Loaded with flavor, Chicken Korma Curry is a traditional Indian dish that is so creamy. Simply marinate boneless chicken thighs in a blend of spices, cashews, and almonds, then cook with veggies for a healthy dinner. Skip the takeout with this surprisingly simple recipe, perfect for a busy weeknight meal.

Chicken thighs and korma sauce served over basmati rice in a black bowl with a black towel, cilantro, and a red pepper.

The BEST Chicken Korma Recipe

I have a little bit of a guilty pleasure when it comes to ordering takeout. 

There is one of the BEST Indian food restaurants just a few miles from me—the Clay Put here in Austin. It is OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. DELICIOUS. It has been the inspiration behind the Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala and now this chicken korma recipe.

After many, many taste tests from Clay Pit, and numerous rounds of recipe testing, I bring to you the BEST chicken korma recipe you have ever tasted! (Bold statement, I know! But trust me, it’s THAT good.)

There is just something about lathering chicken in that flavorful, nutty paste, marinating and cooking it, then pouring it over a bowl full of rice to enjoy.

Don’t be intimidated… this recipe is easier than you might think!

A spoonful of chicken korma curry is served from a bowl.

What is Korma Sauce Made Of?

Indian korma is a thick sauce that typically consists of almonds or cashews that have been blended together with a mix of Indian spices and cream, yogurt, or coconut milk. While some recipes call for tomatoes or tomato paste, it is not always included in a traditional korma recipe.

It is most commonly served with a protein over a bed of rice.

Chicken thighs, spices, nuts, veggies, and herbs are the main ingredients in this chicken korma dish.

Ingredients

The basic ingredients you need to make this easy chicken korma recipe include:

  • Chicken. Boneless skinless thighs work best in this chicken korma recipe. The dark meat found in chicken thighs contains slightly more fat, which gives them their natural juiciness and tenderness. However, if you are unable to find boneless chicken thighs, opt for boneless skinless breasts or bone-in thighs. 
  • Spices. Garam masala is the main ingredient in the spice blend and HUGELY important. Do not try to swap this out for anything. Cardamon might be harder to find, so you can leave it out or add another ¼ teaspoon coriander. Other spices needed are turmeric, coriander, and nutmeg (which can be swapped for cinnamon if needed.)
  • Raw nuts. Both almonds and cashews are used in this recipe. However, feel free to leave one out and sub with extra of the other if there is an allergy.
  • Coconut. Make sure to get unsweetened, and not the sweetened variety. Flakes or shredded coconut both work great!
  • Sugar. Totally optional and can be left out if on a Whole30 or Paleo diet. You can also substitute coconut sugar on a Paleo diet.
  • Peppers. In addition to a bell pepper, either jalapeño or cayenne can be used. Or, you can leave this out if you prefer your curry at a 0/5 on a spice scale.
  • Garlic. Minced garlic adds so much flavor to this dish.
  • Lemon Juice. Opt for fresh-squeezed for the best results.
  • Coconut milk. You can also use heavy cream or half-and-half for a more authentic version.
  • Ginger. Ginger paste is really easy to use and is just as good as fresh ginger in this recipe!

How to Make Chicken Korma

For this easy recipe, follow these basic steps when making chicken korma curry from scratch:

Prepare the Veggies

Take a few minutes before you begin to prep the ingredients. Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to dice the peppers, mince the garlic, and chop the onion.

While it might seem like an unnecessary step in making the sauce, cutting up these ingredients before adding them to the blender helps break them down. It also ensures there are no larger chunks throughout.

Combine the Spices

In a small bowl, use a whisk to thoroughly blend all of the spices.

Make the Korma Sauce

Add the spices, raw cashews, raw almonds, unsweetened coconut, sugar, jalapeño pepper, garlic, and lemon juice to a large blender or food processor.

Pulse about 10 times, then continue to process for 10-20 seconds. The sauce will form a paste.

Slowly pour in ¾ cup of the coconut milk until the korma paste becomes a thick sauce. You can either immediately marinate the chicken thighs or store the korma sauce in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Marinate the Chicken

Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces. Be sure to use a very sharp knife.

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the homemade korma sauce over them.

Allow this mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes.

Cook the Onion and Bell Pepper

Over medium heat, cook the onion and bell pepper in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes. Sauté until the onions start to brown, which gives them an extra punch of flavor.

Add the Chicken

Pour another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan, and then add the marinated chicken. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, still over medium heat.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the chicken and veggies to cook for another 12 to 15 minutes.

The dish is done when the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165℉.

Stir in remaining coconut milk until the curry is to your desired consistency.

If you are on a low-carb, Whole30, or Paleo diet, serve the chicken korma curry over cauliflower rice. If not, serve the chicken korma over basmati rice with a sprinkle of cilantro and chopped cashews.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead: You can easily make the korma curry marinade and sauce a couple of days ahead of time. Simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • How to store: Keep leftover chicken korma in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze cooked korma curry chicken in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 to 4 months. Alternately, you can make the sauce and freeze it separately for up to 9 to 12 months.
  • How to reheat: Indian curries not only reheat well, but actually taste BETTER as leftovers. The best way to reheat this chicken korma recipe is to add it back into a large skillet, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. This usually takes between 5-10 minutes.
Full of Indian spices, chicken korma curry is a flavorful dish.

What is the difference between chicken korma and chicken curry?

Often, you will see these terms used together or sometimes interchangeably. Korma is a mild curry, usually with a strong coriander flavor and served with milk to make a creamy consistency. Curry can refer to many types of dishes, most often from southern Asia.

What is korma curry made of?

There is not one way to define this dish. Generally, it refers to a Mughlai dish with marinated meat or vegetables in a creamy, spicy sauce with a nutty base, usually from almonds or cashews.

Is korma curry hot?

Because this recipe is made with coriander, nuts, and a milk or yogurt base, it is one of the mildest curries available.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Change it up. You can use chicken breasts or even pork or shrimp in this recipe.
  • Add some vitamins. You can increase the nutritional value of this dish by including extra veggies, like carrots or peas.
  • Complete it. Serve this korma over basmati rice or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
  • Choose your fat. You can use coconut milk or opt for heavy cream.
  • Add some heat. If you like your curry spicy, add fresh or ground chilies.
Chicken korma curry served over white basmati rice in a white bowl.

What to Serve with Chicken Korma?

Chicken korma curry is quite versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways.

Keep it simple with Instant Pot Basmati Rice or Cauliflower Rice. Serve it with Coconut Cilantro Lime Brown Rice for a unique twist.

More Indian-inspired Dishes

Indian food is so flavorful, and it doesn’t have to be hard to make.

Try this Vegan Chickpea Curry or this Chana Masala for a vegetarian option.

Or, stick with Instant Pot Yellow Chicken Curry or Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala.

For a quick side, opt for this 15-Minute Curry Cauliflower Rice.

Tap stars to rate!

4.67 from 12 votes

Indian Chicken Korma Curry

Loaded with flavor, Chicken Korma Curry is a traditional Indian dish that is so creamy. Simply marinate boneless chicken thighs in a blend of spices, cashews, and almonds, then cook with veggies for a healthy dinner. 
Yield 6 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ lbs. chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil divided
  • 1 sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper finely diced
  • 1-1 ¼ cup coconut milk lite, divided*

Korma Curry Sauce:

  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. cardamon
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. coriander
  • tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar or coconut sugar
  • cup cashews raw
  • cup almonds raw
  • cup coconut flakes or shredded, unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper or cayenne pepper, finely diced
  • 1 ½ tsp. ginger paste
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed

To Serve:

  • Rice cooked, optional
  • Cilantro optional
  • Cashews optional

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl use a whisk to combine garam masala, cardamon, turmeric, coriander, nutmeg, salt, and sugar.
  • Add spices, cashews, almonds, coconut, lemon juice, diced jalapeño pepper, garlic, and ginger to the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender. Pulse 10 times and then process for 10-20 seconds, or until ingredients start to form a paste. While still processing, slowly add in ¾ cup coconut milk and process until well combined.
  • Place korma sauce in a large bowl with chicken. Let marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, onion, and bell pepper to a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until onions begin to brown slightly.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and chicken with marinade. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Cover skillet and continue cooking chicken for 12-15 minutes over medium-low heat, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Stir in remaining coconut milk until the curry is to your desired consistency. Serve chicken korma curry over rice or cauliflower rice with additional chopped cashews and cilantro.

Tap stars to rate!

4.67 from 12 votes

Video

Notes

  • Can also use heavy cream or half and half for a more authentic version.
  • Nutrition facts are calculated without rice or cauliflower rice.
  • Feel free to use chicken breasts or bone-in chicken thighs with the bones removed.

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 618mg, Potassium: 493mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 150IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 2.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
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Comments

  1. This was delicious! I made a few changes…some cashew allergies, so i lightly toasted pumpkin seeds and almonds. I also added a bit more spices and split them…some for the marinade and some to infuse the oil…
    So easy and very flavorful! Thank you for a yummy, quick and flavor- filled recipe!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Nanette! I’m glad you could adjust this to use for your family. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  2. I notice at Tarka (the fast casual spin-off from Clay Pit), their korma adds pistachios and uses dairy. Any recommendations on how to make this to more closely resemble the Tarka/Clay Pit recipe?

    1. Hi Chris! This recipe does closely resemble Clay Pit’s but without the pistachios. You can always sub some of the pistachios for one of the other nuts called for in the recipe! Let me know how it turns out.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! That was amazing. Fun recipe that is too easy for how much flavor! We went with one Jalapeno and we didn’t catch much heat, maybe the jalapeno, maybe next time we double down 🙂

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Nate! It’s fun to play around with spice until you find your perfect level. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

  4. 4 stars
    Thank you for a delicious, dairy free, gluten free dish! I’m so excited about this for dinner….simmering away! 😀 Yum!

  5. So glad that I found this recipe…most of the korma recipes use milk/cream, and I’m lactose intolerance. I just made this dish. It was easy to make and takes good. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Yay, Yumiko! I am so happy you enjoyed the korma so much. And yes! So many recipes use dairy products, but I find you can’t even taste the coconut in this dish at all! Thanks so much for your comment!