My chicken korma

My chicken korma

Indian Food Made Easy
Vanessa Courtier

Korma is the name given to any pale, creamy curry. It can be made with yoghurt, cream, nut and seed pastes and coconut – there don’t seem to be any rules. To me, korma comes from the tables of the Mogul royalty. It is usually quite rich but more delicate than many other curries. There is normally a little fried and ground coconut added to the dish but, as I wouldn’t go to the trouble of extracting the flesh from a coconut for such a small quantity, I opt for creamed coconut. In this recipe I have tried to restrain my use of the heavier dairy products, but if you wish you can replace some of the yoghurt in the marinade with cream. I think this curry is delicious and it’s really quick and easy to make.


Quantity Ingredient
700g bone-in small chicken joints, skinned and cleaned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
10 black peppercorns
10 green cardamom pods
1 black cardamom pod
10 cloves
1 shard cinnamon
1 piece mace
1-2 green chillies, left whole
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
200ml water
70g creamed coconut
3 tablespoons ground almonds
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
good pinch sugar
handful fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped


Quantity Ingredient
200ml plain yoghurt
1 heaped tablespoon garlic paste
1 heaped tablespoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons ground coriander


  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a non-metallic bowl, add the chicken, stir and marinate for at least 30 minutes or for as long as possible. Cover and put in the fridge, if you have the time to leave it longer. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and add the whole spices, give the pan a good stir and add the onion, green chillies and salt. Fry for about 6 minutes until the onions are golden. Add the chicken along with the marinade and the water. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, over a lowish heat for about 25–35 minutes, depending on the size of the joints, until the chicken is tender, stirring every now and then. Add a splash of water if the pan is getting dry at any stage. Stir in the coconut and almonds, and cook, uncovered, for another 3 minutes until the gravy is creamy.
  3. Add the garam masala, sugar and fresh coriander, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with rice or roti.
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