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Hyderabadi chicken korma

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

A korma is one of India’s classic curries. Developed in the kitchens of the Mughal empire, a korma is a rich dish made for royalty. A korma is traditionally made from ground nuts, meat and cooked in a cream or yogurt base with lots of caramelized onions. This version from the city of Hyderabad, is decadent, packed with flavor and a treat on any table. The combination of spices are a balancing act of flavors that are subtle and luxurious. The addition of green chilies as a garnish adds that kick of spice for those that desire it. We serve this korma with rice or traditional sheermal, a bread that is specific to Hyderabad and has a history of over 150 years.

Also check out this amazing Chicken pista korma on this blog.

For more of my own recipes click here.


1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 2 lbs of chicken pieces of your choice

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

6 green cardamom

4 cloves

2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste

1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

2 cups yogurt, preferably whole milk, whisked smooth

1/2 cup cilantro, minced + 2 tablespoons for garnish

1/2 cup mint, minced +.2 tablespoons for garnish

2 green chilies, diced fine + 2-4 kept whole for garnish

2 lbs medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

1-1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water

Salt to taste

For the korma spice mix:

3 cups yellow onions, sliced fine

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup desiccated coconut powder

1/2 cup cashew nuts

1/2 cup almonds

1 cinnamon stick about 2 inches long

12 green cardamom

12 whole cloves

1/2 cup poppy seeds

1/2 cup water or more as needed

To make the korma paste:

Add the oil to a pot and heat on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté till well browned, about 10-15 minutes. Drain from the oil and set aside. Set tha pot aside to be used later, no need to wash.

Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add the whole spices, nuts and seeds individually and toast lightly. Remove, cool and grind into a fine powder in a spice grinder or coffee mill. Set aside.

Mix the ground spices with the fried onions and water and purée to a smooth paste. You want the paste to be thick and smooth, add just enough water to allow the paste to slide down the sides of the blender to be puréed well.

To make the korma:

To the pot from the previous step, add 3 tablespoons oil. Add the chicken taking care not to crowd them. Fry till we’ll browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Add a tablespoon of oil if needed, and add the cinnamon spice, cloves and green cardamom and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chili powder and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the ground korma paste and sauté for on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Till the paste is cooked and the oils begin to get released. Add the yogurt, mint, cilantro and green chilies and cook on medium height heat stirring often till the oil releases from the sauce, about 20 minutes. At this point the sauce should be quite thick with the oil forming small puddles on the edges or the middle.

Add the chicken and potatoes back to the sauce with the stock/water and simmer for 20 minutes till the potatoes are cooked and the chicken is falling apart.

Take off the stove and add the mint, cilantro and green chili garnish. Serve immediately.

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