chicken korma recipe – shahi chicken korma curry

Chicken korma recipe with exotic royal flavor & taste described with step-by-step pics. Chicken korma is a delicious flavorsome creamy chicken curry created by assembling chicken with ghee, blended cashew- yoghurt- brown onion, & special spices in a slow cooking method. It is an authentic recipe of Mughlai cuisine, well known as Murgh Qorma or Murg Kurma in Northern India.

As every authentic dish has its own history, Korma is also having the same. Korma is an Urdu word basically spelled as “Qorma” or “Qurma”. In the Mughal era, it is mostly prepared with beef or lamb, braise for long hours in ghee with dry nuts(Cashew & Almond), yogurt, brown onion paste gravy, and special exotic spices mostly brings from Turkey.

In mughlai cuisine, fresh milk 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 brings the same creamy & delicious chicken korma gravy 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, pulao go best with this recipe. 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 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 gravy flavored with garam masala, kewra, and rose water. The only difference, 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 chicken korma at home and 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 korma curry

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


1 cup= 250 ml

  • 1.5 kg of chicken
  • 3 medium 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
  • 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 mitha attar(optional)
  • 3-4 cups of water

Homemade korma masala

  • 8 green cardamom
  • 1 mace or javitri
  • 1 tsp shahi jeera
  • 5 peppercorns

How to make chicken korma recipe aka shahi chicken korma curry with step-by-step pictures


Making of korma masala

  • Take 8 green cardamoms, 1 mace, 1 tsp shahi jeera, and 5 peppercorns in a small blender jar. 
masala ingredients of chicken korma
  • 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

How to marinate the chicken for korma

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

Making of chicken korma curry

  • Heat a pan on medium flame with 3 tbsp of ghee in it. Let it gets hot.
adding ghee in the pan
  • 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 to make beresta
  • 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, fried onion and kaju to make its 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 in the pan
  • 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 to make this shahi qorma
  • In the meantime, add slit green chilies to the pan.
add green chillies
  • Then add coriander powder to the pan. Give a quick stir and cook it for 2-3 mins. 
adding coriander powder to chicken to make kurma
  • 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 to make this Mughlai chicken curry
  • 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 to make this qorma recipe
  • After 10 mins, remove the lid and add the onion, cashew, yogurt paste prepared earlier. Mix it well and cook it for 1 min.
adding white colour paste with brown onion, yogurt and kaju to make korma
  • Then again add 2 cups of water to the pan and mix it well. Let the gravy boil. 
after adding 2 cups of water
  • 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.
covering the pan to cook the chicken nicely to make this indian korma curry
  • After 20 mins add 3/4 tsp korma masala powder into the gravy. 
adding special korma masala to make 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 essences to the gravy to make flavours of lucknow style korma
  • 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 make this chicken korma 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 korma you may also add 1/2 cup of coconut milk in this recipe.
  • Kewra water is a must added flavor in Mughlai style korma but you may skip it too if you don’t like. But for Lucknow or Awadhi style korma, must use three essences mentioned above with the same quantity. As more use of flavor can spoil the taste.

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