Quick and easy Chicken Korma made in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices, then cooked with lots of onions and finished with cashew paste for a creamy rich texture. Creamy, full of flavor and spices, this Chicken Korma is a must try!
This is a restaurant style chicken curry. What better than enjoying it in the comfort of your home on a week night! Yes, it takes just 30 minutes to make this Chicken Korma in the Instant Pot (with a little marination prep).
What is Korma?
Korma is a dish that has its roots in the Mughlai cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. It is a mildly spiced Indian curry dish of meat, fish or vegetables marinated in yogurt or cream and spices, then finished with almonds, cashews or other nuts to make a thick creamy sauce.
I wanted to share a recipe featuring chicken drumsticks, and this Chicken Korma was perfect with drumsticks. It can also be made with boneless chicken by adjusting the cooking time.
If you are looking for a meat-free version, here is my Vegan Vegetable Korma recipe.
Another amazing mild chicken curry is this Coconut Chicken Curry if you are wanting to try a completely different flavor curry.
How is Chicken Korma different than other Chicken Curries?
I have shared my Mom's Chicken Curry before, which is a must try if you have not done it yet. However I wanted to share the main differences between this korma and the chicken curry:
- Chicken is marinated in yogurt for the korma.
- In this korma, chicken is cooked only with onions. No tomatoes are added, however chicken marinated in yogurt gives a delicious tangy taste.
- Korma is creamy, so we add nut paste. I use cashews, however you can also use almonds or even finish with coconut milk to make it nut free.
Easy Step-by-Step Recipe
Let's start with marinating the chicken. You will find lots of recipes where this step is skipped, however I feel that it really adds to the taste and makes the chicken so tender and flavorful. We don't have to keep it for long, just about 30 minutes is perfect. If you want to prep, you can keep the marinated chicken refrigerated for up to 8 hours.
Soak cashews in warm water, before you start cooking the curry.
In the instant pot, start with tempering the whole spices in ghee or oil. Then sauté onions along with ginger and garlic. After sautéing for a few minutes, add in the marinated chicken.
We want to saute the chicken with the onions for a few minutes. This helps to seal in the flavors and cook the yogurt before pressure cooking. Then pressure cook the chicken curry. We will quick release, so that the chicken does not get over cooked.
While the chicken is cooking, blend the cashews to a paste. Stir in the paste to the cooked chicken. This will make a curry creamy.
I used chicken drumsticks in this recipe, but any chicken with bones can be used. If using boneless chicken thigh or breasts, adjust cooking time.
This curry is to be cooked for 6 minutes at high pressure. This is perfect cooking time if you want to cook rice pot-in-pot along with the chicken. See this Dal Fry recipe where I cook basmati rice with the lentils.
Enjoy this Chicken Korma with naan or basmati rice.
More chicken recipes you might enjoy:
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Chicken Biryani
- Chicken Vindaloo
- Chicken Tikka Kebab
- Tandoori Chicken Wings
- Chicken Chettinad
- Chicken Karahi
- Keema Matar
Instant Pot Chicken Korma
- 1 ½ lbs Chicken Legs
- 3 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
- 2 cups Onions
- 1 tablespoon Ginger minced
- 1 tablespoon Garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder (Dhaniya powder)
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- ¼ cup Water for cooking chicken
- ½ cup Cashews
- ¼ cup Water warm, to soak and blend cashews
- ¼ cup Cilantro to garnish
- 5 pods Green Cardamom (Elaichi)
- 2 Bay leaf (Tej Patta)
- 1" Cinnamon (Dalchini)
- 6 Cloves (Laung)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
- 3 tablespoon Yogurt
- ½ teaspoon Ground Turmeric (Haldi powder)
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Marinate chicken with yogurt, turmeric, red chili and salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Soak cashews in warm water while the chicken is marinating. Blend cashews with water to a smooth paste.
- Start the instant pot in sauté mode. Add oil and whole spices. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Add onion, ginger, garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the spices. Add marinated chicken and sauté for 3-4 mins. We want the yogurt to cook before pressure cooking the chicken.
- Add water for cooking. Stir well and deglaze the pot. Press Cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position.
- Start on Manual/Pressure Cook mode at high pressure for 6 minutes. When the pressure cooker beeps, press cancel and quick release the pressure manually.
- Add cashew paste to the chicken and mix well.
- Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy over rice or with naan.
- For boneless chicken thigh or breast pieces, pressure cook for only 4 minutes.
- If you don't like whole spices in the curry, you can use a spice pouch.
- Top with roasted sliced almonds and raisins, to make it like Shahi Chicken Korma.
- This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
Delicious! Did it on the stovetop. We can’t eat cashews so added coconut milk as suggested. Will certainly make again. Thanks for a great recipe!
Laura D says
What would I do differently if I wanted to cook this on a stove top without using a pressure cooker?
Meeta Arora says
Hi Laura - You can surely make this chicken korma on the stovetop. In place of the pressure cooking step, cover the pan with a lid and let the chicken cook for about 15 minutes. Then uncover and cook. Once the chicken is cooked through (you can check internal temperature has reached 165ºF), then follow the remaining steps.
Would you recommend almond flour in place of the cashew paste?
Meeta Arora says
Hi Manny - I have not tried, but it could be a good substitute in this curry. Would love to hear how it turns out if you try it.
My daughter has a cashew allergy ( but not peanut )— what can I substitute to get a good texture and flavor
Meeta Arora says
Hi Diana - You can add almond paste (or almond butter) to the curry to make it thicker.