Saffron chicken korma

Saffron chicken korma

Spice Kitchen
Jana Liebenstein

The ancient Mughals laid down the foundations of classical Indian cuisine. They set up huge kitchens, staffed with hundreds of cooks, who vied with each other to produce innovative dishes using new techniques and ingredients. Korma comes from the word ‘quarama’, which means ‘braising in oil’. Kormas are mild, delicate and rich curries, best enjoyed in small quantities. Serve the korma with Pulao Rice and Parathas or Chapattis.


Quantity Ingredient
30g Ghee
or 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon whole mace
4 green cardamom pods
2.5cm cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 whole dried red chilli
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Ginger paste
3 teaspoons Garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, ground
60g plain yoghurt
1/2-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 6 pieces
1/2 teaspoon Saffron infusion
125ml pouring cream
55g ground almonds
unsalted roasted cashew nuts, to garnish
sultanas, to garnish
Pulao rice, to serve
Parathas, to serve
or Chapattis, to serve


  1. Heat the ghee or oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Sauté the mace, cardamom pods, cinnamon, cloves, chilli and onion, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the onion is golden brown. Stir in the ginger and garlic pastes and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add the turmeric and coriander and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the yoghurt and salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and stir to mix through, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir the saffron infusion, cream and ground almonds through the korma. Cover again, reduce the heat to very low and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the korma has thickened.
  4. Garnish with the nuts and sultanas. Serve hot.
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