Chicken Korma – A mildly spiced chicken curry made with whole spices like cardamom, cloves, black pepper, and cumin simmered in a light, flavorful yogurt based sauce!
After publishing several Instant Pot recipes, I realized that not everyone enjoys spicy foods. Some children might like to try Indian food but will not because it could be too spicy! As much as I love spices, I do not like them overpowering my food. Just because it is Indian food, it does NOT have to be spicy!
This simple Chicken Korma recipe is a perfect dish if you enjoy mild curries without worrying about possible heart burn.
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.
If you enjoy eating chicken drumsticks, this would be a perfect recipe for you to try. This curry 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. If you prefer a creamier curry, stir in a couple spoons of cashew cream (cashews soaked in warm milk and pureed) in the end.
Step by Step Chicken Korma Instant Pot recipe:
- Heat oil and saute whole spices (cardamom, cloves, black pepper and cumin) until aromatic. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes as the onions turn translucent.
- Add remaining spices, ginger, garlic and chicken
- Optional Step to make pot in pot rice – Carefully place a tall trivet in the main pot and place the rice pot over it. Close the Instant Pot and Pressure cook for 8 minutes.
- Open the Instant Pot and carefully take out the rice and the trivet
- Add few spoonfuls of the curry to the yogurt and mix well. Stir in the yogurt in the chicken korma and gently mix. PRO TIP – This step is very important to prevent curdling of the yogurt. Adding cold yogurt to hot curry can cause the curry to get curdled. By adding a few spoons of hot sauce to the yogurt brings up the temperature of the yogurt to prevent curdling.
- Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with hot steamed rice.
Chicken Korma Variations
Chicken Korma can be made in few different ways. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy korma:
- Chicken Korma – Which is this recipe with a light yogurt based sauce with whole spices.
- Shahi Chicken Korma – Creamy chicken curry with a hint of sweetness studded with nuts and raisins.
- 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.
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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 cloves
- 12 black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ - 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder or any mild red 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!
- 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 New Jersey with my husband and two sons.