The Best Authentic Chicken Korma

45 mins Cook
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NomNom Recipes 20

looking for a traditional and authentic chicken Korma recipe that’s the actual deal? This one-pot chicken korma is made inside the Pakistani and North Indian way but without the fuss. all the mind-blowing taste of korma – yet equipped in lots less time. After making & trying out this korma for years, I’ve perfected it to the point that i can optimistically name it the fine chicken korma.

That is one of those conventional dishes, like chicken Karahi, fowl Biryani, and Haleem, that I’ve tried severa times before i used to be happy sufficient to proportion. My intention is to present less complicated versions of these dishes with 0 sacrifices on the conventional, ‘proper’ taste.

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The Best Authentic Chicken Korma

Pop Quiz – What Makes This Chicken Korma ‘authentic’? Is It Because…

a) I’m full-blooded Pakistani and feel strangely entitled to call it so.

b) You will not find ‘curry powder’ as one of the ingredients. Instead, you’ll notice an unapologetically long list of whole spices.

c) It uses legit (yet optional) ingredients like mace and kewra essence. #fancy

d) All of the Above.

If you guessed D, then your answer is correct!

Jokes apart, I don’t think there is an authentic way to make anything anymore. Cuisine doesn’t freeze in time or place. Our recipes transport and evolve just as we do. Whether intentionally or not, we adapt our cooking to the ingredients, produce, and flavors around us.

But because I’ve tried to stick to the original concepts of korma as conveyed by google, youtube, various cookbooks, and multiple aunties, I hope ‘authentic’ will pass as an accurate descriptor.

What is Chicken Korma?

Korma is a cherished South Asian dish with Mughlai origins. The phrase ‘korma‘ (or qorma) method ‘to braise’, or pan-sear. in the Pakistani and North Indian way of training, chicken is sautéed in ghee/oil and complete spices earlier than a blend of yogurt and fried onions is brought to supply a wealthy curry.

Ingredients for Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma’s distinguishing capabilities are its use of entire spices, a wealthy yogurt masala, and a layer of oil/ghee on top. Kewra essence and blanched almonds, although now not obligatory, provide a steeply-priced finish.

Apart from that, you’ll want basic ingredients generally used in Pakistani and Indian curries. here’s the breakdown:

  • Oil/Fat: I’ve used just as much as needed to give it a traditional look and taste.
  • Onions: When making traditional korma, you brown, then grind the onions along with the yogurt. This gives it the signature texture and flavor. Don’t worry about slicing them up perfectly, and feel free to sub pre-ground onions.
  • Bone-in, cut up, skinless chicken: I buy pre-cut up pieces of a whole chicken, but bone-in chicken thighs work too. Feel free to use boneless chicken in place, though it may require a shorter cooking time.
  • Whole spices: Authentic Chicken Korma uses whole spices like bay leaves, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns. Leave out whichever ones you don’t have on hand.
  • Garlic + Ginger: A traditional recipe will have more garlic and ginger than you’re typically used to. Feel free to use paste if you’d like!
  • Tomatoes: Optional – more on this below.
  • Yogurt: An essential korma ingredient. As suggested by a reviewer, you can use cashew yogurt to make it dairy-free!
  • Spice powders: This recipe uses common spices like coriander and cumin as well as a few optional spices like mace and black cardamom. Though I know not everyone has spices like mace lying around, I’ve added them because they’re true to the classic method. However, you can easily omit them if you don’t have them and I’ve also given substitutes!

Does Chicken Korma Include Tomatoes?

Chicken korma was at first made with out tomatoes, but I’ve discovered that they’re normally utilized in Pakistani & Indian korma recipes.

Tomatoes give off water and bring about a thinner, curry-like consistency at the same time as yogurt offers a thicker masala-like consistency.

I just love the taste and texture that tomatoes give to korma so i’m able to’t get myself to pass over them. in case you prefer not to apply the tomatoes, clearly boom the amount of yogurt you operate.

How to Make Authentic Chicken Korma

Making an authentic chicken korma is actually quite easy:

  1. First, sauté the onions until nice and golden brown. Remove them from the pan and add to a food processor.
  2. In the same pot, add the whole spices and garlic/ginger and sauté the chicken. Meanwhile, blend the onions with tomatoes & yogurt. When the chicken has been seared or shall we say ‘braised‘, add the blended yogurt mixture along with the powdered spices & green chili.
  3. Cover and allow to cook. Midway, add the remaining spices – adding these toward the end maintains their aroma and flavor. Cover and cook again.
  4. When finished cooking, add water and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes. When the oil rises to the top, you’re done! Finish off with kewra essence, cilantro, and some blanched almonds.

Chicken Korma Faqs

What if I don’t have all of the whole spices?
Don’t fear! I’ve made this korma in all varieties of methods, omitting spices left and proper. believe me – no spice makes or breaks the korma. simply make it with something you have got accessible. it’s going to still be extremely scrumptious!

What to do with the whole spices after cooking chicken Korma?
In South Asian delicacies, the whole spices are generally discarded while eating.

a way to Scale the Recipe
Halve the recipe in case you’d want to make it with 1 lb of bird (for 2-three human beings). word that the sauté instances will lower for much less amount. further, you could double the recipe and all of the ingredients. just be sure to apply an additional big pan!

Can chicken Korma be made with pre-fried, ground onions (birista)?
in case you make your very own or have a emblem of pre-fried onions you want, you may virtually use them in this recipe. just skip the first step of sautéing the onions. i might estimate using 1- 1.5 cup of pre-fried onions in place of the onions called for in this recipe.

More Tips for Making the Best Chicken Korma

  • Browning the onions is the most time consuming part of making traditional korma. To reduce prep time, I like to prepare the rest of the ingredients while they’re sautéing. As mentioned in the FAQ, using pre-fried onions will reduce total cooking time.
  • Kewra essence and whole mace are available in South asian grocery stores and give a nice authentic flavor/scent to the Korma. If you don’t have them, either omit or try substituting rose water for the kewra and pinch of ground cinnamon in place of mace.
  • To quickly blanch raw almonds, microwave them in water for 1 minute. Then drain and peel the skin.
  • If you’d like a runnier korma, just add more water than is called for in the recipe. Add salt as needed.
  • Korma thickens up after being removed from heat and cooling. To reheat over the stovetop, add a bit of water to get the right consistency.

What to Serve With Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma is historically served with naan, roti, or different bread, but may be paired with rice because it does have an awesome quantity of ‘curry’ or salan.

due to the fact korma is a luxurious dish, it’s a dinner party and formal occasion favorite. This recipe lives up to the hype!

The Best Authentic Chicken Korma

The Best Authentic Chicken Korma

looking for a traditional and authentic chicken Korma recipe that’s the actual deal? This one-pot chicken korma is made inside the Pakistani and North Indian way but without the fuss. all the mind-blowing taste of korma – yet equipped in lots less time. After making & trying out this korma for years, I’ve perfected it to the point that i can optimistically name it the fine chicken korma.
prep time
15 mins
cooking time
45 mins
total time
1 hour



  • 1/3 cup neutral oil

  • 2 tbsp ghee, or sub more oil

  • 2 (~500 g) large onions, sliced*

  • 2 lbs bone-in, cut up, skinless chicken (or sub chicken thighs), cleaned and excess skin removed

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1/8 tsp whole black peppercorns

  • 3 green cardamom pods

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 1 1-inch cinnamon stick

  • 8-10 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 inch piece ginger, crushed

  • 2 small tomatoes* (optional), quartered

  • 3/4 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt

  • 2 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp red chili powder or to taste

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder or Kashmiri red chili powder, optional – for color

  • 2 1/8 tsp salt, or to taste depending on amount of chicken

  • 2-3 green chili peppers, chopped

  • Finishing:

  • 1-2 black cardamom pods (optional)

  • 1 piece whole mace , or sub pinch ground mace or cinnamon

  • ½ tsp garam masala

  • pinch nutmeg powder

  • 1/2 tsp diluted kewra essence, or sub rose water

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, optional – for garnish

  • 10-12 blanched almonds, for garnish




Heat a massive, heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. as soon as hot, add the oil and onions and sauté the onions until they're golden brown (~20-25 mins depending on quantity). get rid of the onions from the pan and switch them to a food processor. add tomatoes (if the use of) and yogurt to the meals processor and technique until normally easy.
Within the same pan used to brown onions, warmth ghee (or oil) and add the whole spices, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds or until the garlic and ginger begin to darken. upload the chicken and fry it till it adjustments shade (~five minutes).
Add the yogurt aggregate to chicken together with the floor spices, salt, and inexperienced chili peppers and sauté until the combination comes to a light simmer (~2-three minutes).
Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and allow it to cook dinner for 15 minutes. uncover and stir inside the black cardamom (if the usage of), mace, garam masala, and nutmeg powder. cover and cook once more for 10 mins.
Improve the heat to high. add half of to a few/4 cup of water (relying on how thin you'd like the curry) and produce to a boil. decrease the heat and allow chicken to simmer for another 2-three minutes. The oil may have risen to the top. Sprinkle the kewra essence and stir. flip off the heat and garnish with cilantro and blanched almonds.


If you prefer not to use tomatoes, simply increase the amount of yogurt if desired
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