Time to add in one of the most quintessential and popular dishes from the Indian Subcontinent to GypsyPlate… Chicken Korma!!
Creamy, rich and finger licking, Korma is cooked slow and low with flavors created to suit the King’s palate. Korma is an iconic dish from India, with deep roots in Moghlai cuisine.
We will tell you all, and you would be surprised how easy it is to master this chicken recipe in your very own kitchen.
We decided to cook some Indian food for this Diwali, though this year my heart is very sad and heavy for my father, who passed away last year. This is the first Diwali without him. Living without your near and dear ones on special occasions and festivities is the hardest.
I am taking time to mention this in my regular recipe post for a reason. When I was cooking this chicken korma, some how it healed me a little bit. It distracted me from my sad thoughts, trying to follow the tips and tricks in an effort to make that perfect, good looking korma.
Never would I ever have thought that cooking some food would sooth my mourning heart. No wonder food is a major binding factor at both sad and happy times, like weddings and funerals.
My father was the biggest foodie out there, and this Moghlai Korma would surely have made him proud and happy.
What is Korma?
Korma literally means braising the meat. Mostly, it is braised in a velvety, yogurt or cream based sauce enhanced with ground nuts, cream and butter. End result? Kormas are rich and mild, yet finger licking delicious.
Korma is believed to have originated in the lavish Moghul cuisine. The Moghuls, who ruled the Indian subcontinent from the 16th to 19th century, were originally from Turkish Persia. They brought many cooking techniques and dishes from their native land, and then incorporated Indian ingredients.
In contemporary Korma recipes, cream or yogurt is often used in the making of the curry. Sometimes, usually in Southern India, the creaminess comes from coconut milk.
There are as many Korma recipes in the subcontinent as there are regions. Every region has a different base, garnish or spice combination, but the eventual creamy onion curry outcome is referred to as Korma.
Today I am using sour cream instead of yogurt for a creamier and tastier restaurant style korma.
Moghlai Chicken Korma Ingredients
- Chicken – I only use bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, as they are the best and tender, resulting in fall off the bone meat at the end. You can replace them boneless thighs, too.
- For the base of Korma – Onion, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, jalapeño.
- Sour Cream – In its absence, you can use yogurt.
- Spices – Cardamom pods, black cardamom, cumin seeds, bay leaves, whole cloves, Kashmiri Red Chili powder (or paprika), black pepper.
How to Make Chicken Korma
For making any korma, there’s one important step, and that is caramelizing the sliced onions and grinding them to a paste. A good korma always has that fried caramelized onion paste, which lends that authentic flavor, texture and beautiful color to the sauce.
Well, it takes time to caramelize the onions without burning them, but it’s well worth the effort. (You may find the caramelized onion in your local Indian grocery store)
Heat oil over medium heat and sauté sliced onions till they are dark brown in color. This would take at least 15-20 minutes, as you need to caramelize them without burning. For that, you need to always keep a close eye on your onions.
Once they are brown, grind your onion into paste with a dash of water. Keep it aside. Once this is done, the rest of the curry is quite easy.
Start making the base of korma by heating 2-3 Tbsp oil and adding in the chicken. Sauté well for 2-3 minutes.
Add in ginger garlic paste along with lime juice and sauté further for 5 minutes. Add in bay leaves, green and black cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, black pepper and red chili powder. Mix well, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add in tomatoes and jalapeño, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Uncover and cook till a lot of the water from tomatoes evaporates, and it becomes good masala mixture (about 15-20 minutes).
Add in sour cream and mix well. Add in brown onion paste and combine everything well. Cook a further 10-15 minutes until you start getting a beautiful creamy korma, the chicken is cooked to fall off the bone tender, and the oil starts to separate from the gravy.
Taste and adjust for salt. Garnish with lots of cilantro and sliced ginger, and serve immediately.
What to Serve Chicken Korma With
- Our first choice is, of course, piping hot basmati rice. Or, try it with Saffron Rice.
- One has to have some hot buttery naan bread, rotis or parathas for this beautifully flavored chicken curry.
- Have some Indian accompaniments like Raita or salad and you have one well rounded, nutritious meal.
Chicken Korma Variations
- Use yogurt instead of sour cream for a slightly different taste. Yogurt based kormas also have finger licking sauces.
- You can use other meats like goat, beef or shrimp in place of chicken.
- Some people skip tomatoes in their korma sauces.
- Grind some cashew nuts along with the fried onions to add nutty creaminess to your korma.
- Add in a few saffron threads for beautiful color.
How to Store Leftover Indian Korma
It’s great refrigerated for the next couple of days, stored in an air tight container. It tastes even better, as all the flavors have time to mingle with each other.
This korma freezes well for a couple of months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat it on stovetop with a dash of water, if necessary.
So there you go, one more delicious Indian Curry coming from our kitchen. Make this restaurant quality Chicken Korma, and share it with your precious loved ones.
Savor the moments with your family over your dinner table, and give them extra hugs. Take care…
Chicken Korma, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 6 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, cut into big chunks
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup oil (for frying onions) + 2-3 Tbsp oil
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 lime
- 2 Tbsp garlic paste
- 2 Tbsp ginger paste
- 1 jalapeño, chopped
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili powder (or paprika)
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 4-5 green cardamom pods
- 2 black cardamoms (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 5-6 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste
- Heat oil over medium heat and sauté sliced onions till they are dark brown in color. This would take at least 15 minutes, as you need to caramelize them without burning. For that, you need to always keep an close eye on your onions.
- Once onions are brown, make an onion paste with a dash of water in a blender. Keep it aside.
- Heat 2-3 Tbsp oil and add in chicken and sauté well for 2-3 minutes. Add in ginger, garlic paste along with lime juice and sauté a further for 5 minutes. Add in bay leaves, green and black cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, black pepper and red chili powder and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add in tomatoes and jalapeno, and cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook till much of the water from tomatoes evaporates, and it becomes a good masala mixture (about 15- 20 minutes).
- Add in sour cream and mix well. Add in brown onion paste and combine everything well. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until you start getting a beautiful creamy korma, the chicken is cooked to fall off the bone, and oil starts to separate from the gravy.
- Taste and adjust for salt.
- Garnish with lots of cilantro and sliced ginger. Serve immediately with naan bread and rice.
Never miss a recipe!
Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.