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Chicken Korma (Chicken in Rich Yogurt Curry)

Korma Chicken


Chicken Korma Recipe (Chicken in Rich Yogurt Curry)

1 1/2 lbs chicken, cut into pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, ghee or oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2-inch cinnamon stick, lightly bruised
2 cardamons
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
4 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic


1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder or paprika
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, lightly whipped
2/3 cup fried onions, lightly crushed


1. Marinate chicken with Marinade ingredients for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Heat up wok with 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, stir-fry the items listed under Ingredients and let the whole spices to sizzle a bit until fragrant. Toss in the marinated chicken (with the marinade) and continue to stir-fry for 10 minutes.

3. Turn heat to medium-low, cover the wok and cook for 30 minutes, or until the oil slightly separates, chicken is tender enough and you have achieve the gravy consistency that you prefer.

4. Salt to taste, and add some water if the dish appears to be too dry. Dish out and serve with basmati rice or Naan bread.

Cook’s Notes:

Mutton, lamb, beef and vegetable makes delightful Korma as well.

If you prefer, substitute yogurt with cream or coconut milk, or a combination of them.

Fried onions can be substituted with fried shallots.

To prepare fried onions at home, deep-fry finely sliced onions on high heat for 10 minutes or until color changes to almost translucent and crispy. Spread out on paper towels and pat dry.

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43 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

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  1. Angela Tellone Hatch via Facebook

    I presume you put the chicken into the curry ingredients with all the marinade. It doesn’t mention that in the recipe.

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Marinate chicken with the Marinade ingredients. Then stir-fry items listed under Ingredients before tossing in the marinated chicken.

  2. Claire

    Would it completely change the dish if I left out the cumin? I have an aversion to cumin the way some people do to cilantro. The dish sounds so good though, and not at all complicated!

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Tweak it to your own liking. Also, if you do not want it too spicy you can tone down the chili powder or if you feel the spices is bit much, use less amount is fine too.

  3. Chicken qorma is one thing I can say I grew up eating. And then their were version of it prepared on diffrent occasions, mughlai qorma, shahi qorma and so on and on. But this is almost exactly the same way we make it at home…
    Yumm, now i have to make it soon.

  4. Being from the sub continent I can say that this is very close to the authentic korma recipe. Korma is a very special dish here and no wedding meal is complete without chicken korma! Yours looks absolutely gorgeous.

  5. teo ai li

    this is my husband’s favourite and i want to cook this for him. how many cinnamon stick to be used in this recipe? you mentioned 2″ cinnamon stick but how many? thanks for your help!

  6. Looks different from the usual kurma we have here as it’s creamy color. Your recipe looks rich and I like that you use yoghurt as over here, we use coconut milk a lot which is not good for our cholestrol. Yoghurt would be a good choice. I’ll definitely make this for dinner this week!

  7. This is one of my favorite dishes and your version sounds amazing. I actually have a packet of ‘korma spices’ that I bought last time I was in Malaysia, so I don’t need to mess around with all the individual stuff. :)

    Will definitely be giving this one a try.

    • Rasa Malaysia

      For this recipe, I used a cut up whole chicken, dark and meat all mixed, skin-on and bone-in. Its totally up to your preference.

    • Laura

      Just thought I’d mention, when I made it I used a whole chicken as well (sans wings), but I cut all the meat off the bone before marinading. Taste wise, I prefered the dark meat chunks to the breast chunks, but it was nice having both in there.

  8. Laura

    This was delicious! I’m pregnant and have been craving Indian food like crazy, so I made this for dinner. I like my gravy thick and for whatever reason couldn’t get mine to reduce enough, so I just added a TAB or so of flour near the end, which thickened it right up.

    I would like to make this again for my husband but he insists that EVERYTHING he eat be ridiculously spicy. I found this recipe to be pretty mild. What would I add to make it spicy? Would using chili powder instead of paprika do the trick?

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Sure thing, using chili powder or fresh chili paste (soak whole dried chilies, remove seeds and blend it) will definitely make the dish spicier.

  9. Molly Cuddy

    Please, I am making this tomorrow. Do you fry the onions and then add them to the marinade and then proceed? Don’t the onions get a little uncrispy after you add them to the yogurt marinade?? Just asking as I think that’s the right order but just want to make sure. Can’ wait to hear back from you. Looks delicious! Thanks for your help.

  10. mattzacks

    I tried this recipe last night, but I’ve never cooked with yoghurt before. Is it supposed to turn to liquid and separate on the stir-frying step?

  11. Tom

    If you’re yoghurt comes clumpy or separates add some cornflour (cornstarch) to the the yoghurt before making the marinade.

  12. Alert1201

    A few weeks ago my wife bought about 8 pounds of yogurt of which I only used 4 pounds of so I needed some recipes before the other 4 pounds went bad. I was looking for recipes that used it as a marinade with chicken and I came upon this Chicken Korma. Originally I wanted to do the Butter Chicken, it is one of my favorite foods, but by the time we drove all over Dallas looking for both types of Masala it was tool late to let it marinated long enough so we settled for this recipe. It I doubled the portions and it was wonderful. We spooned it over basmati rice for a real treat. One question I did have though, how do you bruise a cinnamon stick?

    Tomorrow we will be trying the Butter Chicken. I’ve got the marinade already made and the chicken sucking it up in our fridge for tomorrow.

  13. Tara

    I’d like to echo MollyCuddy’s question from 2012 re: the onions as I dont see a response.

    Am I including the onions or shallots in the marinade? Won’t they become rather soggy?

    Prepping this recipe now and would like to get it right :)

  14. Mcooks

    Thanks for this recipe… It’s really delicious! I’ve cooked this twice and getting better at it. Do be generous with the spices (cloves, cardamom etc) as it gives the dish more depth. I added twice the amount. And yes, add the fried onions to the marinade. There is nothing that’s meant to be crispy in this recipe. Best with naan. Yumms!

  15. Aimee

    I used 1 1/2 tablespoons red indian chili powder as in the recipe and my mouth is burning and all I can taste is the hot, not the flavor even though I like some hot in my dish…? did you mean american chili powder?

    • The recipe says 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder or paprika, so yes it’s regular chili powder I get here in the US which is pretty mild and not hot. I am not sure about red Indian chili powder I have never used that.

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