Chicken Korma is mildly spiced Indian chicken curry made with whole aromatic spices like cardamom, cloves, black pepper, and cumin that are simmered in a light and flavorful yogurt based sauce. This healthy curry along with pot in pot rice makes a delicious and healthy Indian Instant Pot Dinner in under 30 minutes.
This simple curry never fails to please adults and children. With delicate aromas from whole spices and a mild yogurt-based sauce, this chicken korma makes a yummy everyday meal. It is a great dish for someone who is new to Indian food or is looking for a mild yet flavorful take on Indian curries.
What is Korma?
Korma is a mildly spiced flavorful Indian curry with chicken, fish or vegetables braised in a mildly spiced yogurt, coconut or nut based sauce. There are many variations of the Korma or Kurma as they call in South India.
Chicken Korma Variations
In addition to this light yogurt based Chicken Korma, here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy korma:
- Shahi Chicken Korma – Creamy chicken curry with a hint of sweetness studded with nuts and raisins
- Veg Kurma – South Indian vegetarian curry with a creamy coconut based sauce.
- Navratan Korma – A Royal Mughlai dish with mixed vegetables and creamy cashew sauce. This recipe is in my The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook
- White Chicken Korma – Creamy chicken curry in a white nutty sauce. Similar to the Shahi Korma recipe, no tomatoes and substitute red chili powder with white pepper and green chiles. Recipe coming up!
If you enjoy eating chicken drumsticks or legs, this would be a perfect curry recipe for you to try. This korma can also be made with chicken thighs or breasts with or without bones, although I would recommend making this with thigh meat for a moist and flavorful curry.
Step by Step Chicken Korma Instant Pot recipe:
Step 1: Heat oil and sauté cardamom, cloves, black pepper and cumin for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes as the onions turn translucent. You may cover the pot with a non locking glass lid to speed up the cooking of onions.
Step 2: Add remaining spices, ginger, garlic and chicken
Step 3: Here is an optional step is you would like to make pot in pot rice at the same time. Rinse and drain white rice. Add rice, water and salt in a stainless steel pot. Then place a tall trivet in the main pot over the chicken and place the rice container over it.
Step 4: Close the Instant Pot with the pressure cooking valve to sealing and Pressure cook for 8 minutes. Allow 5 minute natural pressure release and then release the remaining pressure by moving the pressure release valve from sealing to venting. open the Instant Pot and carefully take out the rice and the trivet
Step 5: Add few spoonfuls of the curry to the yogurt and mix well. Stir in the yogurt in the chicken korma and gently mix.
Here is an important tip to prevent curdling of the yogurt. Adding a few spoons of hot curry to the yogurt, to bring up the temperature of the yogurt which will prevent curdling. Adding cold yogurt directly to hot curry can cause the curry to curdle.
Step 6: Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with hot steamed rice. Be sure to pick out and discard the whole spices while you eat.
Enjoy Indian curries? Here are some of my popular Instant Pot curry recipes:
- Healthy “Butter” Chicken
- Prawn Masala
- Restaurant Fav Chicken Tikka Masala
- Mom’s Authentic Chicken Curry
- Indian Fish Curry
- Quick and Easy Kheema Curry
- Royal Mughlai Chicken Korma
- Spicy Homestyle Chicken Karahi
Looking for vegetarian options or trying to include more plant-based meals in your diet? Then check out my easy vegetarian recipes for dinner.
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- 1.5 pounds chicken thighs cut into pieces I used 6 skinless drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 4 green cardamom whole
- 4 whole cloves
- 12 black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ - 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup full fat or greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped, for garnish
- 1 cup basmati rice rinsed and drained
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Turn the Instant Pot to sauté mode and heat oil. Add whole spices (cardamom, cloves, black pepper and cumin). Saute for 30 secs.
Add onion and mix well. Saute for 2 minutes covered with glass lid.
Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, red chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander and salt. Mix well.
Add chicken, mix well to evenly coat all the spices to the chicken.
- Add ¼ cup of water. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 8 mins followed by 5 min Natural release.
Open the Instant Pot, add a few spoonfuls of hot curry to the yogurt and mix well. This step is important to avoid the cold yogurt getting split in the curry.
Cook on Saute mode to thicken the sauce. Garnish with chopped cilantro! Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with hot steamed rice. Be sure to pick out and discard the whole spices while you eat.
- We enjoy this curry a bit soupy. If you want a thick curry, reduce the ¼ cup water by adding only 2 tbsp of water and saute in the end for few extra minutes.
- For boneless chicken thighs or breasts - cook for 5 mins followed by 10 minute natural pressure release.
Pot in Pot Rice
- In step 5, before closing the Instant pot, add rice, water and salt to a stainless steel pot.
- Place a tall trivet in the Instant and place the rice pot over it.
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Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live in New Jersey with my husband and two sons.