Chicken korma with yoghurt is a popular Indian curry flavoured with whole spices, fried onions and simmered in a spiced yoghurt sauce.
I learned to make this one-pot Chicken Korma with yoghurt from my friend, Aysha while in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. It amazes me how I favour other cuisines over mine and am unapologetic about it. While they devour our sambar and dosas, we drown in their tandoors and naans, isn't it? Food brings people together and our nation is a beautiful example of it. But I hope I am forgiven for making this Chicken Korma simple and easy for our everyday meal. 😛
Aysha's chicken korma
I watched Aysha, my Urdu-speaking friend from Meerut make this lip-smacking chicken korma for our girls-only night. It definelty seemed like a labour of love because she made each step with so much love and care. She served with Tandoori roti which came from a Pakistani restaurant in the city. It was a killer combo! I was salivating and still do whenever I recreate it in my kitchen. A dish that has pleasant memories of Yanbu life.
While she made it the traditional way of making crispy fried onions first and keeping them aside for adding at the end, I chose to make it all in one pot. Saves time, energy and dishwashing!
You should try this recipe because....
- Uses pantry ingredients and not store-bought spice mixes.
- Thick and saucy gravy so you can serve with bread and rice.
- Uses black cardamom that gives this korma a distinctive flavour.
Ingredients for chicken korma
- Fat/Oil: I have used a mix of ghee and sunflower oil. Don't skimp.
- Whole spices: You will need all these: bay leaf, cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom, black peppercorns and cumin seeds.
- Veggies: You need red onions, coriander leaves and green chillies.
- Meat: I have used a skinless whole chicken cut into 8 to 12 pieces.
- ginger garlic paste: You can use freshly grated ginger and garlic, no judgement. 😛
- Ground spices: I have used coriander powder, red chilli powder and my Pakistani garam masala.
- yoghurt: I have used full-fat milk yoghurt. I have not tried any other kind so can't suggest an alternative. If you did, do let us know in the comments.
- fried onions: makes a korma korma.
How to make chicken korma?
Making this chicken korma recipe in one pot is super easy! Check the recipe card for a detailed recipe and print version.
- Start with warming the whole spices in lots of ghee and oil. The spices can get burnt easily, so make sure that the oil in the pot does not get too hot before you add the spices.
- Fry the sliced onions until almost browned.
- Sear the chicken pieces until they turn white.
- Add ginger garlic and all the ground spices with some salt and cook until oil releases.
- Whisk the yoghurt to smooth before you add it to the pot. Keep stirring until it all becomes one shade and starts to boil.
- Cover and cook on low while stirring occasionally.
- Finish off with fresh coriander, green chillies and fried onions.
Can we cook yoghurt?
I had shared this chicken korma with yoghurt recipe on Instagram stories and many of you tried and loved it. But some were uncomfortable with the thought of cooking the yoghurt for that long time. I understand because I had the same doubts. We South Indians are used to making yoghurt-based gravies like moru curry, thyir curry, etc. where we don't let the yoghurt boil and split. That doesn't mean cooking yoghurt is the wrong thing to do...those recipes don't call for it but most of the North Indian kormas rely on cooking the whisked yoghurt with the meat and trust me it is not unhealthy.
Tips to cook yoghurt
- Make sure you use room temperature yoghurt. So take out the required quantity and keep it on the counter before you began making this korma. If you use cold yoghurt, then it tends to curdle quickly causing the texture of the korma unpleasant to the eye. If your korma gets curdled as soon as you add the yoghurt, then make sure to keep whisking until they get back together.
- Add the yoghurt only after the chicken pieces are almost cooked. They should have turned white and browned. The best way to sear meat is to cook it on medium to high flame and turn them often to brown evenly.
If you love mint and coriander, then you should try my Hariyali Murgh Korma recipe.
Easy Chicken Korma with Yoghurt
For the Korma
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cloves
- 4 green cardamom
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large onion sliced thinly
- 800 grams skinless whole chicken cut into 12 to 14 pieces, washed and pat dried
- 1½ tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala use my recipe
- 2 cups whisked full-fat yoghurt room temperature
- 1 potato chopped chunky (optional)
- Salt to taste
Finish off with
- Fresh coriander leaves chopped
- 2 green chillies chopped
- ¼ cup fried onions optional but recommended
- Heat ghee and oil in a thick-bottomed curry pot. Add all the whole spices (bay leaf, cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom, pepper, cumin seeds) and fry until fragrant.
- Add the onions and fry until almost browned. Remove and keep aside a tablespoon of fried onions for garnishing at the end.
- Add the chicken pieces and cook on medium to high flame until the chicken meat turns white and is browned.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute until they are no longer raw.
- Add the spice powders (red chilli, coriander and garam masala) along with some salt and cook until fragrant and oil releases.
- Stir the whisked yoghurt and salt and mix thoroughly. Keep stirring the pan so the yoghurt water evaporates and brings on the korma texture.
- Cover and cook on a low to medium flame for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. If you plan to add potatoes, then add them and cook until both chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
- Stir in the green chillies, chopped coriander leaves and crushed fried onions and boil open for two minutes or until oil surfaces. Switch off and serve with fresh rice or any Indian bread.