Delicious chicken korma from scratch without base curry sauce!
As many of you have requested curry house style recipes without the need for a prepared base sauce, I decided to do just that. This chicken korma from scratch recipe can be made in under 30 minutes too.
If you are looking to recreate that British Indian restaurant style korma at home, you’ll do it with this recipe. I promise!
You will also find links to popular side dishes to enjoy with your chicken korma.
What is a korma?
Korma is a style of cooking in India where meat is braised in a sauce. Authentic kormas can be mild or spicy and very few look like what you get when you order a korma at a curry house.
At curry houses, korma is the mildest of curries. No hot spices are used and they are sweet and creamy. The British Indian restaurant style korma is quickly cooked up with the use of a base curry sauce in about 10 minutes.
You can find my recipe for chicken korma done exactly as it is at curry houses right here.
What do you serve chicken korma with?
If you’d like to make naans, why not try one of these? Instant naans, Peshwari naans, stove top naans, keema naans, garlic naans, tandoor naans (if you have a tandoor oven), or if you’re cooking outdoors, karahi naans.
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.
How does this chicken korma from scratch differ to the restaurant recipe?
The ingredients are pretty much the same. It’s just the order they go into the pan is different.
As this chicken korma from scratch recipe does not use a base sauce, you make that sauce as you go. Blending it until smooth just like the korma sauce at curry houses.
Which cut of meat?
At most restaurants, chicken breast is used because it is white meat and perhaps a bit prettier on the plate.
I prefer chicken thigh meat. It is redder in colour but has more flavour. You could use either.
Do I have to use chicken?
Not at all. You could use beef, lamb or whatever you like. For tougher cuts of meat, you might need to cook the meat longer or pre-cook it like I did in this rogan josh from scratch recipe.
You could also easily make this a vegetarian korma. Try adding paneer or tofu to the simmering sauce. Or just throw in some of your favourite vegetables.
Step by step photographs…
If you like this chicken korma from scratch recipe, you should try some of these too…
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) cinnamon stick
- 3 green cardamom pods, bruised
- 700g (1 1/2 lbs) chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- ½ carrot, grated
- 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 2 tbsp coconut milk powder (see alternatives on page 00)
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp tomato paste stirred into 3 tbsp water
- 250ml (1 cup) water or chicken stock
- 125ml coconut cream
- 125ml (1/2 cup) single cream
- 1 tso garam masala
- Salt to taste
- A drop of rosewater
- Coriander (cilantro) to garnish
- Garam masala to garnish
- Heat the ghee over medium-high heat. When bubbly hot, add the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods to infuse for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the chopped onions and grated carrot and fry for about five minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent. If time allows, you could cook these veggies even longer over a low heat. The slower cooking will bring out their natural sweetness. Just be sure not to brown them.
- Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds. Stir in the ground almonds, coconut milk powder, sugar and 125ml (1/2 cup) water. Bring to a simmer and then allow to cool some.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and place this sauce in a blender and blend until creamy smooth. Then pour the blended sauce back into the pan over a medium high heat.
- The sauce will be a bit too thick so add the coconut cream and a little water to thin it some.
- Remember, if your sauce is looking too thick, just add more water or unsalted chicken stock. If too thin, cook it down.
- Now add the sliced chicken and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through topping up with water or chicken stock as needed.
- To finish, add the garam masala and cream and season with salt to taste. If using rose water, stir it in now. You could also make it sweeter by adding more sugar if you like. Garnish with the chopped coriander (cilantro) and/or garam masala to serve.