious tasty dishes Kankana! It looks so delicious! Sending you warm wishes over the Holidays and all the best for 2013 🙂

  • nipponnin
    December 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    This story and dish are so interesting. The beautiful photos are very enticing.

  • nipponnin
    December 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Oh. I forgot to tell you. Have a wonderful holiday!

  • Mallika
    December 24, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Beautiful Kankana, the pictures are gorgeous. Loved reading the fact you disliked history and why history teacher wouldn’t appreciate this! This will make up the perfect dish for this festive season. Happy holidays ahead!

  • sumika
    December 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Wow this looks delicious…. !!

  • Nami | JOC
    Nami | JOC
    December 26, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Although history wasn’t my favorite subject (lots of memorization!), I realized it was fun reading about history behind food actually. What a delicious meal. I hope you had a happy Christmas and I look forward to more of your amazing posts next year!

  • Namitha
    December 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    How have you been ? Saw your pictures from Paris, lovely 🙂 Hope you are having a great holiday season.
    This is one of my favorite chicken dishes, so rich n creamy. I am in love with your pictures, so classy they look !

  • Zee
    December 28, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    I’m usually not a big fan of korma but this one looks so different from what we make at home.. The addition of nuts is what’s getting me excited to try out. Beautiful pictures!

  • Tika Hapsari Nilmada
    Tika Hapsari Nilmada
    January 8, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Hi Kana… Indonesia has the same dish with nutty sauce as what you have here.
    As usual, your photos are amazing. Thanks for submitting your photo to DMBLGiT January 2013 Edition. Wishing you good luck !

  • John @ Kitchen Riffs
    John @ Kitchen Riffs
    August 18, 2019 at 12:54 PM

    Wonderful dish! I haven’t made a korma-anything in ages. You have me craving it — specifically Chicken Korma. Thanks!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      August 20, 2019 at 5:47 PM

      Thanks a lot John! Go get cooking korma 🙂

  • Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    August 18, 2019 at 1:04 PM

    I absolutely love Chicken Korma, but I’ve never made it myself. Obviously I will be changing that in the very near future, because this recipe looks absolutely perfect!!! Approachable to make and filled with delicious flavors!!! PERFECTION!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      August 20, 2019 at 5:48 PM

      I hope you do that Chayenne. Sometimes these Indian curries can sounds too lengthy to prepare but in reality it is not. You will love this curry 🙂

  • angiesrecipes
    August 18, 2019 at 9:47 PM

    I love all the warm spices that you have used in this korma. Looks seriously yummy and flavoursome.

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      August 20, 2019 at 5:48 PM

      Thanks Angie! These warm spices is what makes the gravy so tasty!

  • Neil
    August 19, 2019 at 2:58 AM

    What a wonderful Chicken Korma recipe Kankana. Its little wonder that this is requested by your guests and that you don’t have any leftovers. If you made this for me first, your guests would be very lucky if there was any left!! 🙂

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      August 20, 2019 at 5:49 PM

      ha ha ha you are funny Neil! I do wish I could cook this curry for you.

  • David @ Spiced
    David @ Spiced
    August 19, 2019 at 4:50 AM

    I would never have guessed that chicken korma is a 30-minute recipe! This looks like you spent all day making it. Well done, Kankana! I’ll have to put this on the menu here sometime soon for sure!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      August 20, 2019 at 5:50 PM

      Yeah most often Indian curries has this bad reputation of being too much hectic and lengthy. I really hope you give this korma a try 🙂

  • Leanne @ Crumb Top Baking
    Leanne @ Crumb Top Baking
    August 19, 2019 at 8:06 AM

    I’ve never had chicken korma, but it looks and sounds so flavourful. Love that it is nut based, and I have most of those ingredients in my kitchen right now!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      August 21, 2019 at 10:23 AM

      I hope you make it then, it’s quite luscious and comforting!

  • annie@ciaochowbambina
    [email protected]
    August 19, 2019 at 9:55 AM

    I just want to sit at your table! This meal is gorgeous and delectable!!

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      August 21, 2019 at 10:23 AM

      Wish you did! Thank you so much Annie 🙂

  • Natasha Minocha
    Natasha Minocha
    August 22, 2019 at 2:11 AM

    Wow Kankana! This chicken korma looks incredible! My family would absolutely love it.

  • Dennie
    August 29, 2019 at 11:56 PM

    Look forward to trying this. If I use butter instead of ghee would it make a big difference. Maybe better to substitute oil? Which do you recommend if I don’t have ghee?

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      October 7, 2019 at 10:40 AM

      Butter will work too! It will not make a very big difference. Butter makes it rich and ghee gives a lovely aroma. So you could surely use either. For a healthier version you can also use oil instead 🙂

  • Gautami
    October 7, 2019 at 5:56 AM

    Turned out to be really yummy 😋. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      October 7, 2019 at 10:39 AM

      So glad you tried and liked it 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!