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How To Make Restaurant Style Chicken Korma

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.

chicken korma

Nutty, sweet and so good, chicken korma is perfect for kids and those who don’t like spicy curries.


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.

Alternative ingredients…

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.

Working ahead…

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.

infusing whole spices in ghee

Melt the ghee and infuse the whole spices for about 30 seconds.

adding ground spices and base sauce

Add the coconut flour, ground almonds and sugar. Fry for a few seconds and then add a little base sauce.

adding chicken to korma

Add more base sauce as required and then stir in the pre-cooked meat.

adding block coconut

Add the block coconut and let it melt into the simmering sauce.

Stirring cream into the chicken korma

Stir in the cream.

adding rose water to the sauce

Add a little rosewater if you like. This is optional.

chicken korma ready to serve

Season with salt to taste. Garnish with a swirl of cream and some garam masala

chicken korma curry

This tastes just like those at the best curry houses!

chicken korma

Dig in!




Here are some more curry house favourites you might like to try!

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Madras
Chicken Dhansak
Lamb Rogan Josh
Lamb Vindaloo
Chicken Chilli Garlic
Chicken Patia
Lamb Bhuna

This chicken korma recipe will get you fantastic results!

Yield: 4 - 6

How To Make Chicken Korma

chicken korma curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 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


  1. Melt the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. when bubbling hot, stir in the cinnamon and smashed cardamom pods
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the chicken to the sauce and stir well so that it heats through.
  7. Bring to a simmer and add the block coconut and continue simmering until it melts into the sauce.
  8. 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.
  9. 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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I hope you enjoy this restaurant style chicken korma recipe. If you do give it a try, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Thank you so much for your last response! Sometimes this dish comes out a little grainy from the coconut and almond flour- any tips?

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

A lot of people like that texture but you could try coconut milk powder instead of coconut. The almond flavour is important so try blending it first maybe and cooking it a bit longer. Thanks Dan


Tuesday 28th of September 2021

If you were to batch this out to x 10 would you do it all in one go or would you do smaller batches? Thanks so much, love your site

Dan Toombs

Friday 1st of October 2021

You can scale up but just be careful when you add the spices. I would recommend you add those gradually to taste. I am glad you're enjoying the blog. Thanks Dan


Saturday 18th of September 2021

I don’t normally have cream in the fridge, would natural yogurt work as an alternative.

Dan Toombs

Friday 24th of September 2021

Yogurt wouldn't work so just miss out the cream. Thanks Dan


Wednesday 23rd of June 2021

Wow what a recipe! This is seriously one of the best things i've ever cooked - thank you so much Dan. I've loved curry all my life and whilst I try and make them at home I'm always disappointed with the watery, tomato heavy, "spicy stew" I usually end up with. I try and thicken them with yoghurt, coconut milk or cornflour at the end to get that restaurant style "creaminess" but it never worked and whilst it was a decent curry I was always frustrated it wasn't like those I had at my local restaurants.

Now i know the secret! The base is genius, and now being able to make curry in 10 mins rather than the 2+ hours I used to take (with a fraction of the lingering smell as a result) is a godsend, I've had curry every night this week! The madras with mango chutney yesterday was so good, but this Korma... something else :) I'll never make curry any other way again.

Dan Toombs

Thursday 24th of June 2021

Thanks very much for your lovely e-mail. I am really glad you are enjoying my recipes so much. Dan

tom mahon

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Hi, did you change a lot of your recipes? I am sure your korma had cumin / coriander powder in?

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

No, I don't think this one has changed. Go ahead and add a bit of cumin and coriander powder if these are spices that you like. Thanks Dan

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