Shahi Chicken Korma on a plate
Bangladesh Chicken Dinner India Lunch Mid-East/Mediterranean Pakistan

Divine Shahi Chicken Korma Recipe

The thought of biting into succulent chicken pieces drenched in a rich, creamy sauce, bursting with aromatic spices that makes you hungry immediately is what this Shahi chicken korma recipe is about.

Shahi Chicken Korma isn’t just any dish—it’s a royal treat inspired by the culinary traditions of the Mughal emperors who once ruled India. The word “Shahi” translates to “royal,” and “korma” refers to a style of cooking where meat is braised with yogurt, cream, and a blend of spices. Now, before I get you confused, let’s talk about the difference between “chicken korma” and Shahi “chicken korma.”

What is the difference between ‘Chicken Korma’ and ‘Shahi Chicken Korma’?

Once upon a time (I like that), there was chicken korma which, as you already know while reading, is chicken braised with yogurt, cream, and spices. Sometime later (I do not know how long is later here, honestly), Shahi chicken korma came along which is a luxurious rendition of the same Indian dish where the curry is prepared with almonds, cashews, and saffron. As they were expensive and considered a mark of luxury and refinement, Shahi chicken korma then adds a regal touch to the traditional chicken korma. Alright!

Both dishes typically employ a base of Indian spices which may be ground together with ginger paste. Despite their differences, Chicken Korma and Shahi Chicken Korma remain popular dishes that represent the breadth of Indian cuisine’s indulgent and aromatic offerings.

AspectChicken KormaShahi Chicken Korma
CreaminessUses heavy cream or coconut milkOften includes extra cream for richer taste
SpicesAromatic blend of spicesMay offer more elaborate spice mix
NuttinessSometimes contains nuts like cashewsOften has ground nuts such as almonds
TextureCreamy sauceSauce tends to be thicker, smoother
FlavorSubtle spicing with medium heatSweeter and milder with added fruit like raisins or apricots

Shahi Chicken Korma Recipe Ingredients and How-tos

  • Chicken: Typically uses bite-sized chicken breast pieces.
  • Aromatic Spices: Green cardamom pods, and a mix of ground spices which may include cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
  • Creamy Base: Heavy cream or coconut milk forms the luscious sauce.
  • Acidic Component: A splash of lemon juice enhances the flavors.
  • Thickening Agents: Ground poppy seeds or nuts like cashews are blended to create a thick consistency.
Marinate for Shahi chicken korma recipe

Moreover, ginger paste, a crucial component, adds a warm and zesty profile. While cooking, a cup of water or hot water ensures the chicken cooks thoroughly, and the sauce attains the desired consistency.

Chicken in marinate for korma recipe

To make Shahi Chicken Korma, marinate chicken in yogurt, ginger, and garlic, then cook it with onions, spices, and a blend of ground almonds and cashews. Add cream and simmer until the chicken is tender and the sauce is rich and creamy. Garnish with saffron strands and serve with naan or rice.

Marinated korma and other ingredients

Serving Suggestions for Chicken Korma

  • Basmati Rice: A bowl of steamed Basmati rice makes for a classic partner with its fluffy grains that absorb the korma’s sauce beautifully.
  • Naan or Roti: Scoop up generous amounts of sauce and chicken using freshly made, warm naan or roti for an authentic Indian meal experience.
  • Lemon Wedges: Adding a squeeze of lemon juice can bring a burst of freshness to cut through the richness of the dish.
  • Coriander Leaves: A sprinkle of finely chopped coriander leaves adds a hint of freshness and color.
  • Side Salad: A simple side salad of onions, cucumber, and tomatoes with a splash of lemon juice pairs well with the creaminess of the korma.
  • Raita: A cooling raita, made from yogurt mixed with cucumber or pineapple, offers a delightful contrast to the medium heat of the korma.

Keeping Leftover Shahi Chicken Korma

  • Cooling: Transfer leftover Shahi chicken korma to a shallow container and let it cool for no more than two hours before refrigerating.
  • Storing: Place the cooled dish in an airtight container to preserve taste and store it in the refrigerator ideally at or below 40°F (4°C). Refrigerated Korma should be eaten within 3 to 4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, Chicken Korma can be frozen. Use a freezer-safe container and consume within 3 months for best quality.
  • Reheating: Ensure to reheat Chicken Korma thoroughly to at least 165°F (74°C). Stir occasionally for even heating. If you’ve frozen it, thaw it in the fridge before reheating.

Tips and Tricks

Creating a delectable Shahi Chicken Korma is an art that leans heavily on nuances in preparation and handling of the ingredients. Here are some insights to elevate your cooking experience:

  • Quality Spices: Ensure that your spices are fresh for the most vibrant flavors. Roasting them briefly can unlock even more aroma.
  • Balancing Heat: While Korma is known for its creamy texture, getting the right amount of heat is necessary. Cook on medium heat to allow the flavors to meld properly without burning the spices.
  • Marination: Letting the chicken marinate for a couple of hours in yogurt and a blend of spices can render it exceptionally tender and flavorful.
  • Grinding Spices: If possible, grind your own spices rather than using pre-ground ones. A food processor can be used to create a finer blend that integrates seamlessly into the sauce.
  • Layering Flavors: Don’t rush the cooking process. Add ingredients in stages to build complex layers of flavor. Each component from ginger paste to green cardamom pods has a role to play.
  • Consistency Control: Use hot water sparingly to reach your desired sauce thickness. Remember, it’s easier to thin out a sauce than to thicken it.
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Shahi Chicken Korma on a plate

Divine Shahi Chicken Korma Recipe

  • Author: Magida
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: cooking
  • Cuisine: Indian


Shahi Chicken Korma is a regal dish that hails from the royal kitchens of India. This luxurious stew combines tender chicken pieces with a rich and creamy sauce, infused with a blend of aromatic spices.



1 kg chicken cut into pieces

for the marinade:

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp garam masala

red chili powder to taste

3 green chillies, sliced (optional)

1 tsp salt

for the gravy and sauteeing

3 tbsps ghee

6 cloves

3 pcs green cardamom

810 pieces almonds

1215 pieces raw or roasted cashews

3 teaspoons coriander powder

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 large white onion, sliced thinly (about 2 cups)

hot water (to be used sparingly)

coriander leaves (for garnishing)


  • Mix the marinate ingredients until smooth. Add chicken pieces and mix; make sure that all the chicken pieces are well covered by the marinade. Set aside.
  • Dry roast cloves, cardamom, and coriander powder in a pan over medium heat. Cool down and remove from pan. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in the same pan, add onions, and fry until light brown. Add cashews and almonds and store for no more than a couple of minutes. Set aside.
  • Blend roasted spices, onions and nut mixture, and ground coriander in a blender to create a puree. Add water if the mixture is dry.
  • Over medium fire, heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan. Add marinated chicken and stir until the mixture comes to a soft boil. Lower the heat.
  • Add the pureed mixture and cook covered for 30 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • Adjust seasonings to your taste.
  • Serve and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Keywords: Shahi chicken korma

Frequenty Asked Questions Regarding Shahi Chicken Korma Recipe

Can I use other meat with Shahi korma recipe?

Absolutely, you can modify the traditional Shahi Chicken Korma recipe to include a variety of meats according to your preference or dietary requirements. Lamb, beef, or goat meat make excellent substitutes and follow a similar preparation process. For a vegetarian twist, paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or a medley of vegetables can stand in as a hearty alternative. When substituting with a different type of meat, remember to adjust cooking times accordingly to ensure that the meat is tender and fully cooked through.

Can I cook Shahi chicken korma ahead of serving time?

Shahi Chicken Korma is a dish that benefits from slow cooking and a little patience, which makes it a perfect candidate for working ahead. Preparing some elements of the dish in advance can enhance its flavors. You can marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator, to allow the spices to permeate the meat thoroughly. The ground spice mix, ginger-garlic paste, and the nuts and poppy seed paste can also be prepared beforehand. Furthermore, you can cook the korma entirely and refrigerate it, as the flavors often develop and intensify over time. When ready to serve, gently reheat the korma on the stove, adding a little water if necessary to adjust the consistency.

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