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Chicken Korma - An Indian Recipe

Updated on February 10, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

Bronwen is interested in food, diet, and creating recipes, as she has prepared family meals and organised church and home functions.

Try Chicken Korma Without the Chillies

Near the end of the First World War, my Father-in-law sustained injuries in his lower leg from what were called shrapnel wounds, but were actually wounds caused by fragmentation. The fragments were left in and after a time the exterior wounds healed and he was sent home to Scotland to recuperate. Soon after the war ended he decided to go to India where his cousin was a Presbyterian Minister; he found work in Assam as a tea-planter and stayed there for some time.

Father-in-law had many interesting stories to tell about his adventures and I'm sure some of them were exaggerated, but the thing I enjoyed hearing about most was the food. He remembered many of the recipes and passed them on. He loved hot curries, right until he died, but unfortunately my tummy does not. However, there are several recipes that I make now without the chillies and curry and I love them; for me they are real comfort food. I have already written about one of them: Tomato Boortha. You can find that recipe in the link given below. Chicken Korma is another that I love. It is sometimes spelled 'Koormah.' The Korma mix really should have the chillies, so I will add those as optional.

To begin with, sour curds or yoghurt is needed. He always called it 'dhye.'

How to Make Dhye


1 litre of milk

Half a lemon

  • Warm about half a litre of milk until it is lukewarm or slightly warmer.
  • Slice half a lemon, removing pips.
  • Add lemon slices to milk.
  • Cover and leave in a warm place for about 24 hours; by then it should be set like a junket.
  • Remove lemon slices.
  • Mix in another half litre of warmed milk.
  • Cover and leave for another twenty-four hours.
  • If you want to keep making curds, remove about half to use and repeat the process.

How to Make Dhye, or Sour Curds

Yoghurt, Sour Curds or Dhye has been made traditionally and used for centuries right from Eastern Europe to China. It was considered good for the health and as an aid to digestion and was eaten by people of all classes and castes and even by nomadic tribes. It was, and still is, eaten by itself, used in the preparation of many different dishes, and eaten with rice, salt, sugar or fruit. Of course, now it is used in most countries in the world.

Dhye, as I shall refer to it for this purpose, is the basis of many Indian dishes and while yoghurt can easily be substituted for it, I prefer to make it myself. I use either fresh milk or reconstituted powdered milk and either full cream or skim; it seems to work for any kind of milk.

Make the turmeric and garlic into a paste
Make the turmeric and garlic into a paste | Source

Recipe for the Chicken Korma

Note: Chicken pieces can be used instead of breast, but allow more weight if there are a lot of bones.

  • Cut 1kg or about 2 lbs chicken breasts into smallish pieces.
  • In a mortar and pestle, grind to a paste 1 heaped teaspoon ground Turmeric and 1 clove garlic.
  • Put the paste in a large bowl and mix with 3 tablespoons dhye.
  • Add the chicken and marinade for about an hour.

Add the Chicken tand Marinade
Add the Chicken tand Marinade | Source

Rate this Recipe

5 stars from 2 ratings of Chicken Korma

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Serves about six people


  • 2-3 ozs ghee, or butter or oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, finely sliced
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon, at least 2 inches long
  • 6 whole cardamoms
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes, (may be omitted)


  1. Put all the ingredients into a pot and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is almost clear.
  2. Add the chicken and marinade. Mix lightly, but well. Cover pot with a heavy lid and simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Do not add any extra liquid.
  3. Add salt and lemon juice to taste.
  4. Serve with Coconut rice (see Tomato Boortha recipe). Vegetables, washed, drained, cut into small sizes and fried with curry and spices in a little ghee or oil may also be served.

Eating Indian Food

To eat Indian food traditionally, fingers are used; most children love the excuse to do this. There are rules and to do it properly needs a little practice. Only the fingers of the right hand are used and the food must not touch the palm of the hand. Spoons and forks can also be used.

It is helpful to provide a finger-bowl of clean water to which a slice of lemon or a little lemon juice has been added, and, of course provide a napkin for drying the fingers.

Serve with Coconut Rice and Vegetables
Serve with Coconut Rice and Vegetables | Source


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    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Lady E: When I make it myself I know what's in it and that there are no nasty additives. Thank you for your vote.

    • Lady_E profile image


      5 years ago from London, UK

      I always buy it ready made in the Supermarket. Now, I can cook it by myself.... thanks to you. 5 Star.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Eiddwen: That was fun. Hope the recipe works well for you. It's a pleasure to share.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      We went out for a meal last night and I had Chicken Korma;I am looking forward to trying out your recipe and thank you for sharing.Eddy.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Life Iz Beautiful: It's probably best the traditional way, with the chilli, but now I'm older I can't have the chilli any more, so it's great that I can still enjoy such lovely recipes. Thank you for your vote. Hope you have a great day tomorrow.

    • Life Iz Beautiful profile image


      5 years ago from India

      Sounds and looks delicious... as an Indian I love spices but your recipe with chilli as optional also looks equally tempting and yummm...

      Thanks for sharing.

      Voted useful and up.

      Have a great day ahead...:D

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Michael-Milec: It's not really in mine, either, but it tastes great. Hope you do try and that you enjoy it.

      MsDora: You can make it the proper way, then, with the chillies added. It's just that my tummy cannot cope with them any more. Hope you enjoy it.

      teaches12345: Thank you. It's very satisfying and not so time-consuming to make, either.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I would love a bowl of this Indian recipe right now! What a delightful mixture of foods. Love it!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sounds and looks appetizing. I love curry too. The ginger pieces are an interesting addition. Thanks for sharing.

    • Michael-Milec profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds delicious , looks wonderful, a recipe easy though unknown in my cultural background . However I'm encouraged to give it a try.

      Thank you Blossom SB.

      Stay blessed.

      Voted Up & useful.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      aviannovice: It is, that's why I call it 'comfort food.' It's better still with the chillies, but it's still great this way.

      always exploring: Thank you for your comments.

      mours sshields: Tastes good, too.

      Frank Atanacio: It's simple and quick to make and worth the effort, too. Thank you for your comment.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      looks easy thanks blossoms for this share :)

    • profile image

      mours sshields 

      6 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      Sounds and looks great! Thank-you for sharing!

      Marcia Ours

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Aha, The finished dish looks delicious. Thank's for sharing..

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This sure sounds terrific. I adore Indian food.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Frangipanni: Thank you. I love it.

      Indian Chef: All the spices smell so lovely when it is cooking, too. Thank you for your lovely comments.

      Vacation Trip: It's one of my favourites and a really healthy dish, too.

      Genna East: It tastes good, with or without the chillies, but as I said, my elderly tummy can't cope with the heat any more.

      phdast7: It is a great alternative. I guess you could go part-way, too, and just add a little of the heat.

      Bake Like a Pro: Thank you. It's a pleasure to share meals that I enjoy.

    • Bake Like a Pro profile image

      Bake Like a Pro 

      6 years ago

      What a simple and delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This sounds and looks wonderful. Like you, I do not care for much heat in my food. This is a great alternative. :)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      This looks delicious! Thank you for the recipe. :-)

    • Vacation Trip profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Wow. this is so well written an interesting hub. Chicken Korma is one of my favorite dish. Thanks for sharing useful points.

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 

      6 years ago from New Delhi India

      Korma is one of my favourite dish. I really love it rich aroma and curd which you explained is extensively used in our cooking and in meat dishes it is used to marinate chicken and lamb. voting up and sharing.

    • Frangipanni profile image


      6 years ago

      Yum, I can almost taste your Korma Blossom. Thanks for sharing.


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