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How To Make Restaurant Style Chicken Korma

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This is a chicken korma just like you get at the best curry houses.

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. Serve it with a side of perfectly cooked rice or homemade naans and chapatis and you’ll be in chicken korma heaven!

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. 

How do you adjust 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. 

What do you serve chicken korma with?

If you’d like to make this curry into a feast, you’ve come to the right place. You could just go for a side of Basmati rice or or another popular rice side.

If you’d like to make naans or chapatis, I have lots of those recipes for you here. Dal is also delicious with a korma.

Want to start your chicken korma meal off with a bang? How about fried shop bought poppadoms or if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own poppadoms from scratch and serve them with coriander chutney, red onion chutney, and/or tamarind chutney.

Don’t forget the samosas!

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

This chicken korma is just like those you find at the best curry houses. If you would like to make things easy on yourself, you might like to try chicken korma in the slow cooker or this one pot chicken korma from scratch.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes



  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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 203mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 11g

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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.


Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Hi Dan,

Is the 300ml of base sauce used in this before or after you've diluted the finished base sauce with water? If its before, roughly how much water are you adding to thin it out to the consistency of milk?

Can't wait to make it!


Tuesday 7th of November 2023

@Dan Toombs, So what you are saying is that you should use 150ml of the non-diluted base sauce and add 150ml of water so that the total is at 300ml. Or add as much water until he sauce becomes as thick as full fat milk.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

More or less double the quantity with water so it’s the consistency of full fat milk. The recipe quantity is the diluted version. Thanks Dan

Jazmine Palmer

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

How many does this serve?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

This should serve 4 Thanks Dan


Friday 23rd of June 2023

Is it ok to cook the curry sauce with lamb in a pressure cooker? Or does the lamb need to be cooked separately and added to the recipe later? If so do you have any suggestions for what to cook the lamb in?

Dan Toombs

Sunday 25th of June 2023

I would cook the lamb in a pressure cooker to make it tender then add it to the sauce as the recipe instructions. Thanks Dan


Wednesday 22nd of February 2023

hello there,

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?

Dan Toombs

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

Hi Dan,

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?

Dan Toombs

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

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