Chicken Korma

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Kormas probably originated in some form in Persia and were brought to India by the Moghul Empire.

  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Northern India


  • 1lb (450g) chicken
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ½” (1cm) root ginger
  • ½ pint yoghurt
  • red or green chilli
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 black cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Seeds from 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1“(2.5 cm) stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • About a handful of fresh coriander leave


  1. Heat a dry frying pan and roast the coriander, cumin, poppy seeds, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon.
  2. Allow to cool and grind these together with the cardamom seeds, turmeric and nutmeg to a fine powder
  3. Chop the chicken into 1½” (4cm) cubes
  4. Coat the chicken with the spices, over and leave for a couple of hours (or in the fridge overnight)
  5. Finely chop the onion
  6. Crush and chop the garlic
  7. Finely chop the chilli
  8. Peel and very finely dice the ginger
  9. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  10. Put the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger into the pan
  11. After a few seconds, turn down the heat and continue cooking until the onions are nicely browned
  12. Remove from the pan and set aside
  13. If necessary add a little more oil to the pan and bring back to frying temperature.
  14. Put in the chicken with the spices and fry until the chicken is sealed and has all turned white
  15. Now reduce the heat to low, stir to prevent sticking.
  16. When the heat is reduced, add the yoghurt a little at a time stirring it in.
  17. Add the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger and stir this in.
  18. Now cover with a tight fitting lid and slowly cook for at least 45 minutes
  19. Chop the coriander leaves and either garnish or you can stir these into the dish

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