The ultimate makeover: Chicken korma

The ultimate makeover: Chicken korma

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 45 mins


Serves 4
Try this healthier, more fragrant version of a popular Indian classic

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal402
  • fat12g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre1g
  • protein43g
  • salt0.35g
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  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped



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

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • about 2cm piece fresh root ginger (to give you 2 tbsp finely chopped)



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 600g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

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

  • ¼ tsp ground mace
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 150ml natural yogurt, not fridge cold
  • 100ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 2 small green chillies, deseeded and shredded



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • handful coriander leaves and stems, coursely chopped
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted


    arr-mund or al-mund

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

  • 250g basmati rice, cooked with a generous pinch saffron


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a deep sauté pan or wok. Tip in the onions, then fry over a medium-high heat for about 12-15 mins, stirring occasionally, until a rich golden colour and the pan is sticky on the bottom. While they cook, chop the garlic and ginger. Make a slit down the length of each cardamom pod just deep enough to reveal the tiny seeds. Remove the onions from the heat. Transfer a third of them to a small blender along with the garlic, ginger and 2 tbsp water. Whizz together to make a paste that is as smooth as you can get it. Set aside.

  2. Return the onions in the pan to the heat, add the remaining oil, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, then stir-fry for a couple of mins. Stir in the chicken, ground coriander, 1¼ tsp of the garam masala, mace and black pepper, then stir-fry for another 2 mins. Reserve 3 tbsp of the yogurt, then slowly start to add the rest, 1 tbsp at a time, stirring between each spoonful. When all the yogurt has gone in, stir in the oniony paste and stir-fry for 2-3 mins. Stir in 150ml water, then the milk. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 20 mins, scattering in the chillies for the final 5 mins, by which time the chicken should be very tender. Remove the cardamom pods and cinnamon. The flavours mellow all the more if refrigerated overnight. When gently reheating, splash in a little water if needed to slacken the korma sauce.

  3. Finish by stirring in the chopped coriander. Taste and add a little salt if you wish. Swirl in the reserved yogurt. Spoon the korma into bowls, scatter a few almonds over each portion with a sprinkling of the remaining garam masala. Serve the saffron rice on the side.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Apr, 2012
Bah - how disappointing! I wish I'd read the other reviews first. Great ingredients; unfortunately no flavour. The coconut milk suggested by another reviewer would probably have helped. The chicken absorbed non of the flavour of the spices - so once you bite into the meat it's just bland. I'll stick to madhur jaffrey's recipe I think.
17th Oct, 2011
Great Recipe! I used chicken thighs as I prefer them and added more chillies and I don't de-seed as I like my curries hot. Really good flavour, toasted almonds add a lovely crunch.
12th Oct, 2011
The spices are gorgeous but I find yoghurt too sour so I added coconut milk instead. I feel it added more depth though obviously not as healthy!
20th Apr, 2011
Made this last night and it was OK, but only OK. Given the amount of effort taken I expected more. Won't be making again I'm afraid.
6th Oct, 2010
Added a little saffron just after the onion paste, and replaced any water with chicken stock. This gave the dish an extra depth and colour.
mrhallorann's picture
30th Jul, 2010
The spice mix in this recipe is gorgeous. To make it a little less healthy (and even more tasty!) just add an extra 200ml of greek yoghurt into the mix! Naughty, but nice! ;)
8th Nov, 2009
Having read the article in the mag, it sounded as if a lot of effort had gone into creating this recipe and making it healthy, but I found it was very disappointing. It lacked flavour, was too mild and it separated.
27th Oct, 2009
This was nice but doesn't have the real sweetness of a takeaway korma. Also the colour is a bit biege so doesn't look great. Nice but not for me
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11th Aug, 2013
I really enjoyed this recipe and added 1/2 a tin of low fat coconut milk instead of the water and sprinkled almond powder on top to serve.
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