This is a chicken korma just like you get at the best curry houses.
Chicken korma, the most mild of curries is a big favourite of my kids. They order a korma every time we go out for a curry.
If you like a creamy chicken korma, this recipe will get you the results you’re looking for.
My best advice is to taste as you cook. Do that and you can’t possibly go wrong. Adjust the sweetness to taste and you will love this korma recipe.
Make your chicken korma the way you like it…
The great thing about mastering curry house style cooking is that you can make your favourite curries the way you like them.
You can use the freshest ingredients from the suppliers you prefer. I use my local farm shop for my meat and most vegetables because I know their passion for quality.
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of chicken korma when we go out for dinner because I find most of them too sweet. I also like my curries spicy.
When making this chicken korma at home, I usually cook up one mild version and then one with loads of chillies and no sugar for myself. You can do that when you cook these famous curries for yourself.
Adjusting the sweetness, creaminess and nuttiness…
Kormas are loved by many because they are sweet, nutty and creamy.
So why not make your chicken korma exactly as you want it? Add more sugar than suggested in the recipe below to taste if you want. Add more ground almonds for a nuttier flavour. Do you prefer more cream? Go for it.
Please use the recipe below as a guide. The ingredients in the recipe are exactly those used to make kormas at curry houses everywhere but only you can decide exactly how much of each ingredient to use.
What is a restaurant style chicken korma?
By this I mean British Indian restaurant (BIR) style chicken korma.
If you were to order a chicken korma in India, you would be served something very different.
The kormas served at curry houses are actually kormas in name only. In India, korma is a style of cooking where meat and vegetable are slowly braised in a sauce until the curry is out of this word gorgeous.
Authentic chicken kormas can be sweet, savoury, mild, spicy… It all about the cooking method and I have had some good ones.
So our western chicken kormas are a completely different thing but for so many people, they are the ‘go to’ curry when dining out.
How does this chicken korma recipe differ to the one in my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Bible’?
This is the same recipe from my cookbooks ‘The Curry Guy’ and ‘The Curry Guy Bible’ with one difference.
For my books I developed the curry house recipes to serve four people. In the recipe below, I pretty much halved the recipe to a curry house portion.
You could of course double it if you want to serve more people but here I wanted to show you how it would be made at an Indian restaurant.
Not a fan of chicken but still like a good korma? No problem.
Just like when you go out for a korma and you see it on the menu, you can decide which main ingredient goes into it.
Lamb korma, keema korma, king prawn korma, paneer… All of these taste great in the sauce.
I am also often asked about vegan substitutes. You could use a vegan cream or yoghurt in this recipe for creaminess and add vegetable or vegetable kofta to replace the chicken.
There are also some good vegan/vegetarian ghees on the market. I have used ‘Better Ghee’ and found it quite good.
As with all curry house style recipe, you will need to make a base sauce for it to be just right. Don’t let that stop you! The base sauce, my recipe is here, is super easy to make and it freezes well.
I always have some on hand for that last minute curry craving.
Although you could add the chicken raw to the sauce and cook it through, I recommend making my my pre-cooked stewed chicken recipe. The stock that the meat cooks in can be added in small amounts to the curry to give it a nice flavour boost.
Before cooking, it is also a good idea to get all of your ingredient laid out and in order so that you don’t have to go looking for ingredients while cooking.
What is block coconut?
Block coconut is coconut milk that has been solidified. I know from this blog and my books that it is not available worldwide.
If finding it is a problem for you, you could just add a little thick coconut milk.
Just don’t substitute desiccated coconut! Big mistake.
Below you will find step by step photos of the cooking process.
Here are some more curry house favourites you might like to try!
Chicken Tikka Masala
Lamb Rogan Josh
Chicken Chilli Garlic
This chicken korma recipe will get you fantastic results!
How To Make Chicken Korma
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 x 1cm cinnamon stick
- 3 green cardamom pods - smashed
- 1 tsp garlic and ginger paste
- 300ml (1 1/4 cups) approx. heated base curry sauce
- 1 generous tbsp sugar (more or less to taste)
- 3 tbsp ground almonds
- 1 tbsp coconut flour or coconut milk powder
- 300g (11oz) pre-cooked chicken
- 50g (2 oz) block coconut
- 70ml (1/4 cup) double cream
- 1/2 tsp rosewater (optional)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Melt the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat.
- when bubbling hot, stir in the cinnamon and smashed cardamom pods
- Fry for about 30 seconds to infuse the flavour of the spices into the oil and then ad the garlic and ginger paste. Fry this for about 30 seconds to cook off the rawness.
- Add the ground almonds, sugar and coconut flour. This will look quite dry after about 10 seconds in the pan. This is your queue to add base sauce.
- Stir in about a ladle of base curry sauce. This is added as required. If the curry is looking dry, add a little more sauce. If too saucy, cook it down.
- Add the chicken to the sauce and stir well so that it heats through.
- Bring to a simmer and add the block coconut and continue simmering until it melts into the sauce.
- Add the cream and rosewater if using. Taste the korma. You can and should adjust the flavour to your liking adding more sugar if necessary.
- Seasons with salt to taste. If you like, you can garnish with a little garam masala and a swirl of cream.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 203mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 11g
Wednesday 22nd of February 2023
I have versions of your recipes from 5-6 odd years back (that i've written onto cue cards) and I'm curious why you've chose to replace cashew paste/ground cashew with almond and coconut milk/cream with coconut block while also adding coconut flour? Have these alteration been made to reduce costs or decrease the amount of fats/oils used in the preparation in general? Also, you have two near identical korma recipes that only differ in milk fat percentage of the dairy used and the halved volume of 2 ingredients. Which version is best recommended?
Tuesday 7th of March 2023
Just pick the recipe you prefer. There is no particular reason, my recipes have just evolved over the years. Thanks Dan
Sunday 25th of September 2022
I get confused by your use of the words 'Yield' and 'serving'.
In this korma recipe, it states 'YIELD: 4 - 6'. That can't mean between 4 and 6 servings when 300 gr chicken has been used when other recipes using 225 gr meat are shown as 'YIELD: 1 - 2', can it?
And below this korma recipe, in the 'Nutrition Information' section, it shows as 'YIELD: 6 SERVING SIZE": 1
Can you clarify this, please?
Friday 30th of September 2022
It really depends on how big your appetites are and if you are serving with other dishes. A lot of people serve several dishes at once so I would say double the recipe if you think it is not enough. Thanks Dan
Thursday 7th of July 2022
I've never heard of block coconut.
Monday 11th of July 2022
It is available in all Asian shops quite readily. Thanks Dan
Monday 13th of June 2022
This was sooo good. As good as our local takeaway. Personally I like my korma to have a little kick so added some kashmiri chilli to liven it up but it's just like British restaurant. Thanks for sharing.
Tuesday 14th of June 2022
Thanks for letting me know. I also add chilli to my kormas otherwise I find them a bit bland. Dan
Friday 6th of May 2022
I made a variation of this for my 10yo son tonight... He loves the local BIR Korma but I've never made one he's that keen on, until now.
I make curries most weekends, but have never gone down the base gravy route before. I made up a small batch of gravy (the 3 onion recipe), and with it made the Korma, and also chilli garlic chicken...I didn't have coconut flour or rose water, so left those out of the Korma, I also cooked the chicken in the sauce.
My son proclaimed that other than the colour it was almost identical to the BIR... Praise indeed, I've finally found a Korma he likes! The chilli garlic chicken wasn't half bad either!
And I've got enough base gravy left over to try another recipe very soon.... Thanks 🙂
Sunday 8th of May 2022
Great to hear. Really glad you made your son so happy. Thanks Dan