Chicken Coconut Korma

4.82 from 11 votes

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Chicken Coconut Korma is one of our favorite Indian dishes. It is SO easy to make at home! You will love the bright, savory flavor with a hint of coconut.

Chicken Coconut Korma with a piece of cilantro in a black bowl with a side of white rice.
Featured with this recipe
  1. The Difference Between Korma and Curry
  2. Ingredients in Chicken Coconut Korma
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. More Indian Recipes
  5. How to Make Chicken Coconut Korma
  6. Chicken Coconut Korma Recipe

My cousin’s wife, Kristen, made this Chicken Coconut Korma for us when we were living in California and my husband and I were both crazy about it. They were really the first to introduce us to Indian food and now it is something we get ALL THE TIME because we fell head over heels in love. In fact, shortly after that, we had Indian neighbors move in to the apartment next door and I could always smell the yummy spices of the food she was making. I wanted to invite myself over for dinner every day. I miss the delicious smells from that time.

Our good friend, Meena, is also from India. She is an incredible cook. Meena introduced us to real Indian food, with fresh, authentic ingredients. She would go to India and bring back spices with her because they were so much better over there than anything we have in America. She gave me a little bag of her spice mix and I still have some. I only use it for special occasions, and sometimes I sneak into my cupboard and open the bag just to breathe in the incredible scent.

The Difference Between Korma and Curry

Curry means ‘sauce or gravy’. It is a popular Indian dish that is heavily spiced and very flavorful. Korma is a type of curry originating in South India. The korma is known for its mild flavor and creamier texture, which comes from the use of yogurt in it. Kormas are known to contain ground and sometimes whole nuts, as well as pieces of fruit. They are spiced more for flavor rather than heat.

Ingredients in Chicken Coconut Korma

Chicken Spice Marinade:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Tumeric
  • Cayenne

Chicken Coconut Korma:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Tumeric
  • Cayenne
  • Tomatoes – lightly blended, or one can diced tomatoes
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Coconut milk
  • Garam masala

Frequently Asked Questions

Is korma supposed to be spicy?

Korma is not spiced and flavored for heat and ‘spiciness’ but more for flavor. The different elements in a korma could provide a level of ‘spice’ if used in high amounts, but the end goal of using the different spices, the garam masala, the coriander, the cayenne, are to bring heat and warmth, not spice. Korma is nice for people who love rich, intense flavor without the burning of spice.

Is korma supposed to be sweet?

Chicken coconut korma contains coconut milk, so there is a light sweetness. It is a nice balance to the other flavors, but not cloyingly sweet or fake tasting.

What does a korma taste like?

Kormas are typically creamy and sweet, gathering flavors from either coconut milk, yogurt, cream, or butter, sometimes using nuts, depending on the flavor you are going for. The spices used are warm and inviting, spices and roots like ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, and coriander. They are mild in spice, more of a warm heat, with a light sweetness to balance out the warmth.

Read More:35+ Quick and Easy To Follow Dinner Ideas Your Family Will Surely Love

More Indian Recipes

A few months back I posted a recipe for a tasty Indian dish called Chicken Tikka Masala, which is also to die for, after that I received a lot of requests for an easy chicken korma recipe. After much ado, here it is, and believe me when I say it was worth the wait. This dish is so yummy! Many thanks again to Kristen for both these recipes! Here are some more favorites:

How to Make Chicken Coconut Korma

Chicken Coconut Korma with a piece of cilantro in a black bowl with a side of white rice.

Chicken Korma

4.82 from 11 votes
Chicken Korma is one of our favorite Indian dishes. It is SO easy to make at home! You will love the bright, savory flavor with a hint of coconut.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6



  • 3 chicken breasts sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Mix this all together about an hour ahead of time.


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 medium tomatoes lightly blended (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
  • 4 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 14 oz coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala an Indian spice


  • Put the chicken (that has been marinating in the spices) into a large skillet over medium heat until cooked through.
  • In a large sauce pan, put the oil, garlic, and ginger over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Then add the remaining spices (except salt and masala) and simmer for another minute. After that, add the tomatoes and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the yogurt and blend in with a wire whisk. Then add the cooked chicken pieces, the ¾ cup water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the coconut milk and garam masala then simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce becomes fairly thick. Serve with rice.


Serve and garnish with:
  • Garnish with crushed cashews or almonds and cilantro with limes on the side
  • Buttered naan goes deliciously with this chicken korma recipe
  • Basmati rice with butter and peas is a delicious side to this dish
  • Looking to increase fiber and cut down on carbohydrates? Try making cauliflower rice, use our recipe! 
Saving leftovers:
  • Your leftovers will last in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 225kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 26gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 675mgPotassium: 595mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 738IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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  1. Is it okay to substitute sour cream for greek yogurt? Love this site btw. Everything I’ve tried from here is just oh so good!

  2. 4 stars
    This was yummy and I’ll be making it again! Thanks! Question: You’ve spelled it 2 different ways on the post and on the recipe itself…is it “Korma” or “Kurma”? Just curious. Thanks again! Yum!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this so many times and always forget to leave a review. This is AMAZE-BALLS and a regular staple in my house with three very picky eaters. The only adjustment I make is cutting cayenne in half since I have a few kids who aren’t fans of the spicy…unfortunately. But despite that, it always turns out perfect! Thanks for a great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious Indian Kurma! We have made it twice now – the first time from raw chicken breasts and the second time from canned chicken breast. Rotisserie chicken would work too. Excellent flavor, with a moderate spiciness (from an anglo-American point of view). Thanks for a GREAT recipe!

    1. I just made this for dinner and it tastes fabulous! However, I was wondering if the chicken is supposed to be cooked in the pan with a bit of oil. I cooked it in vegetable oil although it doesn’t say to do that. Is it meant to be cooked dry somehow?

      1. You can cook it in a bit of oil! After I marinate it, it usually has enough liquid to cook in, but adding oil is totally fine!

        1. 5 stars
          Thanks! I did notice it had some liquid after marinating. I’ll just cook it in the liquid next time, because there will be a next time soon!

  5. 4 stars
    Inspired by the fantastic East Indian Company 6$ Korma sauce, and the recipe on this page.

    1 onion (caramelized with sunflower oil)
    2 medium or 1 large clove of garlic freshly minced
    3/4 tsp store bought minced ginger or 1/2 freshly minced ginger
    Cook garlic and ginger after onion caramelization on low medium heat for 3 minutes.
    Blend with condensed tomato soup or tomato sauce
    Note: a 50 ml descrepency is acceptable between coconut milk and condensed tomato soup or sauce
    so if using 250 ml coconut milk, use 250-300 ml of condensed tomato soup or sauce
    1 tbsp ground cumin
    1.5 tsp ground coriander (coriander and coconut go well together)
    1/2 tsp tumeric
    1/4 slightly heaping tsp cayenne pepper (add when cooking chicken)
    3/4 tsp garam masala
    1/2 tsp white wine (added to onions for zing) optional
    A Few drops of worchestershire sauce + salt (flavour enhancers)

    Precook the chicken with lid on, on high with sunflower oil for 3 minutes each side, keep lid on
    reduce to medium low and cook for another 4 minutes.
    Add blended contents. Cook on medium-high for 8 minutes with lid on.
    Reduce heat to low, Add spices, stir continuously for 2 minutes, wait 2 more minutes and serve.
    Basmatti rice or oven heated Naan is a must.

  6. Have too agree with spicy lady I followed the recipe to the letter and it was all looking good until I completely ruined it with that tsp of salt at the end I would definitely leave it out next time

  7. We loved this! For fun, I took all the suggestions of previous reviewers (decreased water to 1/4 cup, added onion, added a pinch of sugar, decreased cayenne, topped with cashews), and oh, yum! Also, I added a bit of cornstarch at the end because we like a thicker sauce. Thanks so much for a recipe I will be making again.