Hyderabadi sesame-coconut chicken korma

Hyderabadi sesame-coconut chicken korma

Anjum's Quick & Easy Indian
Lisa Linder

This is a great, easy korma recipe to have on hand: creamy, coconutty and mild. I have kept it white to reflect the flavours coming your way. This is based on a version from Hyderabad that uses a lot of different nuts and seeds. I have picked sesame in the form of tahini paste here, but, if you don’t have tahini or don’t like it, leave it out, it will still taste great, or add some pine nuts or peanuts instead. If you are an Indian food aficionado and have whole spices close to hand, add 2 black and 6 green cardamom pods, 3 cloves and a cinnamon stick and cut back on the prepared garam masala. I serve this korma sprinkled with store-bought crispy shallots that I keep at home, and eat it with Indian breads or a simple pilaf.


Quantity Ingredient
40g root ginger, coarsely chopped, (peeled weight)
200g plain yogurt
70g creamed coconut block
40g ground almonds or cashews
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds, (optional)
2 largish onions, finely sliced
4 fat garlic cloves, grated
8 skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into large cubes
or 4 chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon tahini paste, or to taste
75-100ml single cream, to taste
small handful coriander leaves, chopped
handful shop-bought crispy shallots, (optional)


  1. Blend together the ginger, yogurt, coconut, nuts, black pepper and some salt. (I use a hand-held blender for this.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the black cumin seeds and follow 30 seconds later with the onions; cook until soft and just browning at the edges. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, or until it smells cooked. Add the yogurt mix and cook, stirring, until it comes to the boil. Simmer, stirring very often, until it reduces completely and releases oil back into the pan, around 15 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken, garam masala, tahini, a little more seasoning and about 200 ml of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked, five or six minutes: pierce a large piece to its centre, the juices should run clear. If there is any trace of pink, cook for a couple of minutes more, then test again. Take off the heat and stir in the cream and coriander. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve, sprinkled with crispy shallots (if using).
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