chicken korma recipe – shahi chicken kurma curry

Chicken korma recipe with easy step-by-step pics. Chicken korma is a ghee garam masala flavoured Mughlai chicken curry cooked in a creamy yogurt cashew sauce. Prepared in a slow cooking method ans simple kitchen spices. Also known as Murgh Qorma or Murg Kurma in Northern Indian and Pakistani cuisine.

Korma is an Urdu word basically spelled as “Qorma” or “Kurma”. Chicken korma is one of the best authentic dishes of Mughal cuisine. In the Mughal era, this korma curry was mostly prepared with beef or lamb, braising for long hours slow cooking in ghee with a creamy white gravy containing dry nuts (such as Cashew & Almond), yogurt, brown onion paste, and special exotic spices mostly brought from Turkey.

In Mughlai cuisine, fresh cream or whole milk is a must-used ingredient for making a more rich and thick gravy of korma. Though I neither use milk cream nor whole milk in this recipe, however, cashew and yogurt bring the same creamy white & delicious taste to this chicken curry with Royal texture.

shahi chicken korma curry

Though roti, paratha, or even simple white rice or fried rice can be served with chicken korma, however, biryani, and pulao go best with this shahi dish. Being a Bengali I enjoy this korma with my Kolkata-style chicken biryani or Mutton biryani too, even I have it with our Bengali white pulao too. 

Chicken korma is neither spicy nor hot as in royal cuisine, no spicy food was served. So kids also can enjoy this dish. Though korma is not a healthy chicken curry, because of using lots of ghee and cashew nuts in it. Which contains huge calories. However, to make its healthy version, ghee and cashew nuts can be replaced with low-fat vegetable oil and almonds.

My today’s recipe is inspired by an Australian-based Indian chef. Years back I’ve seen him in a popular television cooking show where he shared his Awadhi-style chicken korma recipe. That recipe inspired me so much that I first make it at home within a week. And believe me, that was one of the best kormas I ever had in my life. Then often I make it at home.

Here I used almost the same ingredient as well as the flavor the chef used in his recipe. However, to be very honest, it is not a copy-paste version of the chef’s Awadhi-style chicken korma recipe. To make the difference between these two recipes, I applied my own cooking style and a special korma masala.

Even for making this chicken korma, I followed almost the same method I’ve used in my Bengali chicken rezala recipe. That is why the taste of this dish is quite close to my chicken rezala recipe as both Mughlai recipes have less spicy, cashew-yogurt-based creamy white gravy flavored with garam masala, kewra, and rose water. The only difference is coriander powder and little turmeric used in korma, not in our Kolkata style rezala.

indian chicken korma recipe

Being a traditional recipe of Mughlai cuisine, though chicken korma is easy to make, however, takes a long time for going through the slow cooking method. Though for making its quick and easy version, a pressure cooker can also be a very good option to save the last 20 mins cooking time by making one whistle on a high flame in it.

Try this best creamy chicken korma recipe at home and with easy steps please let me know your valuable feedback about this recipe in the comment section below.

Except for this recipe, you may also check Kolkata’s Mughlai restaurant-style chicken chaap recipe too from my website.

Chicken korma recipe – shahi chicken qorma curry


1 cup= 250 ml

  • 1.5 kg of Skin Out Chicken
  • 3 medium Sliced Onion
  • 1 cup Curd (Dahi) or Yogurt
  • 2 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1+1/2 tsp Ginger paste
  • 18-20 Cashew Nuts (Kaju)
  • 3 Green Chilies
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4-5 Green Cardamom
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • 8 Peppercorns
  • 1-inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kewra water
  • 3-4 drops of Rose Essence (optional)
  • 2-3 drops Mughlai Mitha Attar (optional)
  • 3-4 cups of Water

Homemade korma masala

  • 8 green cardamom
  • 1 mace or javitri
  • 1 tsp shahi jeera(black cumin seeds)
  • 5 peppercorns

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 50 mins

Total time: 1 hr

Served for: 6-7 people

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: Mughlai/ Awadhi

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make chicken korma with step-by-step pictures


Making of korma masala

  • Take 8 green cardamoms, 1 mace(javitri), 1 tsp shahi jeera(black cumin seeds), and 5 black peppercorns in a small blender jar. 
ingredients of chicken korma masala
  • Ground the spices well to make a fine powder out of it. Don’t worry, if cardamom skin may little exist. Keep the masala aside to use it later in this recipe.
homemade chicken korma masala

Marinating the chicken

  • In a mixing bowl, first, take cleaned and washed chicken pieces, and add 1 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, and salt.
Marinating chicken with turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt
  • Then add 1/2 cup of curd or yogurt in the same mixing bowl and mix it nicely all together.
adding yogurt to the marination
  • Next, add the ginger-garlic paste(mentioned above) and again mix it well and then leave it for 30 mins to get marinated.
 ginger-galic paste to the marination

Making of chicken korma curry

  • Heat a pan on medium flame with 3 tbsp of ghee in it. Let it gets hot.
Ghee in the pan for cooking
  • Add finely sliced onion to the pan and fry it till gets golden brown. Remove it from the pan and cool it down.
frying onion in ghee to make beresta or brown onion
  • Take fried onion with 18-20 pieces of cashew nuts and the rest half cup of yogurt in a blender jar. Blend it well by adding little water to get a smooth paste of it. Keep it aside for later use.
Curd,/yogurt, fried brown onion and kaju to make a paste
  • Take the same pan and heat it well. Then add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, and few black peppercorns in the ghee.
whole garam masala(cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves)in the ghee
  • Once the aroma comes from the spices, add the marinated chicken to the pan. Stir it well.
marinated chicken in the pan
  • Fry marinated chicken in ghee for 5 mins in low to medium flame by stirring it frequently.
frying chicken in ghee
  • In the meantime, add slit green chilies to the pan.
adding 3 green chillies in pan
  • Then add coriander powder to the pan. Give a quick stir and cook it for 2-3 mins. 
Adding coriander powder to the chicken
  • After 2-3 mins of cooking, add 1 cup of water to the pan and mix it well. Raise the heat to the high flame to let the water boil.
Adding water to the pan once chicken nicely roasted in masala
  • Once the water starts boiling cover the pan with a lid. Keep the flame again on medium and let it cook for 10 mins.
cover the pan to easily cook chicken until soft
  • After 10 mins, remove the lid and add the onion, cashew, and yogurt paste(prepared earlier) to the half-cooked chicken. Mix it well and cook it for 1 min.
adding the paste of brown onion, yogurt and kaju with half cooked chicken
  • Then again add 2 cups of water to the pan and mix it well. Let the gravy boil. 
Adding 2 cups of water for making chicken gravy
  • Once the gravy starts boiling add 3/4 tsp of salt to it and mix it well.
adding salt to enhance the taste of the gravy
  • Then again cover the pan and slow down the flame to its minimum and cook the chicken for 20 mins. Stir it frequently.
Again cover the pan to fully cook the chicken
  • After 20 mins add 3/4 tsp korma masala powder into the gravy. 
Adding special korma masala to the chicken gravy
  • Then add 1 & 1/2 tsp kewra water and 3 drops rose essence or 1 tsp of rose water into the gravy.
Adding rose and kewra essences to the gravy
  • Lastly, add 2-3 drops of mitha attar(though optional, however must in Mughlai dishes). Again cook it for  2-3 mins by covering the pan on low flame by stirring it frequently.
Adding Mughlai mitha attar to this chicken curry
  • After 2-3 mins of cooking turn off the heat and chicken korma curry will be ready to serve.
authentic chicken korma is ready with yellow hue


  • Don’t fry the chicken in high heat as the meat get hard and chewy after cooking.
  • Except for cashew nuts, you may use half-half cashew and almond too. For making South Indian-style(especially in hyderabadi or Kerala cuisine) korma you may also add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to this recipe.
  • Kewra water is a must-added flavor in Mughlai style korma but you may skip it too if you don’t like it. But for Lucknow or Awadhi style korma, one must use three essences mentioned above with the same quantity. As more use of flavor can spoil the taste.

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