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Chicken Shahi Korma

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Chicken shahi korma is nothing like that yellow mild curry you find a curry houses. It’s so much better!

This chicken shahi korma is a bit spicy and creamy. You are going to love it! This is currently my favourite curry though my favourite curries do change from time to time. This is a proper korma with the chicken first being fried and then braised in a thick yoghurt sauce. 

Chicken shahi korma is great served simply with white Basmati rice or another flavoured rice dish. You might also like to serve it with naans or chapattis. The sauce is so good you’ll want to scoop up every last drop with that bread!

chicken shahi korma

What is chicken shahi korma?

Chicken shahi Korma is a rich and flavourful Indian dish that is part of the Mughlai cuisine. It is known for its creamy texture and aromatic spices. “Shahi” translates to “royal,” indicating its association with the royal kitchens of the Mughal emperors.

You will know from your first bite of this delicious korma that it’s something special.

Can you use other meat in this korma?

Yes. Mutton, lamb and beef are all really cook. If using red meat, I recommend frying and stewing it first until tender.

Then just add it and cook as the recipe below.

Can you work ahead?

Yes. As it’s a good idea to marinate the chicken for a few hours or overnight, go ahead and get that done early. You can also prepare the korma paste a couple of days ahead of cooking.

For that matter, you could cook the curry a couple of days ahead of serving. Just place it in the fridge and let those flavours develop. It will actually be better!

How long can you keep chicken shahi korma?

You can keep this curry in the fridge for about 3 days.

Can you freeze chicken shahi korma?

Although you could, I don’t recommend that you do so. The yoghurt in the sauce doesn’t freeze well. 

How do you reheat chicken shahi korma?

The easiest way is in your microwave for a few minutes until heated through.

Better would be to heat it up slowly in a saucepan over a low to medium heat. This will help retain its creaminess, some of which might get lost when zapping it in a microwave.

Pro Tips

Marinate the chicken

Take the time to marinate the chicken in a yogurt-based marinade infused with aromatic spices like ginger, garlic, and ground spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric. This helps tenderise the chicken and infuse it with rich flavours.

Slowly simmer the sauce

To achieve a rich and creamy texture in the korma sauce, it’s important to cook it slowly over low heat. This allows the flavours to develop and the sauce to thicken, resulting in a luscious consistency. Patience is key in creating the perfect Shahi Chicken Korma.

Use all the oil called for

I know many of you will think there is a bit too much oil but it does add to the flavour and presentation. You don’t have to eat it but it sure looks great and is amazing when you dip your hot naans or chapattis in it. This is how chicken shahi korma has been made for hundreds of years and when you try it, you’ll see why.

Step by step photos

Ingredients for chicken shahi korma

Get all of your ingredients together before starting. It’s easier that way.

The chicken marinating

Rub the marinade ingredients into the chicken and set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of the curry or for a few hours.

Frying the onions

Fry the onions in oil and ghee until deep golden brown and crispy. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Frying the chicken

Fry the marinated chicken in the oil and ghee for about 10 minutes or until nicely charred and caramelised in places.

Blending the korma paste.

While the chicken is frying, you can blend your korma paste.

Adding the korma paste to the fried chicken.

Add the korma paste to the fried chicken and stir it in.

Simmering the curry with the lid on.

Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. The oil will separate from the sauce and float to the top.

Seasoned korma with garam masala and salt to taste

Finished chicken shahi korma

This is too good! Really… you need to make this.


Chicken shahi korma

Dig in!

If you like this chicken shahi korma recipe, you might like t0 try some of these too.

Beef Biryani
Chicken Biryani
Chickpea Biryani
Chicken Karahi
Lamb Korma
Shami Kebab
Aloo Gobi
Lamb Nihari
Chapli Kebabs
Lamb Seekh Kebabs
Staff Chicken Curry
Butter Chicken
Chicken Haleem
Tarka Dal
Pilau Rice
Chicken Tikka Masala
Grilled Lamb Chops
Lamb Tikka
Spicy Kashmiri Lamb Chops


Have you tried this chicken shahi korma recipe?

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Yield: 4

Chicken Shahi Korma

Finished chicken shahi korma
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1kg chicken, I used legs and thighs on the bone, skinned and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp plain natural yoghurt
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced and cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) pieces
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 40g (1/2 cup) almond flakes, soaked in water for about 10 minutes or longer
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 - 3 green finger chilli, finely chopped (optional for more heat)
  • 120g (1/2 cup) plain natural yoghurt
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 Indian bay leave (cassia leaf)
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 green cardamom pods, smashed and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) water (approx.)
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala


  1. Put the chicken pieces in a mixing bowl and add the chilli powder, salt and yoghurt and mix well with your hands until the chicken is evenly coated in the marinade. Allow to marinate while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. Heat the oil and ghee over a medium high heat in a karahi or large sauce pan. When visibly hot, stir in the sliced onions and sprinkle the salt over them which will help caramelise them. Fry, stirring regularly for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the onions are a deep golden brown. Transfer the fried onions to a plate to cool. Set aside.
  3. At this point, you could discard all but about 3 tbsp of the oil and ghee in the pan but it would be left in when cooked the traditional way. Add the marinated chicken to the hot fat and fry over medium high heat for about 10 minutes or until nicely browned and about 80% cooked through.
  4. While you are cooking the chicken, prepare the korma paste. This and frying the onions can be done up to a day before cooking if more convenient. Place the soaked almond flakes, garlic and ginger paste, fried onions, green chillies, if using and yoghurt and blend to a smooth, creamy paste. If needed you can add a drop of water to do this. Set aside.
  5. Returning to the chicken, it should be nicely browned and almost cooked through, sizzling in that flavoured oil. Stir in the whole spices and fry for about a minute to infuse their flavour into the oil. Then stir in the korma paste. Be sure to get it all by adding about 70ml (1/4 cup) water to your blender and swishing it around to get the paste from the sides and pour that in too.
  6. Stir it all up so that the chicken is coated with the korma sauce and then cover the pan and simmer over a low to medium heat for 15 minutes. When you lift the lid, the oil will have separated from the sauce and will be floating on top. That is how this korma should look but feel free to skim some of that oil out if you want.
  7. Try the curry and season with salt to taste. Stir in the garam masala and serve garnished with chopped coriander and/or toasted almond flakes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1237Total Fat: 77gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 42gCholesterol: 371mgSodium: 2542mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 99g

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Jim Boylan

Saturday 2nd of December 2023

Thanks Dan for the recipe i was searching for it for a long time ,i came to the correct place in the curry bible.

Dan Toombs

Sunday 3rd of December 2023

Great to hear. Thanks for letting me know. Dan


Tuesday 8th of August 2023

Can you double the quantities?

Dan Toombs

Friday 11th of August 2023

Yes you can but be a bit careful with any hot spices, maybe add those to taste. Thanks Dan

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