Saffron chicken korma served in a dish

Saffron chicken korma

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr Plus marinating


Serves 4 as a main or 8 as part of a multi-course meal

Add saffron to this chicken korma, or zafran murgh korma, to give it a lovely colour and make it very special. Serve this mild chicken curry as a main course or as part of an Indian feast

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: Per serving (4)

  • kcal602
  • fat42g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs21g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre2g
  • protein34g
  • salt1.6g


  • 500g Turkish or Greek yogurt (10% fat)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger paste
  • 8 medium skinless chicken thighs on the bone



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  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • large pinch good-quality saffron



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 medium white onions, evenly and thinly sliced into rings



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • whole garam masala (2 Indian bay leaves, 1-inch long piece cassia bark, 3 green cardamom pods and 1 clove )
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • small handful of almond flakes, to garnish


    arr-mund or al-mund

    Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…


  1. Combine the yogurt with the garlic and ginger pastes in a large bowl or casserole dish. Add the chicken thighs, then spoon over the marinade, making sure that the chicken is totally covered. Cover and chill for 30 mins. Gently warm the milk in a pan. Don’t let it boil; it should only be tepid as you do not want to scald the saffron. Touch the surface of the milk to check the temperature, then when the milk is tepid, take off the heat, add the saffron strands and leave to infuse.

  2. In a deep pan or wok that has a lid, heat the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and fry gently, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelised, about 10-15 mins. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions from the pan, leaving as much of the oil in the pan as possible, and place on a plate to drain. Spread the onion rings across the plate so they crisp as they cool.

  3. Add the whole garam masala to the pan with the oil in. After a few seconds, add the ground coriander and continue to cook, stirring. After 1 min, add the marinated chicken to the pan along with the marinade from the container. Keeping the heat on medium-high, continue stirring gently. After 5 mins, or when the oil separates from the yogurt and comes to the surface, add the chilli powder and 1 tsp salt. Lower the heat, cover the pan with the lid and simmer gently for 35 mins. The chicken is ready when the edges have softened and are slightly curled.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the saffron-infused milk, ground almonds and sugar. Stir the chicken gently to avoid breaking it up.

  5. Before serving, taste to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. Garnish with the flaked almonds and the fried onions.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Charlyne Evans's picture
Charlyne Evans
20th Jan, 2020
Easy and delicious! I didn’t have cassia bark so I used ground garam masala instead of whole, it turned out very tasty.
7th May, 2020
How much ground garam masala did you use?
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